I'm such a sucker for gift giving, holidays, and generally any excuse to spread the love.
I am also a sucker for matcha, mochi, and really cheesy food puns.
So here we have matcha mochi that you can make and give to someone you love as a gift .... and bonus, if it is your bf, gf, husband, wife, or someone you have a crush on, you can include a little note saying: we are a perfect matcha .... BOOM. So many things that I love wrapped up in a little package and sealed with a cheesy food pun love note.
My first exposure to mochi was when I was younger and my mom started buying mochi ice cream for us from Trader Joe's. I had no idea what mochi was, but I did know that I liked it A LOT, especially in ice cream form. I would eat an entire box of mochi ice cream and not even think twice about it. It was that mysterious, chewy, tasty texture that I could not get enough of, but it wasn't until my adult life that I would learn that mochi was so much more than a chewy, tasty kind of ice cream that came from Trader Joe's.
Traditional mochi is a Japanese treat that is made from pounding short grain rice into a paste, and then it gets molded into round or cute shapes. You can also achieve that wonderful chewy mochi texture by using sweet rice flour and adding some liquid to make a batter that is then baked at a low temperature. That's what's happening here. Mochi on it's own can be quite bland, so it makes for a great base for adding in other flavors. That's where the matcha comes in.
The matcha flavor, plus the unique mochi texture, and then some coconut milk to bring it all together .... it's basically like a matcha latte in a really yummy chewy candy form. A great homemade gift for the favorite matcha latte lover in your life.
This mochi recipe is adapted from THIS RECIPE I spotted on Food & Wine. I usually like to keep refined white sugar out of my desserts, so for this recipe I used panela (which is an unrefined cane sugar). It's my favorite white sugar substitute. Feel free to use whichever kind of granulated sugar you like, but take note that the color of the sugar will effect the color of the treats (in other words, darker sugar will turn the matcha mochi brown).
a 9"x12" sheet of mochi
1 1/2 cups of sweet white rice flour
3/4 cup of sugar (see above note on sugar)
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
2 teaspoons of matcha powder
1 cup of filtered water
3/4 cup of full fall coconut milk (the canned kind)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
some powdered sugar for dusting
- Pre-heat the oven to 275º
- Grease an 9"x12" baking sheet
- Mix together the dry ingredients: rice flour, sugar, baking powder, matcha.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the water, coconut milk and vanilla
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until smooth and incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the greased baking sheet, and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the top has set. Remove the foil and allow it to cool completely to room temperature, preferably overnight. If you are going to cool overnight, cover again with a fresh piece of foil.
- Turn the mochi onto a cutting board and cut into the desired shapes using cookie cutters, or you can also just cut them into squares. Dust the tops with powdered sugar and serve.