Happiness, hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her, stuck still no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with a drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink
~ Florence And The Machine, Dog Days Are Over
My childhood friend and I had gotten together for lunch recently and for dessert, we treated ourselves to mochi ice cream at a Japanese restaurant. It was black sesame ice cream wrapped in a plain mochi shell and to say it was hea.ven.ly is an understatement. The creamy, nutty flavor was not unlike frozen peanut butter, with the black sesame ice cream melting effortlessly on the tongue. As for the mochi, oh the mochi...have you ever had it like this before? Despite being frozen, it retained its chewiness, softness and silkiness that it didn't require much of an effort to cut through it. That leisurely afternoon treat lodged an intention in my mind... I needed to learn how to make mochi ice cream at home!
My brand new ice cream maker has had a sad track record so far. It was broken in a week after I bought it, and one more time about a month after that. Then nothing. The days have been rainy and cool over the past couple of months that making ice-cream didn't really feature high on my to-do list. But the thought of that mochi ice cream kicked the intention right up to that part of my brain marked 'to-do-right-now'.
I love the smoky-grey hue of black sesame ice cream and figured it would go well with a more vibrantly-colored mochi. Red-fleshed dragonfruit then came into mind. Grey and pink, my favorite color combo (if you don't believe me, just see my macaron, polvoron and bread pudding posts). The sesame ice cream was a breeze to make as it didn't need a cooked custard base thanks to the creamy mascarpone. Just bung everything in the blender, churn in the ice cream maker and it's done. The mochi was not so la-di-daa...
I've documented the mochi-making process in pictorial form below so you can refer to it, along with the instructions. The mochi dough cooked in a matter of minutes so that wasn't the problem. The frustrating part was actually stretching the mochi dough thin enough to wrap around the ice cream. It was my first time making a mochi shell which resulted in my kitchen counter being covered with cornstarch, as was I. I needed to use lots of it so the mochi wouldn't stick! In addition, the mochi dough kept tearing and small holes kept forming with all the stretching and pulling it was subjected to. In the end, I cheated and rolled the mochi thinner using a rolling pin covered with, you guessed it, more cornstarch. I definitely need to practise doing this more often.
If you have a round mold, you can freeze the ice cream-filled mochi in it to help form a nice shape. I used my silicon rose molds and my mochis froze into beautiful pink roses. This is such a lovely, delicious dessert for a small, sit-down dinner party so the next time you're going to host one, remember to put this one on the menu.
I hope you're all having a lovely, leisurely weekend and I wanted to share this song by Florence and the Machine (lyrics at the top). Enjoy :-).
Post update: I've submitted this post to Torviewtoronto's Food Palette Series Black, since I used black sesame in my ice cream here.
Dragonfruit and Black Sesame Mochi Ice Cream
Makes: around 6-8 mochi ice creams
Black Sesame Mascarpone Ice Cream
1/2 cup black sesame powder
1/2 cup mascarpone
1/2 cup coconut milk
4 tablespoons honey
1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth (about 1 minute). Taste to adjust the sweetness.
2. Pour mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Scoop the semi-frozen mixture into an airtight container and leave in the fridge to freeze further for at least 2-4 hours. Use this ice cream as a filling inside the mochi (see below).
50 g glutinous rice flour or sweet rice powder
100g caster sugar
½ cup chopped dragonfruit flesh
cornstarch as needed
1. Spread cornstarch on a cutting board, use plenty so the mochi dough does not stick to the board.
2. Press the dragonfruit flesh through a sieve to mash it and squeeze the juice out. Add water to this juice to make up 100ml of pink liquid. Set aside.
3. Place the glutinous rice flour in a glass bowl and add the pink liquid a little at a time, stirring to get rid of lumps. Then add the sugar and mix it well again.
4. Next, cover the bowl with plastic food wrap (leave a breather gap) and cook in the microwave on medium for 2 minutes. Mix with a wooden spoon (dip it in water) and cook for around two more minutes. Stir quickly until the dough turns shiny and smooth. It is now ready to be spread.
5. Dip your spoon in water then spread the sweet rice dough onto the cutting board as flat as possible. Remember the dough is hot so take care.
6. Cover the dough with corn starch and flip it over. Then pull and stretch the edges and make the dough thinner.
7. Keep pulling and stretching until the dough is around 3 millimetres thin. If it tears a little, just patch the hole up with more dough.
8. Leave to cool a little and when the dough is cool enough, cut it into rounds using a large, round cutter or a bowl for the size. You now have nice, round mochi sheets.
9. To freeze the dough, cover each layer of mochi sheet with plastic wrap and dust with cornstarch then put it in the freezer.
To make mochi ice cream:
1. Place a scoop of black sesame ice cream onto the centre of the mochi sheet. For a nice round mochi use an ice cream scoop.
2. Fold mochi over the ice cream and join the edges at the centre, pinch to close. Place in a round (I used flower) mold to form a nice shape and put mold in the freezer for at least 2-4 hours until the ice cream hardens up. To serve, remove mochi ice cream from the mold, let it thaw for 1-2 minutes and eat immediately.