Its been cold and dreary down here in Melbourne (with it being Winter and all), and this weather has me missing Japan.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love Japan and have visited that magical place every year in recent years. Yeap, I’m that weird person who visits the same place year after year for holiday trips.
I can’t stop thinking about the warmth from a warm bowl of ramen as you hide away from the cold in a small booth, or the heat of the steam coming off the onsen (hot spring) right before you dip your feet into that boiling pool of water that tries to pass off as a bath.
You can’t visit Japan without realising that the more traditional Japanese desserts pretty much revolves around – Matcha (green tea powder) and Anko (red bean paste). And no trip to Japan is without an encounter with a chewy traditional rice cake called Mochi.
And so began my search of the different Mochi varieties that could help me satiate my Japanese sweet tooth.
Say what? Butter + Mochi? That’s it. I’m sold.
After some playing around with various recipes and doing some research, I ended up with what you see in the pictures. And the best part is that this dessert keeps well, isn’t hard to make, and so happens to be gluten free as well for those of you who are gluten intolerant.
The final product carries a light matcha flavour with small pockets of sweetness from the marbled red bean paste. The crisp of the outer bits provides a nice contrast to it’s chewy inside. The overall cake isn’t too sweet and is nicely balanced, so please don’t be put off by the amount of sugar in it.
This recipe creates a taller cake than the usual butter mochi and calls for extra large eggs. This is to help with accentuating that contrast between the nice crusty texture and chewy mochi center. The longer bake to help set the middle of the cake also helps with browning the top of the cake and setting up that crunch.
Because of how simple this cake is, I urger you to use the best quality matcha powder that you can find if its possible. And don’t worry if you don’t have red bean paste, it taste perfectly delicious without.
And for the non-matcha lovers, you can leave the matcha out (if you must) and add an extra 1tsp of vanilla extract instead. However, I have fed this to people who don’t like matcha and they have come back asking for seconds so definitely give it a shot if you are up for it. 😉
Matcha Butter Mochi with Red Bean
Adapted from Lucky Peach
Makes an 8″ x 8″ cake
- 310g sweet/glutinous rice flour (not to be confused with normal rice flour)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 400g white sugar
- 80g butter (melted and cooled)
- 3 extra large eggs (large eggs will work too)
- 230g coconut milk
- 230g evaporated milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp matcha powder
- 145g red bean paste (optional)
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line an 8×8 inch pan with baking paper.
Mix rice flour, baking powder, sugar, matcha powder together in one bowl.
Mix eggs, coconut milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract in another bowl.
Pour dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and give it a good mix until you no longer see any flour. (Give it a good stir, and don’t worry about over mixing it.)
Pour the batter into your baking tin and stud it with drops of red bean paste.
Give your pan a good tap on your counter top to get the red bean paste to sink to the middle. (You don’t want to see any red bean peeking out if possible, but you don’t want them to all sink to the bottom so just be cautious and don’t tap it more than a few times.)
Bake it for 1hr to 1hr 15mins, when you stick a toothpick in the middle, you want to make sure that nothing clings to the toothpick and that it comes out clean.
Let it cool in your cake pan and slice it up to serve.
It’s delicious when it’s still slightly warm.
To store, simply chuck it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week and reheat it in the microwave until warm and soft again. (This should take about 30 seconds depending on how big your slices are, I made mine real nice and bite-size so it only needed a 20 seconds nuke.)
You’d be surprise, but this cake actually springs back to life after a shot burst in the microwave.
Give it a go and let me know how it goes!