I may have mentioned in previous posts that I like Japanese food and that I often lunch out with Eldest Daughter at Yo Sushi, well, one of the dishes we always end on is chocolate mochi. This is a delicious rice pastry dessert filled with soft chocolate and it just melts in your mouth in a gloop of yumminous.
Take a look:
So, I figured, how difficult could this delicious dessert be to make?
First problem was the rice flour, it has to be sweet rice flour or glutinous rice flour, which is not actually sweetened and has no gluten in it, but actually cooks sweet and sticky. Confused? It doesn't get any better.
Now go find me some Google? All my favourite online shops stock gluten free rice flour!! To buy the 'proper' stuff you need to go to a specialist Asian store and buy Mochiko (Mochigomeko) and this can be pretty expensive. There are alternatives but you need to be able to read Japanese or have a very helpful English speaking shop assistant.
Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared to for out so much money for my yummy so I decided to do some research and maybe come up with an alternative. What I did find was that ground semolina had almost the same consistency as rice flour but I wasn't sure it would hold up in a pastry. So I had a go using a mixure of rice flour (gluten free) and semolina. It wasn't a huge success. I did get something that resembled Chocolate Mochi but the taste wasn't quite right. The rice pastry wasn't sweet or gloopy enough and the cocoa powder dusting was yuk! The Yo Shushi ones are dusted with cocoa powder that tastes sweet and chocolately, but my cocoa powder tasted bitter. Eldest Daughter suggested that drinking chocolate would probably give the right effect.
What did I learn? That Yo Shushi are the kings of Chocolate Mochi. That if you want to make something right sometimes you have to spend a small fortune on the ingredients. Cocoa powder is yuk! I make excellent chocolate truffles! This is what I used for the filling and that was the only saving grace, every single mochi was eaten (not by me) purely for the chocolate truffle inside.
What would I do differently? I will make them again (or just stop at the truffles) but if I can't find a decent Asian store with sweet rice flour I will probably try a half and half mixture of rice flour and semolina. I will put some cocoa powder in with the rice pastry for a more chocolatey experience, you can never have too much chocolate. I will dust them with drinking chocolate, not cocoa powder.
I'm not going to share my recipe now as it was not a big success, but be warned, I'll be back when I've mastered this tricky icky chocolatey dessert. In the meantime, here's a pic of my effort.