Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sakura Mochi

I have always wanted to make something pink and the inspiration of the spring Cherry Blossom trees is very great this month. And what better time to make a mochi, the Japanese dessert inspired by the Sakura theme and infact very appropriate for welcoming the warm sun and fresh breeze of spring!

I have 3 books on making Japanese sweets, of which 2 are completely in Japanese and one has an English translation written by Chinese publishers. When I first saw sweets made in Japan or 'Wagashi', I was in love, literally. It is amazing that something that is so simple in color and sometimes in the making too can be so appealing to the eyes and palates. Some Wagashi designs are so simple and some requires more delicate hand work and additional elements. At first I was thinking of shaping this Mochi wholly into the Sakura flower but the recipe for this Mochi uses soft flour instead of glutinous flour, which produces a more firmer dough that can be rolled out easily but more resilient to hand shaping. And so I ditched the idea and used a sakura shaped cookie cutter instead and digged out all my old gumpaste art tools to complete the features on the flower itself.

The soft flour was first mixed with some fine sugar and water added to dissolve the mixture into a thick watery paste. The paste was then steamed for 15 mins to solidify it and removed. Using the paddle attachment, the dough is mixed in with some vegetable shortening and pink coloring. I made my red bean paste from scratch so that I can control the amount of sugar added to it. The result of using soft flour rather than glutinous rice flour gives this Mochi a more firmer chewy skin and the mochi itself appears smooth, which holds the pastel pink color well.

1 comment:

Aggie said...

Wah so pretty jie~ so pretty