Coconut Sweet-Rice Cupcakes (I promise you’ll like these even if you hate coconut)

March 17, 2011 § 10 Comments

I am loving the hell outta three things right now.

1. Jeff Bridges (Tron – 1982, The Big Lebowski – 1998, True Grit – 2010)

2. Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour

3. Echo Lake Dog Park

I am not loving:

1. Red Meat (self-inflicted torture, I gave this up for Lent)

I was recently reminded that I had originally promised “other adventures” other than culinary, so here is a somewhat-humorous video of Bogart (my dog) getting in trouble at the afore-mentioned dog park.  I can’t remember why I got so tiger-mom on him this time, but I assure you it must have been a good reason.  I especially love the end of the video…hahaha 😉 (c) intellectual property of d&d master shiny shoes sehoon

On to my next current addiction…mochi-cupcakes.  Sorry for the influx of mochi-inspired sweets…I promise this will be the last for a while…  The recipe I tried for the blueberry mochi cupcakes was indeed delicious, so I was so curious to try out different mochiko-recipes. I diddled around and found a Sweet-Rice Flour Coconut Cake, which sounded like it could be promising.  I made some modifications, and ended up with something really phenomenal, even better (daresay) than the blueberry recipe. The original recipe called for FIVE eggs (that’s kinda crazy) and 2.5 cups of sugar (even my sweet-tooth can’t handle that jazz), so I reduced an egg and half a cup of sugar and it was perfect. Also, I am a big fan of using cupcake pans because I think it’s less messy and easier to enjoy, one cupcake serving at a time.  And you get more of the amazing crunchy-edge-to-moist-inside ratio. hehe

Now the dilemma about the coconut milk…

I have never bought unsweetened coconut milk for cooking purposes.  I didn’t think this would be an issue until I got to the grocery store and noticed that there is a different type of coconut milk, oil, cream, basically anything that you can think of using coconut, in SEVERAL different aisles.  I took a wild guess and chose the coconut cans in the Thai-aisle, which I think was the right choice.  Even there, they had at least 6-7 different brands of the SAME THING, so I chose two different ones that I’ve posted below that were relatively similar.  I tasted both and noticed many differences in texture and flavor, so I got a little worried that the combination of both would make for a weird-tasting cake.  But the mixture turned out to be awesome so I would probably get these two different ones again!  The Chaokoh-brand was much thicker and creamier, whereas the Mount Tai-brand was more watery and a little more fresh-tasting.

I’m not the biggest fan of coconut-flavored things, but I have to say, the coconut flavor was almost completely masked/subtle in this cake. It was just another layer of depth and that “hmm…what is that flavor?”-something-special. I am a FAN!

Here is the recipe:

Sweet Rice-Flour and Coconut Cupcakes

Adapted generously from The Food of Paradise by Rachel Laudan

  • 1 box of mochiko flour (1 lb)
  • 2  cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (14-oz) cans unsweetened coconut milk (not low-fat)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together mochiko, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together coconut milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla in another bowl. Add coconut mixture to flour mixture, whisking until batter is combined.

Pour batter into buttered cupcake pans, makes 24 cupcakes. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden and the sides begin to pull slightly from the pan.  Cool, and then enjoy!

Mochi keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days.

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Blueberry Mochi Cupcakes

March 6, 2011 § 4 Comments

A friend sent me this recipe a couple weeks ago, and I knew I had to try it. I am glad I did, as this was so delicious!  Thanks, D&D! 🙂
A couple notes:
1. The original recipe was for a 9×13 cake, but I was in the mood for smaller (aka easier to eat) pieces so I made them into cupcakes.  If you want to make a cake using the same ingredients below, bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
2. The original recipe also called for 2 cups of sugar, which seemed like a bit much to me, so I reduced it to one cup.  I wish I had done 1 1/2 cups, because although it was still a little sweet with 1 cup, it would have been the perfect sweetness with a touch more sugar.  This was easily remedied by adding a little simple syrup to the tops of these cupcakes, which made them shiny and delicious!  I remember once while eating at Fatty Crab in New York (amazing food), they gave these mochi cakes that were soaked in a sweet syrup that reminded me of these blueberry mochi cupcakes I ended up with. I think next time, I will either add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more sugar to the recipe, or I will stick to the same and do my simple syrup topping.
3. While washing the blueberries, I added some white distilled vinegar to a bowl of water to clean them.  A coworker told me a few years ago that this was a great DIY fruit and vegetable wash, so I have been doing it since!  Just remember to rinse it one more time with water to get rid of any lingering vinegar undertones.

Blueberry Mochi Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz can)

1/4 cup of milk
4 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla 

1 pound mochiko (1 box)
1 carton of fresh blueberries washed well, or 1 frozen bag
Simple syrup topping* (optional) 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Combine melted butter and sugar in a bowl and mix well.  Add the evaporated milk and regular milk and mix well, until sugar is dissolved.
2. Break eggs into a separate bowl and mix together.  Pour the eggs into the milk/sugar mixture and whisk well.  Stir in vanilla and baking powder.
3. Add entire box of Mochiko sweet rice flour, and then stir well until the mixture is smooth.
4. Butter/grease 18-24 cupcake tins.
5. Add around 2 tablespoons of batter per tin, then add a handful of blueberries. Then top with another heaping teaspoon of batter. Top with another handful of blueberries.
6. Put the tins into the oven for about 35-40 minutes, depending on your oven.  The tops should be golden brown and when a toothpick is inserted it should come out clean.

Simple syrup topping:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil under medium high heat.  Boil until sugar is well-dissolved.

Using a spoon, carefully drizzle each cupcake with no more than a teaspoon of syrup per cake. You will have a lot of syrup left over, for anyone who has a sweeter tooth.

Enjoy!

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