#COOKING: STRAWBERRY-CHERRY BLOSSOM MOCHI RECIPE
Strawberry-Cherry Blossom Mochi. This is a perfect Springtime delight. Mochi are the one treat that the Koreans, Japanese and Chinese all can agree is a favourite. These chewy rice cakes are a bit quirky to Western palates, but have a pleasing chewy texture that leaves you reminiscing. Its filling, Azuki Red Bean Paste is dense and rich, a bit like chocolate and a bit like a sweet potato mash. 🍓🌸
3/4 cup glutinous rice flour
2 tablespoons organic raw sugar
150 ml or more water
1 tablespoon Sakura Latte powder
4 drops red food colouring
Azuki Red Bean Paste:
1 cup dried Azuki red beans
1/2 cup (or more) organic raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 large ripe strawberries
1. Soak Azuki beans overnight in water.
2. On medium heat, cook beans and water in saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer for 75 minutes.
3. Drain beans in colander and place back in sauce pan. Add sugar and salt. Mash with hand mixer.
4. On very low heat, stir paste occasionally. Cook uncovered till water evaporates and beans become a thick paste. You can tell you’re done when you take a chopstick, draw a line through it and can see the bottom of the pan.
5. Cool paste at room temperature and roll into six even balls.
6. Cut tops off strawberries and roll into red bean balls, covering them evenly. Wash hands after forming each ball and dry hands. Let stand.
7. Prepare steamer or a large deep skillet, adding water.
8. In large mixing bowl, prepare Mochi. Mix all ingredients till smooth.
9. Pour Mochi batter into a square/rectangular dish. Place dish into steamer/skillet and steam Mochi, stirring 2-3 times. Cook 10 minutes.
10. Remove Mochi from heat. Cool at room temperature a few minutes.
11. On large flat surface, sprinkle generously some potato starch.
12. Take spatula and scoop six equal clumps of Mochi. With hand and potato starch, meld each Mochi into a flat 3-4 inch portion.
14. Take each strawberry-red bean ball and place onto Mochi flat and roll gently into a ball. Bring together at bottom and pinch to seal. Place on flat sheet. Rinse and dry hands if they are sticky, before proceeding to the next. Serve. Stores 1 day.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#COOKING: MATCHA-CHERRY BLOSSOM SHORTBREAD RECIPE
Matcha-Cherry Blossom Shortbread. Nothing says Spring like the fragrant, fresh notes of blooming Cherry Blossoms in High Park and harvested Matcha in May. We’re saddened at the thought that High Park won’t be even be open this Spring for Cherry Blossom viewing. Combining these flavours into a Tea Time favourite allows us to savour the season, even if we will be doing it in isolation this year. Enjoy the perfume-like aroma that fills the air as these bake! 🌸🍵
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of flour
Two pinches sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
1/2 cup organic raw sugar
1/2 tablespoon (or more) Matcha powder
1 tablespoon (or more) Sakura Latte powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Three drops of red food colouring
1. Prepare two mixing bowls. Divide half of butter into each bowl. Cream with sugar and vanilla.
2. Prepare two more bowls. In Bowl #1, mix evenly half of the flour with Matcha powder and a pinch of sea salt. In Bowl #2, mix evenly the other half of flour with Sakura powder and pinch of salt. Put-in a couple drops of red food colouring into Bowl #2.
3. Mix Matcha and flour into creamed butter and sugar in Bowl #1. Mix Sakura powder and flour into Bowl #2. Form each bowl’s contents into dough, handling gently.
4. Turn each dough into floured surface and form into a rectangle. The green and pink doughs should be equal in size. Cover each rectangle in plastic wrap and freeze for an hour.
5. Remove doughs from freezer and place one above the other on cutting board. If dough splits, wet hand with a bit of water and gently piece back together. Press doughs together firmly and cut into 16 pieces.
6. Place slices onto parchment paper and freeze for another hour.
7. Preheat oven to 350°F.
8. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and space each cookie 1-2 inches apart.
9. Sprinkle with a bit of organic raw cane sugar.
10. Bake 15-17 minutes till slightly golden. Remove from oven and cool about 30 minutes. Serve. Store in air-tight container.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)