For Jenn Fujikawa, mochi tastes like childhood. "I have fond memories of my Grandma bringing me sweet mochi with red bean, fresh from the bakery," she says.
As the creator of justJENN recipes, a blog filled with adorable bento lunches, simple meals and geeky baked goods (need those brown sugar Wookiee cookies), Fujikawa started experimenting with the chewy Japanese rice cake, using it as a creative ingredient in desserts and main dishes. "I realized that mochi didn't just have to be plain at New Year's," she says. "I created recipes that were up to date and useful like mochi pizza dough and chocolate mochi brownies."
She had so much material that she put together a cookbook. Mochi: Recipes from Savory to Sweet! Vol. 1 features everything from the traditional (chi chi dango, custard mochi) to the head-turning (bacon mochi, root beer mochi bundt cake).
Here, she shares with us this recipe for Nutella-filled mochi.
Ingredients: 3-1/2 cups water 1 cup sugar ¼ tsp food coloring (I prefer pink) 1 (16 oz) box mochiko Nutella potato starch
Prep a cutting board by sprinkling liberally with potato starch. Set aside.
Boil the water and the sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add the food coloring and stir.
Add the box of mochiko and stir like crazy! You need to work fast and get all the lumps out.
Once combined, pour onto the prepped cutting board. Be careful, it's very hot.
Cover the mochi with more potato starch.
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Pull off a piece of mochi and flatten it out. Add a small spoonful of Nutella to the center, then pull up the corners of the mochi and pinch to close.
This makes a lot of mochi, so have a party and share!
The fresh mochi will last 1-2 days in a covered container.