This is my (extremely) last-minute submission to The Practical Escapist’s #GhibliMay event: Soot Sprite Mochi!
Plain daifuku mochi, filled with a black sesame cream cheese filling, and then rolled in ground black sesame seeds to look like soot sprites. I may be baised, but I think they ended up super cute.
Despite my hesitations (I haven’t made much mochi, and it’s always turned out a little questionable), I think these turned out wonderfully! The mochi was perfectly soft, the ground black sesame on the outside added a tasty nuttiness, and the tanginess of the cream cheese filling was unusual compared to the normal sweet bean fillings, but quite tasty.
Steamed White Daifuku Mochi
from Mochi Magic
- 3 cups mochiko
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp flavoring
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups cornstarch or potato starch, for dusting
- 1 cup filling of choice
- Add enough water to the steamer base to fill the pot halfway (make sure the water doesn’t touch the steaming basket). Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.
- While the water heats, mix together the mochiko, sugar, and flavoring with a whisk or spatula until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the water and mix until the water is fully incorporated. You shouldn’t see any lumps, and the mixture should look smooth, like pancake batter.
- Thoroughly wet a 3′ square cotton cloth with water, then wring it out. Drape the cloth over the steaming basket of the steamer. Pour the mochi mixture on top of the cloth. Put the lid on the steamer and rest the excess cloth on top of the steamer lid so it doesn’t hang down the side of the pot.
- Steam over medium-high heat until the mochi is solid, thick, uniformly translucent, and easy to peel from the cloth, 25 to 40 minutes. Replenish the steamer base with additional hot water as needed. To test if the mochi is done, mix it with a spatula. If it is all the same color and texture, it is done.
- Rub a large cutting board with 1/2 cup of the cornstarch, focusing on the middle section of the board where the cooked mochi dough will be placed. When the mochi is done steaming, lift the cloth from the steamer by the corners and carry it to the cutting board. Peel the mochi off the cloth and transfer it to the center of the cutting board. Peel the mochi off the cloth and transfer it to the center of the cutting board. The mochi should peel off easily. If not, use a spatula to get the mochi off the cloth and onto the board. Let cool for 5 minutes.
- Coat your hands with plenty of cornstarch. If the mochi is still hot, you can slip on gloves before dusting your hands with the starch. Sprinkle a healthy amount of cornstarch over the mochi mass. Carefully slide your fingers under one side of the mochi and roll it over on the cutting board to coat the mass entirely in starch.
- Form the mochi into a log 4 to 5 inches wide. Using your non-dominant hand, grab a golf ball-sized piece of mochi and pinch the piece off from the mass by curling your index finger and your thumb together. Ad the same time, pull the pinched mochi piece away from the mass with your dominant hand.
- Cover this piece with starch and lay it on the board. Repeat until the whole mound has been used.
- To fill: Slightly flatten a mochi piece into a circle about 3/4″ thick.
- Place 1 rounded teaspoon of the filling in the center of the mochi.
- Cover your hands with cornstarch. Starting at 3 and 9 o’clock on the circle, pinch the edges of the mochi together over the filling, pinching tightly so they stick together.
- Pinch together the opposing sides, 12 and 6 o’clock, to form a loose bundle.
- Finally, pinch all the corners into the center of the mochi, making sure to pinch hard enough to seal.
- Flip the mochi upside down and brush off excess starch. Repeat with the remaining mochi pieces.
- To coat: Pour the coating into a medium bowl, and fill a separate medium bowl with water. Submerge one piece of filled mochi into the water, moistening all sides, then roll the mochi in the coating until coated. Repeat with the remaining mochi for a beautiful look.
- To store: Cover a plate in cornstarch if you are not using cupcake papers. Round each mochi with your hands a few times, then set them on the cornstarch-covered plate or in cupcake papers. Enjoy immediately or store at room temperature for up to 1 day or in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Black Sesame Cream Cheese Filling
from Mochi Magic
- 1 8oz package full-fat cream cheese, room temp
- 2 1/2 tbsp ground black sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp kinako
- Thoroughly combine all ingredients, until the mixture has an even consistency.
- Lay a piece of parchment paper on a plate or baking sheet. Using a spoon and wet hands, make 12 balls that are each 1 1/2″ wide. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or overnight. Remove from refrigerator right before use.
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