I’m thankful that my sister invited me to live with her, when I was 22, in the big city of Los Angeles. I’ve experienced more living out here these past five years, than I did the previous years of my life back in upstate NY. We all know how much of a late bloomer I was to the culinary world (like the first time I ever ate a Hot Pocket, I was 18 years old,) but I’m really upset that the first time I ever had mochi, I was in my early twenties.
If you’ve never had mochi, they’re defined as being “glutinous rice cakes.” Which… really doesn’t sound appetizing. I think a better description, is that mochi are little nuggets of sweet, chewy, gummy goodness. You can find mochi wrapped around scoops of ice cream, or mochi balls filled with red bean paste (called “Daifuku”) or even little pieces of mochi in the “toppings” section of your favorite frozen yogurt shop; I will be making the little pieces today.
This is absolutely non-traditional, as far as flavor for mochi. And let it be known that I mean no disrespect for tradition, I just blame my boredom and my not-being-able-to-leave-well-enough-alone. Today my mochi is flavored with a touch of orange blossom water, and kissed with a fresh, citrus-y burst of orange juice.
While looking around, I noticed a couple methods for preparing mochi. I’ve decided to microwave it, but it can also be steamed in a water bath in the oven. Microwaving is faster, and requires less work, considering the mochi are best consumed the day of making.
I used little star, flower, and heart fondant cutters, but you could just use a plain ol’ knife and cut into cubes. And as said earlier, these are best eaten the same day. They could last two days though, but they’ll get hard.
The flavor of the orange blossom water and orange juice is very slight, and just barely perfumes the mochi and gives it a mild freshness. I like to throw them on top of frozen yogurt, regular yogurt, ice cream, or on top of orange soda floats. And the BF said he’d use them wherever he’d normally use marshmallows. (Minus s’mores, I don’t think these would “melt” very well.)