Mango Ice Cream Mochi
Japanese desserts are some of the most interesting in the world with captivating flavor combinations and various textures. Today it is all about a Japanese summer treat - ice cream mochis!
What is mochi?
Mochi is a very memorable Japanese dessert in the form of a ball, consisting of a sweet center covered in sticky rice dough. The mochi fillings are various - from sweet bean paste to tahini paste, from a fruit parfait to a ball of ice cream. Mochis can be found in most Asian stores but there are many different flavor combinations that are possible to prepare at home. Homemade mochi is relatively simple and fast to put together.
Today we will prepare traditional mochis filled with mango ice cream. Sweet and refreshing at the same time, this dessert is ideal for hot summer days. The mango ice cream is homemade from scratch and is plant-based.
Looking for more mochi recipes? Check out these matcha mochis with raspberry mousse!
Homemade mango ice cream
Today we will prepare a homemade mango ice cream from ripe mangoes. The water content in mangoes is not high and therefore these fruits freeze well without causing too many ice crystals. Most importantly, mangoes are juicy, naturally sweet, and in season. This ice cream is prepared with minimum effort and you should definitely try it out at home.
Other than mangoes, you would need coconut cream and a sweetener of choice. In this recipe, I use honey to sweeten up the ice cream. Honey pairs well with mangoes without overpowering their flavor. You can, of course, use other sweeteners, such as maple syrup, date syrup, etc.
The mango ice cream turns out fantastic even without an ice cream machine. I use a trick (as described in the recipe below) to minimize the ice crystals without an ice cream machine. However, if you already have one, do not hesitate to use it to obtain the best results possible.
Sweet rice flour
The rice exterior of the mochi is a steamed sweet rice dough. The rice dough is made with special flour, called "mochiko" or sweet rice flour. Nowadays, this flour can be found in most Asian (and some bio) stores or ordered online.
The sweet rice flour is made from glutenous Japanese rice. Mochiko should not be confused with gluten-free rice flour. The sweet rice flour actually contains quite a bit of gluten. The gluten makes the rice dough pliable and sticky which an essential characteristic of the mochi. Such results would not be possible with regular gluten-free rice flour.
100 g sweet rice flour
60 g sugar*
180 ml water
Mango ice cream:
1 ripe mango
100 g coconut cream (the solid part of full-fat coconut milk in a can)
60 g honey**
Mango ice cream:
In a blender, combine the mango flesh, the coconut cream, and the honey. Blend them well to obtain a smooth consistency.
Transfer the mixture to a container and keep it in the freezer until frozen. That may take 3-4 hours approximately.
Once frozen, take the ice cream out, leave it at room temperature for about 5 minutes, take it out of the container and cut it into small cubes. Place the cubes in a food processor and process them until smooth and until all water crystals have broken down.
Scoop out small balls of about the same size from the mixture, place them on a silicon mat or baking paper, and freeze them. Keep in the freezer until you prepare the mochi.
In a bowl, combine all ingredients except for the cornstarch. Mix well until there are no visible lumps.
Cook the mochi in a steamer (at 100 degrees C) for 15 minutes.
Transfer the cooked mochi dough to a working surface dusted with cornstarch. Dust the dough with more cornstarch as the former is quite sticky.
Roll out the mochi to about 1 cm thickness, allow it to cool, and cut it into identical squares. Each square will be filled with mango ice cream.
Take the mango ice cream balls out of the freezer, transfer each ball into the squared mochi center, and use your fingers to make two opposite ends meet. The dough is sticky, so the opposite ends of the mochi will stick together easily. Repeat with the other two ends and make sure you close all the gaps in the mochi. You should end up with a lovely round mochi filled with fresh mango ice cream.
Keep the mochis in the freezer and when ready to enjoy them, take them out of the freezer and leave them at room temperature for several minutes. They are super fresh and ideal for the summer days ahead!
* You can use any sugar of choice. I used white sugar to preserve the white color of the mochi. Keep in mind that coconut sugar and brown sugar will make darker mochis.
** Honey works best in this recipe. The combination of mango and honey is super delicious. Nevertheless, you can replace the honey with another liquid sweetener, such as maple syrup.