What is Mochi?
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of mochigome which is a type of short-grain sticky rice. Traditionally, rice is pounded by a wooden mallet until it becomes a sticky paste and is served as a savory or sweet dish. This tradition can still be seen especially on New Year's day known as mochitsuki, or mochi pounding. However, this method of making mochi can take hours or even days. To save time on pounding down mochigome, I am using mochiko, a sweet rice flour made from mochigome for a quick and easy dessert that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
What is Mochiko, or Sweet Rice Flour?
Mochiko or sweet rice flour is a gluten-free flour made of finely ground glutinous short-grain Japanese rice. This is what gives the mochi its signature sticky and chewy texture. Mochiko should not be mixed up with other rice flours, which will not provide the same texture. Even if a package says “sweet rice flour” or “glutinous rice flour” oftentimes the texture and flavors are quite different.
If possible, look for the word “mochiko” on the package for this recipe as mochiko uses short-grain rice and will ensure to give this dessert a nice chewy texture. My favorite brand of mochiko is Koda Farm's Mochiko which is a brand that is most commonly found outside of Japan. This has been a family staple in our pantry for years and the only one we use when a recipe calls for mochiko.
Making traditional Japanese desserts can be quite time-consuming and difficult to do. However, this sesame mochi is a Japanese-inspired dessert recipe that does not require any level of expertise. All you have to do is combine wet ingredients and dry ingredients and plop it in the oven. It is easy and foolproof! Make this for your next gathering and I promise your guests will be coming back for more!
Sesame Mochi Ingredients:
⅓ cup black sesame seeds (finely ground)
½ cup sugar
1 cup Koda Farms mochiko
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp sesame paste
½ cup milk
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
Optional Sesame Dip:
½ cup heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame paste
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°.
- Grind black sesame seeds in a suribachi (Japanese mortar and pestle) or food processor or blender until seeds are finely chopped
- Add ground sesame seeds, sugar, mochiko, baking powder, and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Whisk eggs, melted butter, and sesame paste in a medium bowl until creamy and emulsified
- Then, whisk in milk, vanilla, and cream
- Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Grease an 8" pan with butter.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan.
- Bake cake for about 30 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean
- Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes
- Cut and serve!
Optional sesame dip:
- Whip together heavy whipping cream, sugar, and sesame paste until combined and fluffy