This is essentially a remix of one of my favourite cookies, but in a form that poses much less of a choking hazard (I jest – mostly). The cookie form is delicious, but definitely a bit dry (though I’ve worked on the recipe to ameliorate that, so I do think they are a very worthwhile cookie!). Here, however, the toastiness of the dry powdery kinako is allowed to shine even more because it’s balanced by the moisture of chewy mochi and ice cream.
The black sesame ice cream mochi is lovely on its own – the black sesame paste is wonderfully toasted and savoury – but kinako just adds toastiness over toastiness, and the whole thing is curious because it’s also ice cream which is cold – and now toasty? and so on and so forth.
It’s very fun.
Making ice cream mochi is slightly finicky but also very simple because exactly how much frustration the process will induce in your very calm soul seems to come down to a simple rule: keep everything cold! Scoop the ice cream, then FREEZE it. Wrap the mochi, and as soon as you’re done, FREEZE it again.
When I, despite the wonderful instructions of Just One Cookbook, did not want to do that and wanted to get everything done at once, it was a terribly disheartening mess of mushy leaky mochi and tarry ice cream splattered on yellow skirt (oh the sorrows). When I took my time, everything quite a bit more smoothly indeed.
And soon to be posted, another recipe to use up more of the black sesame ice cream (though please do enjoy it on its own too) and some of the mochi scraps – a black sesame sundae.
kinako-dusted black sesame ice cream mochi
black sesame ice cream
2 c milk/cream (I used half of each)
6 egg yolks
5 tbsp roasted sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp condensed milk
100g black sesame paste
Warm the milk/cream until steaming. Whisk the egg yolks, salt and sugar in a bowl, and gradually whisk in some of the hot milk to temper. Return the milk/egg mixture to the stovetop and cook, stirring continuously with a rubber spatula, over a gentle heat until a thin custard that coats the back of a spoon is formed (or it reaches 155F). Be careful not to boil to avoid any cooked egg lumps. If it does seem potentially a bit lumpy, at this point it can be passed through a fine sieve.
Whisk the condensed milk into the warm custard, followed by the black sesame paste. Use an immersion blender (or transfer it to a blender) and blend until the black sesame paste is smoothly incorporated.
Chill completely, then churn in an ice cream maker.
Enough for at least 8 mini mochi.
67g (1/2 cup) glutinous rice flour
120g (1/2 cup) water
1 tbsp sugar
Whisk together the glutinous rice flour, water and sugar in a glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring with a rubber spatula in between, until the mochi thickens and then starts turning from opaque white to milkily translucent. This took 1:30 for me.
Dust a sheet of parchment paper very, very generously with cornstarch. Scrape the mochi out onto the parchment and dust with more cornstarch. Allow to cool until you can handle it, then roll out with a well-cornstarch-dusted rolling pin until the mochi is around 2mm thick. Use an 8-cm or 3″ ring to cut out rounds of mochi. Ensuring they’re dusted with cornstarch so they don’t stick to each other, pile the rounds onto a plate and chill completely in the fridge.
To shape the mounds of ice cream, I pressed the ice cream into a tbsp measuring spoon. Alternatives could be a small scoop shape, though you may need larger rounds of mochi if the ice cream scoops are larger. Freeze the scoops until completely frozen – let’s give it an hour to be safe.
Once your ice cream scoops are frozen and your mochi is chilled, we are ready to start. Perhaps if you are thinking ahead, you could have a cold plate or container that you chilled in the freezer to place the assembled mochi on to help keep everything very cold.
Take a round of mochi and dust off any extra cornstarch with a pastry brush. Place the scoop of ice cream in the centre, rounded side down and flat side up. Pull the edges up to the middle and pinch to seal. Place seal side down on a chilled plate. Repeat until all the ice cream scoops are enclosed. Freeze again until completely chilled.
When ready to serve, dust generously with kinako. Do let sit for a few minutes at room temperature before eating to allow it to slightly soften and mochi covering to thaw.