Mochi is one of my favorite Japanese sweets. Soft and filled with red bean paste, sesame paste, matcha, ice cream, and many other delicious options, mochi is the perfect mixture of sweet flavors not found in American desserts.
Japanese sweets are generally complex. A while back, my tea teacher held a sweet making workshop. It took hours––which might just be me exaggerating––to make the dough for the sweet. He showed us how to make flowers. They were beautiful and tasted perfect, but I wasn't confident I could replicate the process at home. Last week, I stumbled across a post that informed me I could get my mochi fix in minutes with my microwave.
I had to try it out.
I combined the water, sugar, and flour. I microwaved in increments. I rolled it out and let it sit in the fridge for 15 minutes. My round cookie cutters and various glasses seemed too large for the right size mochi, so I grabbed pieces and start making them into circles. I plopped some red bean paste in the middle and pinched them closed.
They didn't look perfect, but I was ready to taste them. You don't get to see their imperfections today. In my I-wonder-if-these-will-taste-okay frame of mind, I forgot to take photographs. No process shots and no end results to prove I actually made microwave mochi. Instead, here's this gif of a man making mochi the traditional way.
My red bean mochi, or daisuku, didn't taste like the one I buy at Pacific Ocean Market. The outside seemed both too thin and too gummy; it wasn't a soft, but it wasn't hard either. Overall, it wasn't bad. I took my daisuku to tea on Monday. My teacher and the other students said it tasted good. They're not the kind of people that would lie to me if it was horrible, but I also know that it could have been better.
Maybe using the microwave––a shortcut––isn't the way to accomplish sweet making. Perhaps I should try a more traditional method and see how it goes.