Sometimes strange things inspire me to make something. Sometimes I'll see beautiful ingredients and work around them to prepare a dish. Sometimes it's thinking about what Son and Daughter want so I make a dish just for them. Other times it is about something someone said that catches my ear and gets me riled up. The latter is how this cake came about.
Most telephone calls with friend HKL who has a newborn baby and a toddler to take care of, center around baby issues, sleeping issues, and how tired everyone is. We discuss together tantrums, toddlers, timeouts and just the regular mommy stress issues. On one particularly extended phone call, after discussing different mommy issues of note, her voice suddenly lit up and got super excited and said, "I know that this is going to get your competitiveness riled up, but I had the BEST baked thing ever."
"What was it?" I asked, not without a bit of edge in my voice.
"Blueberry Mochi Cake," she responded. "It is SOOOO good and I have to have it again."
"Where did you get it from?" I asked.
Turns out another friend of ours, HYK had brought it over to this friend and HKL simply fell in love with it.
After hanging up, what kept poking me in my competitive gene was how could something taste SO good that it would make a sleep-deprived woman's voice light up so much that I could tell on a phone call? At first I refused to succumb to the competition, but in the end, I was too riled up and had to give in.
I began my search for a mochi cake recipe, and decided on one from epicurious.com because I remembered that another friend of mine had made it and told me that it was amazing.
Today I made it with a bit of skepticism, because honestly the thought of mochi mixed with cake sort of freaked me out. If you want to eat mochi or dduhk (떡 - Korean rice cake), eat mochi or dduhk, and if you want cake, eat cake. The combination just sounded odd. But given the fact that my friend had raved about something that someone else had made and I didn't even have a chance to TASTE the competition, I just had to make it.
The great thing about this cake is how EASY it is to mix together. It's literally dumping ingredients together and whisking it until you have a batter. It does take significantly longer than a standard cake in the oven, clocking in at one and a half hours. Yes, you read that right. NINETY minutes, but considering how easy it is to whip together, the time in the oven shouldn't bother you. You can stick it in the oven and go away and get a massage and come back with some time to spare.
After it had come out of the oven, and cooled for about 30 minutes, I got confirmation that it could be eaten warm. I flipped it out of the pan and cut into it and the smell was enough to make my mouth water. I cut off a piece and served it to Mother-in-Law who was visiting for the day and she took a bite and said, "Oh! This is so good! I want to give it to my sister right now!" The best way to describe it? A cross between a really delicious pound cake and mochi. The flavor is all pound cake; the texture is all chewy yumminess. The best part is definitely the edge, as it is especially chewy and wonderful.
If you like mochi or dduhk (떡), then you will absolutely love this without a doubt. I guarantee it. But I warn you in advance, make sure you have a lot of people around to eat this cake, because otherwise you will find yourself eating piece after piece, after piece. Even as I sit and type this, I am mentally going over the 4X4 inch square I consumed today. Not with regret, but rather with wonder that I could completely lose control like this. Good thing my competitive side reared its head and made me make this.
Mochi Cake Gourmet Magazine | May 2005
Makes one 9X13 pan, or 24 squares
1 lb box of mochiko flour (3 cups equivalent)
2 1/2 cups of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 14 oz cans of coconut milk - not lowfat (I used two cans of 13.5 oz)
5 large eggs
1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup of butter) melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9X13 baking pan.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mochiko flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl or large measuring cup (4 cup capacity), beat eggs, then add coconut milk, melted butter and vanilla extract.
Carefully pour the wet ingredients over the mochiko flour mixture and whisk until mixture is smooth and uniform in texture.
Pour batter into greased 9X13 pan. Carefully smooth out the top.
Bake for 90 minutes, until top is golden brown and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Allow cake to cool for about 30 minutes on a rack, and then carefully flip it out and cut into 24 squares, or the size of your choice. Can store mochi cake for three days, covered.
You can really see the texture of the cake in this photograph.
See the edge piece? That is what just tastes soooo yummy.
What Mochiko is...this is not a good price. I got mine for $1.99 for a 1 lb box at my local Chinese market.
My favorite measuring cup, as I can mix up 4 cups of wet ingredients and easily pour it over the dry ingredients.