Butter mochi is bit like mochi as you might know it from the freezer case at a Japanese grocery store, though it’s got a real homey American vibe to it, not unlike your aunt’s brownies. It’s one of those box-of-this, can-of-that recipes. A little recipe Googling turned up lots of variations: some flavored with cocoa powder; others studded with chunks of fresh mango. “I know people add things to it,” Cathy Juhn told me, “But I feel the true flavor is as is. The most common variation I see here in Hawai’i is with shredded coconut on top, but I don’t think it needs it.” So here it is plain.
4 C mochiko powder
3 t baking powder
3 C sugar
1/2 C melted, cooled butter
1 12-oz can coconut milk
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
2 t vanilla extract
The proportion of mochiko (rice flour) varies, too. “Amazingly the texture seems to be similar whether you use less mochiko or more,” Cathy wrote. “My girlfriend adds more baking powder to make it less dense. Definitely a preference but I like it dense. It’s true to mochi form if you like mochi, which I do.” —Peter Meehan
1 Heat the oven to 350°F. Stir together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then incorporate them into the dry, stirring the mixture until homogeneous. “There needs to be no fear of overmixing,” advises Cathy.
2 Pour the butter batter into a 13″× 9″ baking dish and bake for 1 hour, until the top of the cake is golden and just browned around the edges. Eat it when it’s still warm, or let it cool to room temperature.
3 To store butter mochi for later consumption, Cathy suggests: “Wrap it up with plastic, put in the fridge.” When the hankering strikes again, “Leave out at room temp, or nuke it. A short nuke can make it taste just-made!”
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