Recipe: chocolate mochi cake
Easter is coming. (If I were a Stark, I’d say, “Winter is coming.”) Working with artisan Robin Chocolates these past few weeks, I feel as if it has been Easter for a while. I’ve had hand-crafted marshmallow-almond butter chocolate bunnies, bunny sugar cookies, chocolate ducks, marshmallow peanut butter bears, peanut butter crisp chocolate eggs, caramel turtles, and assorted (amazing) truffles marching past my camera and into my (or rather, Jeremy’s) belly.
the cutest dark chocolate ducky
bunny filled with marshmallow fluff and almond butter (it was delicious)
If you live in the Boulder-Denver area, you are so totally in luck. You can stop by Robin’s storefront in Longmont (Monday-Saturday 12:00 pm – 6:30 pm) for a free sample while you pick out your gorgeous Easter goodies for the sweet-toothed loved ones in your life (or yourself, ahem…). Heck, go there for their incredible pastries in addition to the confections. Or try your luck with any of these locations that carry Robin Chocolates. If you aren’t fortunate enough to live in beautiful Colorado, you can always rush order for Easter. Don’t forget Mother’s Day is just around the corner!
600 Airport Road
Building B, Suite D
Longmont, CO 80503
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Monday – Saturday
robin makes award-winning truffles
Normal began to lose all meaning for me until this week when a storm front drifted in and dumped several inches of snow in my yard, on my house, on the trees, in the mountains – everywhere. I know a lot of people in Seattle, Washington and Ithaca, New York who become noticeably depressed or cranky when they haven’t seen the sun in a couple of weeks. I get that, I think. I’m the opposite. I need my snow and in summer, I’ll settle for rain (rain is good). As soon as Jeremy got home on Tuesday, I shoved his ski pants at him and said, “We’re taking Kaweah for a ski.” It had snowed all day and five minutes before he walked through the front door, the sun came shining through.
the storm clears out
snow, at last!!
kaweah didn’t want to stop for pictures
but she did stop for treats
Kaweah ran her little brains out, she was so happy. We were elated to be out there alone, in the still and quiet of the woods, blanketed in white. Cold air feels good when your face is flushed bright red from exercise. I don’t know if we’ll get any more snowfall. I hope we do for recreation, yes, but especially to mitigate wildfires this summer and fall. Once home, we both dug into some chocolate mochi cake I had made, to tide us over while we cooked dinner. I know I’ve said I’m not a fan of chocolate, but I do love 1) a little bit of good quality dark chocolate and now 2) chocolate mochi.
evaporated milk, glutinous rice flour, sugar, vanilla, baking soda, chocolate, butter, eggs
mix the dry ingredients together
My friend Fran, a native of Hilo, Hawai’i, sent me a link to a recipe for chocolate mochi cake last year, but I lost it. I began to google about for it recently and came upon a recipe from the Polynesian Cultural Center website. Having made complicated pastries and confections in the past, a recipe that calls for mixing everything in one bowl and dumping it into a pan to bake sounds like heaven to me. This is heaven. Now, the original recipe calls for margarine and well… you know we’re using butter instead of margarine. It’s worth stating (again): glutinous rice flour does not contain gluten. This is totally gluten-free friendly.
melted butter and chocolate
stir in the evaporated milk
I’m always nervous trying out a new cake recipe that calls for leavening because most of the time I have to reduce the leavening for my altitude. But the rule is to try the recipe as-is first, and THEN make adjustments accordingly. This resulted in the cake rising beautifully at 20 minutes, and then spilling its guts onto the oven floor and burning at 25 minutes. So, I guess that didn’t work. My next attempt only used 1/3 of the baking soda and that worked nicely – that is, it didn’t make my house smell like a campfire and I didn’t have to scrape and scrub carbon from my oven.
add beaten eggs
stir in the dry ingredients
The reason for the baking soda is to create little gas bubbles in the batter while the cake bakes. It gives the cake a “cakey” texture that is light and fluffy. It’s nice. If you don’t add the baking soda, you will get a dense, chewy chocolate mochi that is also delightful. It’s up to you how you want to do it. I like both, but I’m partial to mochi (like strawberry daifuku mochi when strawberries are in season).
mix until the batter is smooth
baked in a 9 x 13-inch pan
A few notes: I found it much easier to mix using my KitchenAid stand mixer on my subsequent attempts. Mixing in the bowls makes for better photographs, but mixing in the stand mixer makes for better sanity. The cake should be done when it no longer jiggles (look in the center). Let it cool before digging in because the heat retention of mochi is pretty impressive and painful. Finally, don’t refrigerate it because it becomes hard and the texture goes a little pasty.
The chocolate mochi cake is delightful. It really has a nice spongy cake texture if you use baking soda in the batter and I think the rice flour adds a nice flavor to the chocolate. I actually prefer the straight up mochi version without the baking soda because it reminds me of the sweet red bean rice cakes I ate on special occasions as a kid. Both are fantastic and easy.
the version without baking soda (chewy and awesome)
the version with baking soda is like traditional cake
fluffy and spongy with a nice chewy crust
Chocolate Mochi Cake
from The Polynesian Cultural Center
2 cups (9.25 oz. or 260 g) glutinous rice flour like Mochiko brand
2 cups (16 oz. or 450 g) white sugar
1 tbsp baking soda (1 tsp at 8500 ft. elevation)
1/2 cup (4 oz.) butter, melted
1 cup (6.5 oz. or 200 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
24 oz. evaporated milk
2 tsps vanilla extract (4 tsps at 8500 ft. elevation)
2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. Sift or mix (I never sift anything) the glutinous rice flour, white sugar, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Set aside. Heat the butter and chocolate chips together in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted. Pour the chocolate into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, stir the evaporated milk, vanilla, and eggs into the chocolate on low speed until mixed. Stir in the dry ingredients until the batter is smooth and lumps are worked out. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the batter no longer jiggles. Remove from oven and let cool. Store at room temperature (don’t refrigerate). Makes one 9×13-inch cake.