This recipe is modified from a very delicious butter mochi made by a friend of mine who is kama’aina Hawai’i. That is to say, though she isn’t of Hawaiian extraction herself her family has lived there for generations. And she knows how to bake some delicious stuff, local style. Somehow, I spent several years living there and never made this myself. But when I asked for her recipe, she generously shared it, and I’ve given it a try with some changes so kids I work with might be able to enjoy it too.
If you’ve spent much time in Hawai’i, you surely know mochi – not the kind you see at Whole Foods in the freezer cases, but the real thing, super gooey, super sticky, and super sweet, a cross between custard and chewy fudge in consistency.
It’s a recipe that isn’t exactly healthy. It calls for a lot of sugar, butter, and refined glutinous sweet rice flour. But, it offers a wonderful treat for kids who can’t eat dairy foods or grains like corn or wheat. So, mochi! Give this a try for an after school sweet if you’d like a gluten, dairy and soy free option that has a lesser evil sugar in it (coconut or palm sugar), which lightens the sweet a little but still makes it yummy.
A note about sweet rice flour or Mochiko. Don’t use brown rice flour or plain white rice flour as a substitute; the recipe won’t work. Sweet rice or Mochiko flour is glutinous, that is, it mimics the stretchy consistency of gluten, but has no wheat or gluten in it. Other rice flours don’t do this and won’t create the right consistency for this recipe.