Friday, November 7, 2014

BIG HERO 6 WEEK: Mochi's Mochi Cats!

          Aside from Baymax the robot, the Hamada household in Disney's "Big Hero 6" has one other non-human inhabitant: Mochi the cat. Mochi is a plump little fur-ball named after a Japanese treat made from glutinous rice flour. Mochi (the food) can simply be a little blob of dough, eaten as is, or it can be filled with something like anko (sweet red bean paste), strawberries, etc., becoming daifuku mochi.


Mochi's Mochi Cats

Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour
1/2 Cup Water
3 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
Cornstarch (for dusting)
Almond Slivers
Food Color Markers: Brown, Black, & Red or Pink
Red Bean Paste, or other filling of choice (optional)

Important Item:
Mini Cupcake Liners

Directions:
1. Making the Mochi Dough: In a small heat-proof bowl stir together the rice flour, water, & sugar, until smooth. Microwave for 1 minute & stir well.& then microwave for another minute, stirring afterwards. Microwave for 1 minute more, stir, & then microwave for 30 seconds (so 1 min + 1 min + 1 min + 30 sec.). The dough should be very sticky & a little translucent. Let cool for a few minutes or so (it will be hot!). If you'd like to fill with red bean paste, take this moment to roll several bean paste balls, about a teaspoon-worth apiece.
2. Forming the Mochi: Lightly spread some cornstarch over a flat work surface & pat your hands in it to lightly coat them. Spoon out about a tablespoon of mochi dough into your hands & gently roll between your palms to form a ball. Flatten a little cupcake liner & lay the mochi onto it. If you're filling your mochi, flatten the dough into a disc, thinner on the edges then in the middle, & use a fork or spoon to place the filling in the center (if you use your fingers they may get dirty & then mess up the pretty whiteness of the mochi) & then gather the edges into the center & pinch closed. Gently roll again if it's out of shape & place on the paper liner.
3. Making Mochi the Cat: Once all of your mochis are made, select 2 pointy almond slivers for each mochi, & color 1 of each pair black & 1 of each pair brown. Gently stick the black ones on the left of the mochi & the brown ones on the right to become cat ears (see images for reference). Next, color the "body" of the mochi according to the color patterns shown in the images in this post (using the side of the marker tip works well OR, if you have food color gel in tiny pots, you could paint the color on with a clean, small paintbrush). Lastly, draw on a little cat face with a tiny red nose. You can also forego making cats (aw!) and simply draw on Baymax faces. Store in an airtight container on your counter, or in the freezer if you filled them with ice cream.

Mochi mochi filled with anko (sweet red bean paste).
Baymax mochi filled with vanilla ice cream.

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