Thursday, November 8, 2012

(Encore) Recipe of the Week: Mochi Cake

I made 2 batches of pandan mochi cake -- one for Zach and I, the other for my friend, Corrinne, and her kids. It reminded me of the cakes (nonya kueh) I used to eat as a child back in Singapore and I knew Corrinne would appreciate the nostalgic flavor too. My cousin, Gillian, (of EpicMomAdventures) wants the recipe, so I thought it'd be fun to share it here, as an encore recipe of the week.

For those not familiar with pandan, it's slightly sweet and smells like a cross between vanilla, coconut, and fresh green floral. It is challenging to grow pandan here because the climate is not warm or humid enough. But pandan is everywhere in Southeast Asia, and you'll find a lot of sweet and savory recipes that call for it. Over here, your best bet is finding either frozen pandan leaves or pandan extract at Asian grocery stores.

Mochi cake looks complicated but it is, in fact, super easy to make. The ingredients are rich, but with its dense, chewy texture, it'll take only a small slice to satisfy your taste buds. You can also make a healthier version by using light versions of evaporated or coconut milk, and definitely feel free to use coconut oil instead of butter. Coconut and pandan flavors are complementary. There are quite a few versions of mochi cake recipes you can find online, and everyone of them is a variation of the other. You should look through them and see what other fancy flavors of cake (I've seen chocolate, pumpkin, and vanilla) you can bake. I combined 3 different recipes, and what I ended up with worked pretty well for me.

pandan extract comes in a green paste
or clear liquid; either one will work for
this recipe. I used 1 tsp of each.
1lb or 3 cups of glutinous rice flour (also known as sweet rice flour)
1.5 - 2 cups sugar (this is perfectly adjustable to your preference)
2 (15oz) evaporated milk (or coconut milk, if you prefer)
5 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter (or coconut oil), melted
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp pandan extract

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease 9x13 baking pan.
Combine all the ingredients and mix well.
Bake for 60-75 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow to cool before cutting and serving.

Now have your cake and eat it too! :)

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