When I first saw the recipe for Jeni’s mochi cake in her newest book, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts, I was instantly intrigued. Jeni chose this cake for her ice cream recipes because instead of hardening, the cake stays soft and chewy when frozen. At room temperature, the cake is springy, spongy, and delightfully chewy. Like the Japanese mochi, but in pound cake form.
You may recommend mochi from the toppings bar of your local frozen yogurt shop, or perhaps you’ve seen these glutinous chewy rice balls filled with ice cream at your favorite asian restaurant or grocer (Trader Joes even carries some that you can take home to try!). The rice flour keeps the center of this cake light and chewy while the sugar provides a gorgeous golden brown exterior, and the coconut and evaporated milks give the cake a wonderfully sweet, milky, almost tropical flavor.
If you have never had mochi, you may be a bit scared when you cut into this cake. It’s a bit on the “springy” side, in that you can even pull at it a little bit and it will happily spring back to its original shape. I mean, it’s nothing crazy but it’s fun to play with and see that tiny tug will serve to stretch the cake rather than break it into pieces. It definitely serves to show this cake’s appeal as an ice cream mix-in.
So whether you plan to cut this into cubes and throw it into some ice cream (I would recommend subbing it for the shortcake in this recipe) or simply topping it with a scoop of your favorite store-bought ice cream, it’s a great way to switch up your typical ice cream routine. Jeni uses it to make mochi cake croutons and even toasts it on the grill (which is what I also did, coming up in the next recipe!).
- 2 cups sweet rice flour
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/3 cups evaporated milk
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and line it with parchment. (Parchment optional, but recommended).
- Sift together the rice flour, sugar, and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredient.
- Make a small well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid mixture into the well.
- Fold wet ingredients into dry, mixing until fully combined.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until the cake is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
- Cool cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to complete cooling.
To make Jeni's mochi cake croutons: Cut mochi cake into 1 inch cubes. Melt 1 tablespoon unslated butter in a large saute pan and add the cubes. Allow the cubes to cook undisturbed until they are golden brown on the bottom. Flip and repeat on each side until all sides are browned. Serve along with fruit as an ice cream topping.
[ Recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts ]