There's a reason why I don't bake these on a regular basis at my home.I can't stop eating them.I've always been a big fan of anything made with glutinous rice. You name it: sticky rice (nuo mi fan), Chinese rice dumplings (zhong zi), Japanese mochi, and Chinese rice balls with red bean soup (tang yuan) - the list goes on and on. There's something about that chewy texture and the sweet flavor of pure rice that I just love.
So I avoid making these desserts normally.
But I had an excuse this time.
I had been invited by TAP, the Taiwanese American Professionals chapter in Boston, to teach a Taiwanese cooking class. It was an agressive schedule. We were going to pull off four dishes in three hours.
Considering that several of the dishes required 1-2 hours to cook, I needed to find a recipe whose total prep time I could shorten.
So after much experimentation in the kitchen one evening (in a dress, no less!), I worked out a way to shorten my original matcha mochi cake recipe by making little, much more manageable cupcakes.
They turned out beautifully during our cooking class and only took half the time to bake compared to the original mochi cake.
I think I'm sold on this new recipe.
There are a lot of ways to approach making matcha mochi cupcakes. First of all, the batter is a cinch to make because everything's liquid. There's no butter to cream or solids to melt. You just mix everything together in a mixing bowl and pour. You can seriously prep this in 5 minutes if you have all your ingredients on hand.
If you're short on time and want something that's really easy, you can make these muffins in paper muffin liners. The pros of this method is that there's no real cleanup, and the muffins transport nicely. The negative is that mochi is very sticky and will stick to the paper.
You may struggle slightly to get the mochi apart from the paper.
If you have a bit more time and are willing to put in the effort, you can bake them directly in muffin pans. Make sure to oil them well (we actually brushed the insides of each "well" with oil). If you have access to a convection oven, use it! You'll get nicer, more even browning and beautiful crispy edges.
This cupcake is gorgeously browned and crunchy on the outside but moist and chewy on the inside.
It's so good.
In my mind, this is most certainly the preferable way of making these delicious little muffins. We made tons of these at the cooking class, and everyone was gobbling them up. It's serious addictive.
Of course, the paper liner way is also perfectly acceptable. You'll still make moist, chewy mochi muffins that are still irresistible.
You really can't go wrong either way.
Matcha Mochi Muffins
makes 2 dozen regular muffins or 4 dozen mini muffins
1 lb glutinous rice flour
2 T matcha powder
⅓ cup vegetable oil
2 cups milk
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, beaten
Combine all ingredients and mix until well combined. If using metal muffin pans (either mini or regular), brush the inside of each muffin "well" generously with vegetable oil. Bake at 350 ° F (convection, if possible) for around 15-20 minutes (mini-muffin pans) or 30-35 minutes (normal muffin pans). Please note that ovens may vary and you should start checking before the actual listed time is up. Test by inserting a toothpick or sharp metal object (e.g., a knife) into a muffin. If it comes out cleanly, it is done.
The muffins are easier to remove if you let them cool first. However, if you've oiled the pan well enough, they should just slide out.
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