Mochi energy bar

November 11, 2009

So you guys might be wondering how a traditional Japanese rice cake treat can possibly be an energy bar. Well throw in some nuts, (Asian) red beans, and an oven-an uncommon feature in East Asian homes- and you’ve got a mochi energy bar.

Now I love  mochi, but the thought of it being mixed with nuts and baked like a cake didn’t sound too appealing to me when my mom offered to make me some. But she insisted and I obliged. And to my surprise it was awweessoommeee. It’s like a healthy ultra chewy brownie topped with almonds, except the brownie mix is, well mochi.

You may be wondering “what is mochi?” Well Wikipedia (apparently it’s not a word on dictionary.com) says it’s a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice pounded into a paste and molded into shape.

I’ll admit, the process of making mochi doesn’t sound too appetizing, but it is scrumptious and doesn’t make me feel guilty. But don’t take my word for it. Try out the recipe for yourself. Enjoy!!

Ingredients:

1. One box of mochi powder that you can find at the Asian aisle in grocery stores or any local oriental store.
2. One tsp of salt
3. One tsp of baking soda
4. One can of evaporated milk
5. Optional: A variety of nuts or beans. I used pumpkin and sunflower seeds, trail mix, almond slivers, and walnuts. You can also use Asian red beans (which is delish), but really you can use whatever is in your kitchen.

Utensils: A mixing spoon and a roughly 13×5 baking pan.
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Step 1: set the oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease the baking pan.
Step 2: In the mixing bowl, add the entire package of mochi, 1tsp baking soda, the can of condensed milk, and using that can, 3/4 of the can of water.
**use one can of water if using the red beans. If using just nuts then fill 3/4 of the can with water.
Step 3: Mix until mixture is smooth.

Step 4: Add  all nuts and mix again. It should now look a bit like chocolate chip cookie batter.

Step 5: Pour mixture into baking pan.
Step 6: Top with almond slivers, pressing them slightly into the  batter.

Step 7: Holding the pan with both hands, tap the pan on the counter to make sure there aren’t any air bubbles.
Step 8: Leave the pan in the oven for 45 minutes and do the toothpick test* to make sure it’s done.
Step 9: Let it cool for 10-15 minutes and voila! baked mochi, a healthy snack for people on the go.

*Toothpick test: Stick a toothpick in the center of a cake or mochi and take it back out. If nothing is on the toothpick then the cake is done, if not, leave it in for a few more minutes before attempting the test again.


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