Monday, February 18, 2013

Glutinous rice flour, where have you been all my life?!

These past few days have been sunnier than the prior half of the week, which in turn put me in higher spirits. I still spent most of my time indoors, but it's just nice to wake up and see sunshine streaming in through the windows and the house brightly lit throughout the day. I've even made an effort to go out for short walks.

To top it off, yesterday, I successfully made red bean-filled mochi cupcakes! It's quite easy; basically use glutinous rice flour for the batter, and it gives a wonderfully chewy yet still cake-like texture. I used store-bought canned azuki beans for the filling, but I think next time I'm going to try to make the filling myself. I was too lazy to try this time around because, to prepare the red bean paste, the red beans need to soak for at least a couple of hours. But I also found the canned paste to be a bit too sweet for my liking, so in the end, it's probably better if I make it from scratch next time and adjust it to my own liking.

I actually did mix a bit of matcha powder into the batter, but I think I'll need to invest in some higher quality matcha for my next try, because it really didn't seem to have made much of a difference in the colour or the taste for yesterday's batch.

Nonetheless, I'm very happy with the result! The tops cracked nicely and the insides were not too moist, just the right amount of fluffiness. I'm glad I didn't put too much filling inside each one since the paste is quite sweet, but good in small doses.

At first I used standard-sized paper cups, but I tried using smaller ones for the second round and I think those were just the right size. Plus, some colour always makes things more fun. Yes, aesthetics matter very much in the overall dining experience!

Even my grandparents agreed that they were a success (yay!). We had a guest over for dinner last night, and we ended up giving her some cupcakes to take home after she commented on how delicious they were. I also took some to a friend's house in the evening, and came back with an empty container. Fattening up my friends is one of my favourite activities.

I'd recommend anyone to try making these, they really are easy to make and not time consuming at all. And it's always nice to experience that pleasant surprise, when you try something a little different and it actually works!

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