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Coconut Mochi

Categories: Desserts, World Cuisine(Japanese)
Contributed by: Kelly CA

Gluten and Casein Free Treat!
Mochi is a Japanese confection that has a wonderful, sensual texture. It is chewy, yet light.
I had my first experience with mochi when we were visiting my mother in law in Hawaii. I have been addicted ever since.

1 pound box of Mochiko (sweet rice flour)
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 can unsweetened coconut milk (13.5 ounces)
2 cups cool water
1 teaspoon vanilla
few drops of red food color
Cornstarch or potato starch for sprinkling
1/4 cup toasted coconut

-Grease a 9 x 13" pan with Crisco and set aside. The pan must be liberally greased because the mochi is sticky!
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Combine mochiko and sugar in a large bowl and stir.
-Combine coconut milk, water and vanilla in a bowl and stir to combine.
-Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in coconut milk mixture.
-Mix with a wire whisk till mixture is blended and free of lumps.
-Add a few drops of red food color till you have a pretty pale pink color.
-Pour mixture into greased pan and cover pan, tightly, with foil.
-Bake at 350 for 1 hour 10 minutes.
-Remove from oven.
-Uncover the pan and let cool on a rack for several hours or overnight. If leaving overnight, loosely cover pan with a clean kitchen towel.
-When mochi is cool, sprinkle countertop with starch.
-Remove mochi from pan. I found it easier it cut around the edges of the pan to loosen and then cut the slab in half, lengthwise, and remove 1/2 of mochi at a time.
-Place slab of mochi on starch dusted countertop.
-Sprinkle top of mochi slab with toasted coconut and gently press it in to the surface.
-Cut slab into 2" squares or 2" x 2.5" rectangles.
-After the squares are cut, sprinkle the cut surfaces with starch, so the mochi will not stick together.
-Store mochi in an airtight container, with waxed paper between the layers. You may keep mochi at room temperature for several days.