Mochi ice cream is a confection made from Japanese sweet glutinous rice flour with an ice cream filling. The ice cream flavors the confection while the mochi adds sweetness and texture. When making mochi, it is dusted with either cornstarch, potato starch, or additional rice flour to keep it from sticking while being rolled, cut, and formed.
A Japanese-American woman named Frances Hashimoto is credited with inventing mochi ice cream after her husband conceived an idea of wrapping ice cream in a rice cake. She expanded the idea and processed it as a product for marketing. The research and development took over a decade to evolve into mass production due to the complex interactions of the ingredients. It took many trial and errors in order to successfully pull the delicate mochi dough over the ice cream. Experts in construction and microbiology were brought in to perfect mochi ice cream as we know it today. Classic ice cream flavors such as vanilla, chocolate and strawberry are often used, but you'll also find Kona coffee, green tea, plum wine, and red bean have also become popular in recent years.
- 1 pint green tea ice cream
- 3/4 cup sweet glutinous rice flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons matcha powder
- 3/4 cup water
- Potato starch, cornstarch, or additional rice flour (for dusting)
Gather the ingredients.
Line a mini muffin tin with plastic wrap. Using a small ice cream scoop, divide the green tea ice cream among the wells in muffin tin. Re-freeze until the ice cream is solid.
If you don't have a mini muffin tin, you can also use an empty egg carton lined with plastic wrap to hold the shape of the ice cream balls.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the rice flour, sugar, and matcha powder. Add the water and whisk to combine.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for 1 minute. Stir, recover, and microwave for 1 minute more. Stir again, cover, and microwave at least 30 seconds or up to 1 1/2 minutes more until the mochi dough is thick and sticky.
Lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with cornstarch, potato starch, or additional sweet glutinous rice flour. Roll out mochi to about 1/4 inch thickness. (Apply additional starch or flour as needed to prevent sticking.)
Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate for about 15 minutes until cool and firmed.
Using a round cookie cutter (about 3- to 3 1/2-inches in diameter) cut the mochi into circles.
Place each circle on an individual piece of plastic wrap.
Place one scoop of ice cream on top of each mochi circle. Quickly wrap the mochi around the ice cream and pinch to seal. Use the plastic wrap to tightly tie everything together.
As each ball is wrapped, quicky transfer the balls back to the freezer until solid.
It helps to do this process in close proximity to the freezer, working in small batches. Otherise, the ice cream balls will begin to soften too much, making it very difficult to wrap the mochi around the balls.
When ready to serve, unwrap the plastic and enjoy.
- Any flavor of ice cream will work in this recipe. Simply omit the matcha powder to make plain mochi.