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Homemade Mango Mochi Ice Cream

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Mochi ice cream is a hybrid dessert that combines the textural delight of traditional Japanese glutinous rice flour dough—mochi—with chilly, sweet ice cream. Mochi has a mouthfeel somewhere between chewy and gooey—perfect for cheese lovers. The ice cream on the inside may be any flavor.

The treats have a relatively young history. Joel Friedman and Frances Hashimoto’s Los Angeles-based confectionary Mikawaya is generally credited with developing and popularizing mochi ice cream more than 30 years ago. Today, you can buy pre-made versions at places like Trader Joe’s, but if you want to create flavor combos all your own, assemble these desserts at home.

Makes 6 mochi ice cream balls, with ice cream to spare

SUPPLIES:

  • Small nonstick skillet
  • Wooden spoon
  • Blender or food processor
  • Medium bowl
  • Thermometer
  • Ice cream maker
  • Rimmed tray or baking sheet, lined with parchment paper
  • Microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl
  • Plastic wrap
  • Rubber spatula
  • Ceramic knife or dough cutter
  • 6 paper cupcake liners

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ripe mangos, peeled, pitted, and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus more to taste
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ cup sweet rice flour (mochiko)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 6 drops yellow food dye, if desired
  • Cornstarch or potato starch, for handling dough

Homemade Mochi Ice Cream step 1

1. Sprinkle mango lightly with a pinch (or more) of sugar and cook in skillet over medium heat, stirring until tender, 7 minutes. Add additional sugar and lemon juice, if desired. Remove from skillet and puree until smooth. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine ½ cup sugar, cream, and egg yolk.

Homemade Mochi Ice Cream step 2

2. Add mango puree to cream mixture, and chill to 40°F. Then, churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. When ready, roll 6 golf ballsized (about 2 tablespoons each) mounds of ice cream. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper and freeze until very firm.

Homemade Mochi Ice Cream step 3

3. Meanwhile, add rice flour to a microwavesafe bowl. Stir in water and remaining ½ cup sugar until smooth, and add food dye, if desired. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stirring well every 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.

Homemade Mochi Ice Cream step 4

4. Dust a work surface with cornstarch or potato starch. Reheat rice flour mixture for 20 seconds and turn out onto prepared work surface. When mixture is cool enough to touch, divide into 6 portions with a ceramic knife or dough cutter. Quickly pull portions away from the dividing line as you cut.

Homemade Mochi Ice Cream step 5

5. With cornstarch-dusted fingers, shape each mochi portion into a ball, and then flatten into discs with your palm. When discs have cooled slightly, assemble the treats. Turn over one of the mochi discs, stretch it out, and create a depression in the center. Place a frozen ice cream ball in the center of the disc.

Homemade Mochi Ice Cream step 6

6. Gently pull opposite edges of the mochi up and over the ice cream, pinching them together where they meet at the top. If the covering is thicker than about 1/8 inch, trim some of the mochi to make it thinner. Once each ice cream ball is completely enclosed, place seam-side down in a paper cupcake liner. Freeze at least an hour, and remove 5 to 10 minutes prior to serving.

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