Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ready To Bake Raisin & Cinnamon Mochi Filled With Dates, Nuts And Tofutti - Vegan And Gluten Free

Raisin and cinnamon mocha by Grainaissance.
Just cut, bake, fill and serve!

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Mochi, a Japanese New Year's Tradition
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake that is made from steamed and pounded mochi rice. It is traditionally eaten during the New Year holidays to bring good luck. 
The traditional way to make mochi is to steam glutinous brown rice and pound it with wooden mallets (kine) in a wooden mortar (usu). The resulting sticky mass is then formed into cakes. This process is extremely labor intensive.

Raisin-Cinnamon Mochi - so easy to make!

An Easier Way to Enjoy Mochi
As much fun as making mochi sounds, I was quite excited to find a mochi product that was ready made. 
I walked past the Grainaissance mochi packages in the market a number of times wondering what you're supposed to do with them. They look like a slab of very hard clay. Curiosity got the best of me one day and I brought home the "original" flavor which is basically unflavored brown rice. I cooked the mochi according to directions and was very excited to see how they puffed up. But I just ate them plain without filling them or dipping them in a sauce. Although I enjoyed the contrast of the crispy and gooey textures, I found the taste to be a little boring. So the next time I tried the Raisin-Cinnamon mochi. It was a lot better but it still needed something. The third time I made them, I prepared a sweet filling of dates, walnuts and Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese. I also drizzled the filled puffed dessert with a little agave syrup. The result was amazing! I'm pretty certain these don't resemble the mochi cakes traditionally eaten on New Year's Day, but it's a wonderful, simple to make, vegan, gluten free dessert no matter what day it is!

Cut the mochi into 1" to 2" squares using a heavy, sharp knife.
A 12.5 oz package makes about 9 to 16 pieces.
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Place on cookie sheet at least 1 - 2 inches apart.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

While mochi bakes, chop walnuts and dates. Mix into Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese with a pinch of cinnamon

Look at how they puff up and expand. The tops are golden brown and the bottoms are softer and gooey.
Split the mochi - you'll find an empty pocket for filling.
Fill with prepared mixture, drizzle agave syrup over top and serve.

Raisin and Cinnamon Mochi with Walnut Date Tofutti Filling
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 8 pieces mochi or 4 servings]

Half of a 12.5 oz package Grainaissance Raisin & Cinnamon mochi cut into 8 pieces
1/4 cup chopped English walnuts
1 large Medjool date, chopped
2 tablespoons Tofutti Brand Better Than Cream Cheese
Pinch of cinnamon
4 teaspoons agave syrup

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Place pieces of cut mochi on an ungreased cookie sheet leaving at least 1 - 2 inches between pieces.
Bake around 10 minutes, until mochi puffs up and turns golden brown.
While baking, mix walnuts, date, Tofutti and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.
When mochi is finished baking, remove from cookie sheet and split each piece with a pair of scissors or just tear open.
Fill with cream cheese filling and drizzle each piece with 1/2 teaspoon agave syrup.
Serve warm.

Where to Find Grainaissance
Grainaissance mochi is found in natural food stores and selected supermarkets in the U.S. I found it at my local Whole Foods Market. Call their customer service department at 800-472-4697 to find a store near you or to ask them to get your favorite store to carry their product. They also make Amazake vegan, gluten free, rice shake in 14 flavors. 


Caitlin said...

i love mochi stuffed with stuff! this looks great!

Elenore (E) said...

So cool! I really want to try but have no clue where to get Mochi in Sweden....

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Looking at their website, it looks like this particular product is only available in the US. Sorry :-(

Unknown said...

Where in Whole Foods is this item?

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Every store is a little different. It's in the refrigerated section and I'm not sure they carry it in every store.