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What Is Mochi Ice Cream?

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  • Written By: Lakshmi Sandhana
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 26 August 2016
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Mochi ice cream is a bite-sized Japanese dessert that consists of an ice cream core wrapped in a soft, rice-based dough called mochi. Mochi itself is a type of rice cake made with sticky, pulverized rice that is molded into a particular form. Each mochi ice cream ball looks like a little golf ball and features a combination of contrasting textures and tastes. Served as dessert or as a finger food, mochi ice cream contains mostly carbohydrates, fats, and sugars. Both the dough and the ice cream come in many different flavors, making for some fascinating taste sensations.

This dessert is very popular in Japan, parts of Asia, and some parts of the United States. The mochi outer covering has a chewy, sticky texture and keeps the ice cream inside from melting. It may be dusted with a coating of powdered sugar. The whole dessert is quite small in size compared to a traditional ice cream cone, which makes it an excellent snack. This makes it possible for hard-core dieters to indulge in eating ice cream without crossing their calorie limits; typically, a single mochi ice cream ball contains about 100 calories.

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They contain little nutrition, though, because they are just a combination of milk in the form of ice cream and glutinous rice. There's an alluring array of mochi ice creams with truly exotic flavors in different colors. It's possible to find flavors like chocolate, ground green tea, or matcha and strawberry. Red bean paste or azuki, coconut, and vanilla are some other common flavors. While mochi has a very ancient history, mochi ice cream is credited with being the creation of the the Lotte company based in both Japan and South Korea.

The ice cream was first heard of in 1981, thanks to the Lotte company, and became wildly popular. Years later, it came to America through a company called Mikawaya, which worked on creating a mass-produced version for well over a decade. In 1993, the company got all the processes right, and mochi ice cream hit the market. These days, the ice cream can be found in major retail brand-name supermarkets as well as in Asian stores.

Making mochi from scratch with sticky rice is a complex process, but it is possible to find the dough in certain supermarkets or buy packaged mixes. The major ingredients to make mochi ice cream include ice cream, mochi rice flour, cornstarch, and sugar. Firstly, the ice cream is allowed to melt slightly at room temperature, and small balls are scooped out. These balls are then put back into the freezer to allow them to harden. The flour is mixed with sugar and water until it becomes a paste.

The batter can be microwaved for a few minutes and is then spread out over a plastic wrap to cool. The plastic surface is dusted with cornstarch to prevent the batter from sticking. The dough is divided into small balls when it cools down. It is flattened into a round shape, and an ice cream ball is placed in the center.

The dough is then wrapped around the ice cream core, and the process is repeated until all the ice cream is covered with a layer of soft dough. If the dough doesn't cover the ice cream entirely, then a little more dough needs to be added. The ice cream balls are placed back in the freezer to harden again and are served chilled.

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