With a recipe that calls for exactly a can each of coconut and evaporated milks, butter mochi seems like the prime hapa example of classic postwar dump-and-stir baking. Packed with brown butter and brown sugar, this version is rife with the nutty, butterscotch notes of caramelization. The way the thick, dark crust contrasts with the chewy, faintly tropical center will bring the French canelé to mind, but these little cakes are a lot easier to make!
- Serves: 24 persons
- ½cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pans
- 14 ⅔-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 13-ounce can evaporated milk
- 2cups (16 ounces) dark brown sugar
- 4large eggs, at room temperature
- 2teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 ¾cups (21 ounces) mochiko (glutinous-rice) flour
- 1tablespoon baking powder
- 1teaspoon fine sea salt
Step 1Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions. Preheat oven to 350.
Step 2Generously grease two cupcake tins with butter, including the outer rims of each mold (this will ensure the cakes release after baking). Set aside.
Step 3Place butter in a medium saucepan, and set over medium heat. Cook, swirling, until the foam subsides and the butter turns golden brown and begins to smell nutty, about 4 minutes. Turn off heat, and add coconut and evaporated milks and sugar. Whisk until sugar and coconut milk melt. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
Step 4In a large bowl, whisk together mochiko flour, baking powder and salt. Pour milk mixture into dry mixture, and whisk until smooth. Scoop a scant 1/2 cup of batter into each cupcake mold (enough to fill each mold just under the brim). Gently drop filled pans onto countertop from a height of 3 inches to release any air bubbles.
Step 5Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, rotating pans and switching their positions after 30 minutes or so to ensure even baking (decrease baking time by 10 minutes if using a nonstick dark metal tin). The mochi are done when they are butterscotch brown on top and an inserted skewer comes out mostly, but not completely, clean.
Step 6Lightly run a butter knife along the sides of each mold, then invert tins to release mochi, and cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t worry if the cakes feel soft or underbaked when you pick them up — it’s just the nature of mochi.
Step 7Store leftover mochi in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.