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Mochi ice cream is the perfect balance of soft, chewy and sweet. Now you can fully customize this delicious treat at home!
I’ve made mochi ice cream so many times that I’ve lost track… It’s actually what I was most known for making when I was new to social media, until I transitioned to making more dinner recipes.
My first attempt at making mochi ice cream was a disaster. It’s not easy! But, I’ve learned so many things since then and I’m here to share all of my tips and tricks with you. Your first time making this may not be picture perfect, but I assure you that it’s not too difficult 🙂
Mochi ice cream is gluten-free!?
This is a shock to many people, but yes! Mochi is gluten-free. The main ingredient of mochi is glutinous rice flour. Contrary to the name, it doesn’t mean it has gluten! I know, this is always a surprise to so many people who have gluten intolerance.
Glutinous rice flour
Glutinous rice flour is made from grinding and dehydrating glutinous rice kernels, otherwise known as sticky rice or sweet rice. All brands of glutinous rice flour will work for this recipe, but I prefer using Mochiko which is a Japanese brand. It will give you a much better texture and taste. I’ve tried a few other brands and it worked, but the taste and texture was not as soft and chewy. It also turned a bit hard after freezing. So, use Mochiko if you can but if not then any brand will do.
Shaping the ice cream
There are just a few tools needed to shape the ice cream perfectly: a muffin tin, an ice cream scooper and cupcake liners. These few items will make it very easy to shape the ice cream, but don’t worry if you’re missing one! You can also scoop ice cream in plastic wrap and freeze it.
You will need to prepare the ice cream scoops ahead of time, so prepare accordingly. The ice cream needs to firm up in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours. Once the ice cream rounds are ready, then you can start to make the dough. There is minimal active work when making mochi, but lots of resting time.
- Mochi dough is very sticky, so use plenty of starch! I like to use a sifter for thin, even layers of starch. Don’t be shy when adding starch – add it to the cutting board, your hand, the knife and another layer on top of the dough. Once you become a pro, you’ll know exactly how much to use. As a beginner, though, it’s best to use more starch to prevent stickiness.
- Work quickly because ice cream melts very fast. Only take out one ice cream ball at a time to wrap your dough and immediately put it back in the freezer until firm. Also, try not to touch and squeeze the mochi balls because the warmth from your hands will melt it.
- Make sure the dough is completely cooled before wrapping the ice cream. It will melt and become a mess if you wrap the ice cream with dough that’s still warm. Also make sure to cover the dough with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out
- Don’t skip any of the steps! There is a purpose to each step and it’s best not to take shortcuts, especially if it’s your first time. For example, the ice cream needs to be frozen again after scooping. If this step is skipped and the ice cream wasn’t frozen solid, then you will most likely end up with a melting mess.
Mochi flavor ideas
green tea – add matcha to the milk or sift it right on top of the mochi balls
chocolate – add cocoa powder to the milk and on top of the mochi balls
cookie dough – cookie dough and mochi combine for the most delicious dessert!
Ice cream is already frozen, so why do I need to freeze it again?
Yes, ice cream is frozen, but ice crystals soften after scooping. Trust me on this and do not skip this step. The ice cream balls need to be placed in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours until rock solid. It may take longer depending on your freezer.
What kind of oil should I use?
I recommend coconut oil for best flavor, but most types of oil will be just fine. It’s such a small amount used, so you likely won’t notice a difference. Just don’t use a strong tasting oil like sesame or peanut.
I don’t have glutinous rice flour, can I use regular flour?
If you’re looking for that traditional mochi taste, then use glutinous rice flour. It’s needed for the sticky and chewy texture that mochi is known for. I have, however, tried this recipe using regular, all-purpose flour. I was very surprised that it worked! The taste was very different – it was very doughy but not bad. If you’re ever bored one day and want to experiment, then I recommend. But other than that, you need glutinous rice flour.
Help! My dough is too sticky!
If the dough is sticking to everything, then you need more starch! Use starch to stretch out the dough and a dab of water if you need the dough to become sticky again.
Can you taste the starch?
Not if you use potato starch and follow my directions! Potato starch will give you a much better result than cornstarch because it has a finer texture and milder taste. You won’t get that crunchy chalk feel that cornstarch has. Also, it’s important to dust off the excess starch on the dough with a brush or your hands.
I don’t have potato starch, can I use something else?
Use cornstarch as a second choice, or use glutinous rice flour if you don’t have any type of starch. I’ve seen some people do this with good results, but they usually cook the dough on the stovetop first before use.
Can I use milk alternatives?
Yes! My favorite milk to use is vanilla almond milk. Milk provides a creamy taste and more flavor, but you could even use water if you want. Just use a milk that you enjoy drinking.