Let's prepare the whipped cream filling. Chill the bowl of heavy cream on ice cubes. Add the sugar and beat the cream with a hand mixer. When it reaches a stiff peak stage, clean the beaters. Spoon the whipped cream into the pastry bag with a nozzle. Give it a little squeeze to remove the air inside.
Cover a tray with plastic wrap and squeeze the whipped cream into a round shape. The cream should be about the size of your thumb. Place the tray in the freezer to harden the cream. Alternatively, this frozen cream can be used as a dessert topping.
Now, the cream is completely frozen. Quickly flatten the anko, red bean paste. Cover the frozen cream with the anko. The food preparation gloves will help to avoid softening the cream.
Store the anko balls in the freezer while making the mochi wrapper.
Dilute the matcha green tea powder with water. Add a minimal amount of water to dissolve it. Dust a generous amount of potato starch onto a tray. We will be dividing very sticky mochi on the surface later.
Let's make the mochi. Combine the mochiko, sweet rice flour and granulated sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the water and thoroughly mix.
Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Then, microwave the mixture at 600 watts for 2 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap. Lightly wet the inner surface of the bowl with a kitchen brush. This will help in removing the mochi later.
Thoroughly knead the mixture with a dampened wooden paddle.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap again. Microwave the mochi for 1 more minute. When the mochi begins to look translucent, stop heating it. Heating the mochi in 2 steps will help avoid overcooking.
Wet the inside of the bowl again and knead the mochi thoroughly. Add the diluted matcha green tea powder and mix. Diluting the powder beforehand will help it combine with the mochi.
When the matcha is distributed evenly, transfer the mochi to the tray covered with potato starch.
While coating the mochi with the starch, carefully stretch it into a long oval shape. Then, tear the mochi into 5 equal pieces.
Remove the anko balls from the freezer.
Shape the mochi piece into a flat circle. The clean even surface should be facing outward. Place the anko onto the center and quickly gather the mochi toward the top.
Tightly close the edges of the mochi. Repeat the process to wrap the rest of the anko balls.
Adjust the shape of the daifuku and remove the excess potato starch. Dampen the daifuku with a kitchen brush.
Sprinkle on the matcha powder and enjoy the gorgeous matcha daifuku. The combination of the anko and cream is amazing!
Compared to Shiratamako, which is another type of sweet rice flour, Mochiko, regular sweet rice flour easily absorbs water so it is easy to combine the mixture.
If the mochi dough becomes cool, it is very difficult to stretch so wrap the anko balls as soon as possible.
Ikinari Dango is a local dish in Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu. Ikinari means ‘suddenly’ and it implies you can make the dish quickly when you have unexpected guests. The combination of the tender sweet potato and the anko creates just enough sweetness.
Ikinari Dango Recipe (Delicious Local Snack in Kumamoto)
First, make a space in the center of the sticky rice flour and add the sugar to the spot. Pour in about half of the water and dissolve the sugar.
Mix in the flour from the center to the outside while gradually pouring in the rest of the water. If the dough is too soft or too firm, it’ll be difficult to wrap the filling so add the water a little at a time. Mix until all the flour is moistened.
Rub your hands with a small amount of sesame oil and remove the dough. Roll it into a cylindrical shape. And cut the dough into 5 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball.
Press the center of each dough ball, making an indention. Enlarge the hole until the anko ball fits.
Add the anko, sweet bean paste and spread the dough around it.
Make sure that the dough has an even thickness and shape it into a ball. Repeat the process for the rest of the anko balls.
Slightly dampen each dango. And coat it with sesame seeds.
Gently press the dango and the sesame seeds together. If the dough is relatively soft, wetting might not be necessary. Repeat the process and you’ll have 5 goma dango.
Let’s deep-fry the dango. Heat the oil to 140~150 °C (284~302°F) and place the dango into a pot. With kitchen chopsticks, rotate the balls while cooking. This will help the dango to rise evenly, giving them a round shape and even color.
Treat the goma dango gently like your first date so the sesame coating does not fall off. Cook the dango for a total of 4 to 5 minutes and then turn the heat to hight.
A tip to making crispy goma dango is to deep-fry at relatively low temperature and then bring up the heat at the end. If the oil temperature is too high, the sesame seeds will burn before the dough cooks.
When the surface is deliciously browned, they are ready. Remove and drain the excess oil.
The anko mixed with walnuts or ground sesame seeds is also delicious so you should definitely try it out.
You can also use pumpkin or sweet potato paste instead of the bean paste.
The freshly-made gooey dango are delicious but the sweet bean paste inside is piping hot so be careful not to burn your tongue.