We spent our honeymoon in Hawaii. Honolulu. Which was amazing. Pretty touristy. We had a hard time finding anything authentic. But, didn't really matter, it was still amazing. What we really fell in love with, though, was mochi. If you aren't familiar with it, it is this cake/pastry made from glutinous rice. It really isn't anything like cake, but I am not sure how to describe it. The texture is kind of gelatin-y, kind of sticky. Also, just for your information, the fact that it is called glutinous rice makes you think it somehow contains gluten, right? Well, turns out, it is called glutinous to imply that it is sticky or glue-like. There is not gluten in it at all.
Usually you see a lot of mochi balls filled with different things like red bean paste or ice cream. Also, there is a lot of fried mochi. Obviously, also good. I actually just love the mochi, itself, and always wished the filling wasn't there. So, our favorite mochi we had when we were in Hawaii was this homemade coconut mochi that we bought at this tiny farmer's market on the North shore. No filling, just coconut flavored mochi with coconut flakes on top. I looked a lot for a recipe that seemed like it would produce something similar and this is what I decided on. And it was exactly what I was looking for!
After baking:I loved this recipe. I added some coconut flakes to the top, which I would recommend. Just sprinkle over before covering and baking. I also decorated with some food coloring because I took this to a potluck themed "Food as Art". I tried to make them look artsy. I liked how they turned out but the food coloring is not necessary. Although, it is common to just dye the entire batter a little pastel color. And it is fun to decorate.
Coconut Mochi (Chichi Dango)
adapted from alohaworld.com
1 lb mochi flour (mochiko or glutinous rice flour)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 14 ounce can coconut milk
3/4 cups water
Mix sugar, flour and baking powder together. Add all the liquid ingredients mix until smooth. Poor into a greased 9 x 13 pan and cover with foil. Bake one hour at 350 degrees. When cooked, cut with a plastic knife (does not stick like metal knife). May be rolled in cornstarch individually and stored.
(Servings: 18-24 pieces, Prep time: 20 min., Cook time: 1 hr., Difficulty: Easy)