Monday, February 10, 2014

Mochi brownies with strawberry preserves

This weekend, I attended a cupcake decorating class, hosted by Kara from Kara's Cupcakes and it was seriously so much fun! I learned quite a few tips about cupcake baking and decorating that will definitely be incorporated into my future baking endeavors. I would totally do more cupcake and general baking classes if they weren't so pricey (though this cupcake decorating one was very reasonable).

My final product from cupcake decorating class!
Another change I'm making to my baking procedures is that I'm going to start measuring ingredients by weight instead of volume, when possible. I've known for awhile that this is a much more accurate and precise way of measuring ingredients, and since baking relies so much on exact ratios, I'd figure it was time to make the switch and finally picked up a cute little red kitchen scale at Sur la Table.

My first recipe with this new technique? Mochi brownies, swirled with strawberry preserves! This recipe is a good example of why weighing is better than simply measuring - I took an existing brownie recipe and substituted the all-purpose flour with sweet rice flour (mochi flour). I've done this before, but I've always guesstimated the amount of mochi flour I was supposed to use. Since the densities of the flours are different, it's not a 1:1 conversion. I guess I've been lucky so far with my estimates, but I wanted to have a more precise way of doing this.

With the scale, all I have to do is measure out the flour to the same weight as specified by the recipe and I'll have my substitution. Can't believe it took me this long to switch over...

Substituting mochi flour into a brownie recipe is great, for several reasons. The mochi flour makes the brownie more dense and chewy (which is the way I love my brownies) and also gives it a slight mochi flavor that complements the chocolate pretty well. Plus, it's gluten-free!

The original recipe called for raspberry jam to be swirled through the batter before baking, but since I already did a chocolate-raspberry combo last week and I had strawberry preserves on hand, I used that instead.

The only other adjustment I had to make to the recipe was a longer baking time - since mochi flour makes the batter more dense, it usually needs to bake 5-10 minutes longer than the recipe with regular flour.

The frosting that went with the brownie was also somewhat difficult to spread - I adjusted the recipe below to make it a little more manageable.

All in all, this recipe was super easy and much quicker than I anticipated - and it makes me want to make brownies from scratch more often than reaching for that box mix...

Mochi brownies with strawberry swirls - makes a 7x11 brownie
Adapted from Cookies (The Little Guides Series)

  • 1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
  • 1/3 cup/60g semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup/250 g white sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup/125 g sweet rice flour (mochi flour)
  • ~1/3 cup of strawberry preserves
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 7x11 baking pan (8x8 will work too). 
  2. Melt butter and chocolate together (in microwave or over stove). Let cool slightly. 
  3. Combine melted mixture with sugar, eggs, and vanilla. 
  4. Fold in flour until just combined (do not overbeat, do by hand). 
  5. Pour batter into baking pan. Spread strawberry preserves over surface of batter and run a knife or fork through it to swirl it through the batter to create a marble pattern. 
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes and then let cool. 
  7. Spread frosting on top (see recipe below) and cut into bars. 

Cocoa frosting
Adapted from Cookies (The Little Guides Series)

  • 1 1/2 cup/185g powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp of cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp of butter (unsalted)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3-4 tbsp of milk or water (to make it spreadable)
  1. Melt butter and stir in sugar, cocoa, and vanilla. 
  2. Whip on a stand mixer at medium speed while slowly adding milk/water until the frosting can be spread easily. 
  3. Spread over brownies and enjoy!

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