Every year when fall arrives, I feel like I’m constantly chasing the sunlight. Not only am I naturally attracted to light, but as a food blogger, less light hours mean less time to work on my craft. I recently heard about the Lowel Ego Lightbox from fellow food bloggers and went ahead and purchased one in anticipation of cloudy days. This is my very first shoot with it featuring Persimmon Mochi, my autumn version of the summer favorites, Strawberry Mochi and Mango Mochi.These pillowy-soft dumplings are basically a chunk of fruit wrapped in sweet rice dough and rolled in coconut. If you prefer, you can envelope the fruit in a layer of smooth red bean paste before tucking it into the sweet rice layer. I’ve elected to go sans-koshian here, and like how the artificial light has done a good job of showing you how the mochi snugly hugs the fruit.Using the firmer fleshed Fuyu variety of persimmon is ideal here since it cuts nicely and keeps its shape under pressure. Forgo Hachiya persimmons as they will be way to mushy to use as a filling. You’ll know it’s a Fuyu Persimmon if it appears squat, like a tomato. I won Lupicia’s Chestnut tea in a recipe contest last year with Cookie Crumble Lattes. This Japanese green tea blend is between savory and sweet, with some roasted chestnuts a touch of matcha thrown in. The tea goes exceptionally well with many fall flavors, including persimmons, pumpkin and even butternut squash.
Makes 10 large mochi.
8 oz. mochiko (sweet rice flour)
1 cup water
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups coconut, grated, dried and unsweetened
2 large, just ripened Fuyu persimmons, skinned and each cut into 5 equal pieces
large work surface
1. In a medium pot, mix together the water and sugar over medium heat until it reaches a boil. Add the mochiko, then mix vigorously for a minute or so until you get a lumpy glob. Reduce the heat to low, then continue to mix the glob for 5 minutes until it becomes smooth, lump free and slightly translucent. Remove the pot from the heat, then mix the vanilla in thoroughly until you get a homogenous dough.
2. Scatter the dried coconut generously and evenly on a large work surface. Spoon the cooked rice flour dough onto the coconut, then wait 5-7 minutes for the dough to cool enough to handle.
3. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces using a sharp knife. Coat each piece with the coconut to prevent them from sticking to one another.
4. To make the mochi, roll one piece of the dough into a ball. Flatten the ball into a round disk, about 3″ across. Remove any excess moisture from the persimmons’ surface by blotting with a paper towel. Place a piece of persimmon into the center of the disk, then pinch the opposite edges of the disk together to seal the mochi.
5. Flip the sealed mochi over to reveal a rounded top. Repeat this steps 4 & 5 to make 10 stuffed Persimmon Mochi.