For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals to rescue anyone who might be anxiously eyeing a box of minute rice.
Today: Sometimes there's destiny in cake. And sometimes that cake is green.
Here is a thing I love that happens to me a lot: I make something to eat, sit down with it in front of my ever-growing list of favorite food websites, and immediately find myself staring at a better-plated and more-well-lit version of the exact same dish on my laptop screen. We—some food blogger in the world and I—are French toast twinsies, beet salad BFFs, and matching muffin makers. My heart dances for a tiny second when this happens, even though I know it shouldn't: It is not the result of universe magic, but rather a testament to the straight-up extreme number of food websites I troll on the daily (the sheer quantity of which makes it likely that somebody out there is hungry for the same stuff that I am). Still, that doesn't stop me from feeling a little slice of kindred spirit soul sister love for whoever it was on the other end of the internet, reaching for the same spices.
In one such serendipitous moment, Sarah Jampel and I made mochi cakes on the exact same day. Hers was dark and chocolate-y, mine more coconut-y and, perhaps offputtingly, green. Yessss, I thought, when I saw Sarah’s line-up of ingredients topped with glutinous rice flour. Someone I trust in the food realm has also made this brand of chewy cake monster. Maybe we are soul sisters, and also maybe I’m not crazy.
As Sarah notes, this cake is very different from what you might imagine cake to be: Glutinous rice flour—the same kind that's used to make mochi (a Japanese snack you've probably had wrapped around ice cream)—gives it a gummy, stretchy texture and mild, muted flavor. I doctored it up with a hit of matcha green tea power (to mirror my favorite flavor of mochi) and coconut two ways (in milk and shredded forms) and found the result totally addictive.
Makes about 12 large squares
1 stick butter, softened
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
One 13 1/2-ounce can coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups glutinous rice flour, like Mochiko (available at Japanese markets)
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon matcha powder
1 big handful of shredded coconut, for sprinkling
Photo by Mark Weinberg