Japanese

Stretchy Mochi Brownies

by:
August  4, 2021
5 Stars
Photo by MJ Kroeger. Prop Stylist: Suzie Myers. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • makes One 9x9-inch tray of brownies
Author Notes

With the resurgence of brookies, the rise of blackout brownies bursting with molten fillings, and the TikTok virality of Creme Egg brownies, we’ve been blessed with brownie textures beyond the perennially debated fudgy versus cakey. (I’d like to think we’re beyond that age-old feud.) So to keep the brownie flywheel going, allow me to introduce another brownie into the mix—tenderly chewy, subtly stretchy mochi brownies!

If you’ve never had mochi, it is a traditional Japanese dessert made with mochiko flour or glutinous rice flour, commonly formed into gummy, gelatinous dough balls filled with a sweet red bean paste. Paired with fudgy (or cakey) brownies, the texture of mochi sounds like an odd juxtaposition. But that is precisely why it works.

To be clear, using mochiko flour in brownies isn’t a new invention. Recipes for mochi brownies are everywhere, and even Koda Farms, a popular mochiko flour brand, has a recipeon its site for the dessert. But in many of these mochi brownies, the mochiko flour is blended directly into the bulk of the brownie batter itself, replacing some of the all-purpose flour to give the brownie as a whole a softer, gummier texture.

The type of mochi brownies that I’ve been enraptured by is of a different breed. For these brownies, pieces of mochi are studded into a classic fudgy brownie batter, retaining their chewiness, giving rise to a delightful dichotomy of texture. Imagine halfway through your bite into a soft chocolate brownie, your teeth sink into the tender putty of mochi, teasing you with a tension akin to the satisfying pull of melting mozzarella cheese, before giving way to more brownie below. In these brownies, the mochi adds a whole separate dimension, a pop of texture, a gentle tug that’ll pull you back in bite after bite.

I first saw a version of this made by Emmy Cho, the cook behind the popular YouTube channel Emmymade, who learned it from RoseAustin C.’s cooking channel. Emmy describes the texture of these brownies as “really fun, playful, and stretchy,” adjectives that you don’t often hear used for describing brownies, but they are definitely welcome additions. Emmy and Rose use a boxed brownie mix in their recipes, but for a bit more control over the taste, I made my own—extra rich, extra chocolatey (thanks to chopped dark chocolate and cocoa powder). Like most brownie recipes, this one is no-fuss and low-lift. Melt the butter and chocolate, then whisk in eggs, sugar, and the dry ingredients. As for the mochi, you can cook it the traditional way, by steaming; or for an exponentially quicker way, just nuke a slurry of mochiko flour and water in the microwave for 2 minutes and slice it up with a well-floured bench scraper. If you don’t have easy access to mochiko flour, glutinous rice flour makes for a stellar substitute. (In Southeast Asia, where I’m from, we use the coarser glutinous rice flour in both sweet and savory applications.) Either way, drop the pieces of mochi onto your baking tray in between lashings of brownie batter. A 30-minute bake later, and you’ll have a tray of rich, fudgy brownies made better with pockets of gooey, cheese-pull-worthy mochi within.

Note: These brownies can be baked for up to an hour to achieve a cakier texture.
Jun

Ingredients
  • Mochi dough
  • 2/3 cup (90 grams) mochiko flour, or glutinous rice flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup (160 milliliters) water
  • Brownie batter
  • 1 1/4 cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups (280 grams) unsalted butter
  • 7 ounces (200 grams) bittersweet dark chocolate (I used 70%), chopped into small chunks
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (200 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) vanilla extract
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. To make the mochi dough, pour the mochiko flour, sugar, and water into a microwaveable bowl and whisk them together until no lumps remain. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 1 minute. Take the bowl out of the microwave and give it a quick stir (preferably with a rubber spatula, as the dough will stick to it less). The mixture should be sticky and doughy, though there might still be some undercooked parts. Microwave it, again covered with plastic wrap, for another 30 to 40 seconds to fully hydrate all the flour. Give it a final quick stir to get an evenly sticky dough.
  2. Dust a cutting board with mochiko. Using a spatula, gently ease out the mochi dough onto the surface. Dust a little mochiko flour onto your hands and gently shape the dough into a 2-inch-thick log. With a well-floured bench scraper or knife, cut the log into 9 roughly equal pieces, dusting each one in more mochiko flour to prevent sticking. Transfer the mochi to a small plate or sheet pan and cover with a dry kitchen towel to make sure they don’t dry out. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oven to 350°F/180°C (with fan-assisted convection, if you have it), and line a 9x9-inch baking tin with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides for easy brownie removal after baking.
  4. To make the brownie batter, sift the all-purpose flour and cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Then, place the butter and chopped chocolate into a separate large microwave-safe bowl and microwave on medium for 1 to 2 minutes to melt halfway. Whisk the melted butter and chocolate together, letting the residual heat from the microwave melt them completely to make a smooth ganache. Add in the granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and salt then whisk until combined. Next, add in the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until well mixed. Finally, add in the sifted flour and cocoa powder and fold with a rubber spatula until just mixed and no streaks of flour remain.
  5. Pour half of the brownie batter into the prepared baking tray and spread it out onto an even layer using a spoon or spatula. Arrange the pieces of mochi evenly over the batter, giving each a gentle press into the batter. Pour the rest of the batter over the mochi, and carefully smooth it out.
  6. Bake the brownies for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is crackly (because the mochi are sticky, a toothpick or cake tester may not come out clean). For a cakier texture, keep baking for up to 1 hour, but keep a close eye on them. When done, let the brownie cool in the baking tin for 5 to 10 minutes before removing it from the tin and setting it on a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Slice the brownies into 9 equal squares, trying to avoid cutting through the mochi, so each piece of brownie will have whole chunks of mochi hidden within. If not eating immediately, store leftover brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

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