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Archive for Ice Cream-Sorbet-Yogurt

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Mochidoki, Ice Cream-Stuffed Mochi

Like ice cream? Get ready for a [relatively] new variation: ice cream mochi (MO-chee).

Mochidoki is a delightful ice cream treat—a sophisticated re-envisioning of a classic Japanese sweet made from rice dough: a dough of pounded, glutinous (but gluten-free) sweet rice flour that is steamed and kneaded until it becomes delightfully chewy and supple, with a velvet—like texture.

The resulting rice paste was often eaten plain and uncooked, pounded into a soft, chewy rice paste. There are still sweet and savory, uncooked and cooked versions.

Mochi is all about the texture. Centuries later, it was turned into dumpling-like sweets, exquisite little mouthfuls to accompany tea.

We love daifuku mochi, filled with sweetened red bean paste or other pastes, such as peanut and sesame. They can be served with tea (any kind) or coffee for an easy yet elegant snack (the different types of daifuku).

[SIDE BAR: Daifuku mochi are an ideal food for celebrations: Daifuku means good luck!]

The rice paste can be made into other forms, but today we focus on the sweet treat.

Like cookies and brownies, they are finger food; but like brownies and other bar cookies, they can be garnished simply—with sauces and/or fruit—to elaborate preparations like spun sugar.
 
THE HISTORY OF MOCHI

Ice cream mochi are a new, fusion food. The original mochi are Japanese sweet snacks, served as Americans might enjoy a cookie or two. Like a smaller, flatter jelly donut, the inside is filled with red bean (azuki) paste or other fruit-flavored bean paste, peanut or sesame paste. The rice outside is white or pastel-colored.

The exact origin of mochi is unknown, though it is said to have come from China. By the ninth century, it had become a New Year’s treat in Japan, and by the tenth century mochi were used as imperial offerings and in religious ceremonies (more).

It also became used as an energy food: from the battlefield, where it was easy for Samurai to carry and prepare; to the farm, consumed by Japanese farmers to increase stamina on cold days.

Our first experience with mochi was the classic daifuki mochi, a tea cake of rice dough filled with red bean paste. We live in a city with readily available Japanese confections; if you’re ever in Manhattan, head to Minamoto Kitchoan with branches in midtown and the World Trade Center, and 11 locations worldwide. They also sell the delightful pastries known as wagashi.
 
ICE CREAM MOCHI

Mochi Ice Cream is the best treat to serve at parties or events because they are delicious and convenient. Not only do they come in a variety of flavors so that your guests can discover their favorites, but they are also the perfect serving size! With the solid outer layer of rice-flour Mochi dough, they are easy to grab and carry around.

And centuries later, they were filled with ice cream.

Mochi ice cream has begun to expand nationwide in the U.S.

Mikawaya, a Japanese confectionary based in Los Angeles, started selling the product in Little Tokyo in the early 1990s. Building up a local following, it found its way to California-based Trader Joe’s, Albertsons, Ralphs and Safeway, and is now in their stores nationwide (you could buy pumpkin ice cream mochi for Thanksgiving).

The invention in Los Angeles was the casual idea of the Jewish husband of the third-generation owner of Mikawaya, Frances Hashimoto. Joel Friedman created the fusion food for snacking, wrapping spoonfuls of ice cream in plain mochi cakes.

Ms. Hashimoto developed her husband’s idea for retail. It took a decade of R&D to develop a rice dough that would remain chewy and tender after freezing. Commercial production began in 1993, with seven flavors: Chocolate, Green Tea, Kona Coffee, Mango, Red Bean, Strawberry and Vanilla.

Mikawaya’s pioneering efforts engendered supermarket competition from Little Moons, Maeda-En and Mikawaya’s sister brand, My-Mo.

But we prefer gourmet newcomer Mochidoki for its better-quality ice cream, broad variety of flavors and elegant, thinner mochi covering.
 
MOCHIDOKI FLAVORS

Flavors change seasonally. You can get a 10-pack of one flavor, or a four-piece gift box featuring four different flavors.

The only problem is making a decision. We’re ready to place another order, and we don’t know where to start!

All are so very delicious. The current best-seller is Salted Caramel; but we adored every flavor, with a “wow” to the hot-and-cold Spicy Chocolate.

Fall-Winter flavors, available in 10-packs ($20), include:

  • Azuki Red Bean
  • Black Sesame
  • Frothy Chocolate
  • Ginger Zing
  • Lychee Colada
  • Mandarin Orange Cream
  • Matcha Green Tea Chocolate Chip
  • Matcha Green Tea Classic
  • Mochaccino Chip
  • Raspberry White Chocolate Crunch
  • Salted Caramel
  • Vanilla Chocolate Chip
  •    

    Mochi Presentations, From Simple To Fancy

    Matcha Mochi

    Chocolate Mochi

    Decorated Mochi

    Salted Caramel Mochi Doki

    Mochi Doki

    Mochi Doki Gift Boxes

    [1] Mochi are small balls of ice cream covered in a velvety, chewy rice paste. Two classic flavors: Matcha Green Tea and Vanilla Chocolate Chip. [2] Dress up the plate with dessert sauce (plus, with chocolate, some cacao nibs). [3] Garnish halves with whipped cream and fruit. [4] The best seller, Salted Caramel, garnished with spun sugar. [5] Four-flavor gift boxes let you try more flavors. [6] Three gift boxes, 12 great flavors (all photos courtesy Mochidoki).

     

    Daifuku Mochi

    Mochi Yogurt Pops

    [7] Before ice cream mochi, the popular sweet version was (and still is) daifu-mochi, a dumpling-like cookie stuffed with red bean paste, peanut or sesame paste (photo courtesy Morgaer | Deviantart). [8] Bits of mochi rice dough now appear in everything from brownies to ice pops (photo courtesy Kirbie’s Cravings).

     

    MORE GREAT FLAVORS

    Four-Piece Gift Boxes ($10)

  • Cinnamon Eggnog
  • Spicy Chocolate
  •  
    Four-Piece Collections ($10)

  • Americana Collection: Frothy Chocolate, Raspberry White Chocolate Crunch, Salted Caramel, Vanilla Chocolate Chip
  • Signature Chip Collection: Matcha Green Tea Chocolate Chip, Mochaccino Chip, Raspberry White Chocolate Crunch, Vanilla Chocolate Chip
  • East Meets West Collection: Black Sesame, Matcha Green Tea, Salted Caramel, Vanilla Chocolate Chip
  • Exotic Collection: Lychee Colada, Mandarin Orange Cream, Matcha Green Tea Chocolate Chip, Mochaccino Chip
  • Taste Of Thailand Collection: Ginger Zing, Mango Thai Basil, Thai Iced Tea, Toasted Coconut
  • Tropical Collection: Lychee Colada, Mandarin Orange Cream, Passion Fruit, Toasted Coconut
  • The Classics Collection: Azuki Red Bean, Black Sesame, Ginger Zing, Matcha Green Tea
  •  
    HEAD TO MOCHIDOKI.COM

    You can order as many boxes as you like for a flat rate of $15.00. They arrive frozen in dry ice and you can’t eat them immediately—they’re frozen solid.

    But 5-10 minutes at room temperature makes them just right.

    Order here.

    Hopefully, we’ll be seeing Mochidoki at retail soon. The brand was purchased by a private equity firm in 2015, with plans to bring mochi ice cream to a wider audience.

     
    WAYS TO SERVE MOCHI

    Mochi are neat to eat. You can snack on them as finger food, or add garnishes for an elegant dessert.

    You can eat them from the container or plate them, whole or halved, with garnish:

  • Berries or other fruit
  • Dessert sauces
  • Whipped cream
  • Anything from spun sugar to cookie crumbs
  •  
    Just let them sit for five minutes after you take them from the freezer.
     
    MAKE YOUR OWN MOCHI

    You can make daifuku mochi—the room temperature variety filled with bean paste. This recipe from The New York Times makes everything from scratch, including turning dry azuki beans into red bean paste.

    Note that the fresh dough will turn dry and stiff within a couple of days, so plan to eat your mochi in short order.

    If you want to make ice cream mochi, the shelf life is even shorter. Make them with this recipe, then freeze for two hours and eat. Otherwise, the homemade rice paste will freeze solid.

    Beyond the classic mochi, this article from Huffington Post shows how to use mochi (the dough) in conventional sweets: brownies, cakes, cookies, donuts, ice cream and ice pops.

    How trending is mochi? Check this website of baby names.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Instant Holiday Ice Cream

    Christmas Ice Cream

    Turn any flavor into “Christmas” ice cream with red and green sanding sugar. If you want to save calories, check out Halo Top: our favorite of the low-calorie ice creams with just 240 calories for the entire pint. And it has extra protein—really! Here’s our review (photo courtesy Halo Top),

     

    When you hear “Christmas ice cream,” you probably think of candy cane (a.k.a. peppermint stick) ice cream.

    We love it and gobble it up over the holiday season. But not everyone is a mint fan.

    So here’s the easiest way ever to serve Christmas ice cream:

    Sprinkle colored sanding sugar over the top.

    Sanding sugar, also called colored sugar, decorating sugar, nibbed sugar, pearl sugar or sugar nibs, is coarse granulated sugar.

    It’s processed to have larger granules that sparkle, and is used to decorate candies, cookies, cupcakes, sweet breads and other baked goods. You can find it in white as well as a rainbow of colors.
     
    SPRINKLE YOUR HOLIDAY COLORS

    For Christmas, sprinkle red and green sugars on ice cream.

    For Chanukah, get blue and white sugars.

    For Kwanzaa, get black, red and green.

    For New Year’s Eve: gold and silver.

     
    Use the colors of any special occasion for an instant celebration dessert.

    You can find sanding sugar in some supermarkets, baking supply stores and online sites like TheBakersKitchen.net. Here’s their selection of colored sugars.

    CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SUGAR IN OUR SUGAR & SYRUP GLOSSARY.

     
      

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    FOOD FUN: Unconventional Sundae Ingredients

    Cornflakes Sundae

    Beef Sundae

    Tomato Basil Sundae

    [1] Not your typical vanilla ice cream sundae (photo courtesy Ogawa Coffee. [2] How about a beef sundae with cheddar (photo courtesy Dairy Max). [3] Tart frozen yogurt like Pinkberry is an opportunity to try savory toppings, like marinated cherry tomatoes and basil (photo courtesy Pinkberry).

     

    For National Sundae Day, November 11th, commemorates the history of the ice cream sundae, which dates to around 1892 in Ithaca, New York.

    While we love conventional ice cream sundaes (particularly hot fudge over pistachio ice cream), there are novel approaches as well.

    Why not think beyond the conventional and create a delicious ice cream sundae with at least one “different” ingredient.
     
    WHAT IS NOT DIFFERENT

  • Berries and other sundae fruits
  • Crushed cookies and cake cubes
  • Popular candies, sprinkles, dragées
  • Any fruits or nuts—fresh, dried, raw, roasted, etc.
  • Any conventional ice cream sauce (butterscotch, chocolate, strawberry, etc.)
  • Marshmallow cream or whipped cream
  •  
    WHAT IS DIFFERENT

  • Cereals and granola
  • Crushed honey sesame bites
  • Exotic fruits: carambola/star fruit, dragon fruit, lychee, rambutan, etc.
  • Honey (especially flavored honey), preserves, pie filling
  • Jell-O or other gelatin cubes, including cubed Jell-O shots
  • Scoops of other frozen desserts (granita, sorbet, yogurt)
  • Seeds: pumpkin, sesame, chia
  • Flavored whipped cream: recipes for bourbon, five spice, lavender, pumpkin pie spice, etc.); mascarpone
  • Garnishes: colored sanding sugars, peanut butter cream
  •  
    Photo #1 shows a sundae, from Ogawa Coffee in Boston, an offshoot of a Japanese chain.

    It’s made in a pint glass with two unconventional ingredients: coffee gelatin (a Boston specialty, originating as a way to use yesterday’s leftover coffee) and Corn Flakes. As a coffee house, the coffee gelatin makes perfect sense. It’s made with coffee and unflavored gelatin; here’s a recipe.

     
    RECIPE: OGAWA MOCHA CORNFLAKE ICE CREAM SUNDAE (PHOTO #1)

    Ingredients

  • Vanilla ice cream (substitute coffee, chocolate, or a small scoop of each)
  • Cubes of house-made coffee gelatin
  • Cubes of chocolate terrine (substitute brownie or chocolate cake cubes
  • Chocolate/fudge sauce
  • Corn Flakes
  • Whipped cream
  • Garnish: dried cranberries (substitute dried cherries, chocolate-covered espresso beans or pomegranate arils
  • Preparation

    1. PLACE some chocolate sauce on the very bottom. Then add one scoop ice cream, topped with chocolate terrine. Add more chocolate sauce, the second scoop of ice cream and the gelatin cubes.

    2. ADD the third scoop of ice cream and the Corn Flakes. Top with more gelatin, whipped cream and garnish.

     
    HOW ABOUT A SAVORY SUNDAE?

    You can make savory sundaes as well. Some are made with savory ice cream; others are sundae in name, but aren’t cold.

    We have recipes for a:

  • Beef Stew Sundae (Photo #2)
  • Spaghetti & Meatball Sundae
  • Savory Yogurt Sundae (Photo #3)
  • Sour cream ice cream with salmon caviar garnish (we’re still working to perfect the amount of herbs in the sour cream ice cream, but here’s an Ideas In Food recipe for sourdough ice cream they top with caviar)
  •  
    But we’re not suggesting that you whip up a caviar sundae. Yet.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Sorbet With Fruit Juice

    If you’re switching your menus to fall vegetables and fruits, you can still a variety of seasonal ice creams and sorbets.

    In this easy recipe, you don’t even need fruit: You use the bottled juice. Apple, blood orange, grapefruit, pear and pomegranate are delicious fall sorbet flavors.

    You can set out different garnishes and let everyone style their own dessert or snack.

    This sorbet recipe comes to us from US Apple, which has many recipes and apple-cooking and -baking tips.
     
    RECIPE: APPLE CIDER POMEGRANATE SORBET

    Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh apple cider (or other juice)
  • 1-1/4 cup pomegranate juice (or other juice)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Optional garnish: dried apple chips, fresh apple slices*, pickled apple slices (recipe below), pomegranate arils
  •  
    Preparation

    1. STIR together the juices, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes; then transfer to a large bowl, stir in the lemon juice, add the cinnamon stick, cover and chill in the fridge until cold.

    2. FREEZE the mixture in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
     
    __________________
    *Leave the skin on—it’s more attractive. Be sure to dip the sliced apples in acidulated water to prevent browning: 2 tablespoons lemon juice, lime juice or wine per quart of water.
    __________________
     
    CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF FROZEN DESSERTS
    in our Ice Cream & Sorbet Glossary.

     

       

    Apple Pomegranate Sorbet

    Natalie's Pumpkin Apple Juice

    [1] Easy apple-pomegranate sorbet, served with a fresh apple slice (photo and recipe courtesy USApple.org). [2] Use your favorite juice. Two of our fall favorites from Natalie’s: Pumpkin Apple and Orange Cranberry (photo courtesy FreshPlaza.us).

     
    RECIPE: PICKLED APPLE SLICES

    Make your own pickled apples. In addition to a sorbet garnish, you can use them on sandwiches, slaws, sides with grilled meats and seafood, baked ham and any fat-laden recipe that needs a slightly tart counterpoint.

    This recipe makes a quart or more, depending on the apple size. If you want to test the recipe, halve it, taste and adjust accordingly. If you make the recipe but have more than you’ll use in a month, you can send some home with guests.

    Note that these are not sterilized, shelf-stable pickles. You can keep them in the fridge for up to a month. The flavors will intensify for a week.

    If you don’t like the “pumpkin pie spices,” substitute black peppercorns, cardamom, coriander seeds or other favorite.

    Make extra for gifting!

     

    Pomegranate Arils

    Pickled Apple Slices Recipe

    [3] Pomegranate arils are colorful and easy garnish (photo courtesy Good Eggs | SF). We buy the arils-only in plastic bags. [4] Pickled apple slices, featured in the Apple Lovers Cookbook by Amy Traverse. Here’s her recipe.

     

    RECIPE: PICKLED APPLE SLICES

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup tap water
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 cup cider or white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 6 apples
  • Optional: 1/8 cup liqueur (apple or elderflower liqueur, schnaps [the difference])
  •  
    Plus

  • 1-2 one-quart jars or other containers.
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the tap water, vinegar, sugar and spices into a small pan (for convenience, you can put the spices in a spice ball or cheesecloth). Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Then add the ice water to cool the brine. Meanwhile…

    2. PEEL, core and slice them 1/2- or 3/4-inch-thick (we used a mandoline for even slices). Immediately place into the pickling containers and cover with the brine.

    3. KEEP the open jars on the counter until cool. Then cover with the lid and place in the refrigerator. Let infuse for at least 60 minutes. For the first week, the apples will continue to pick up flavor from the brine.

     
    Quick Pickling Variation

    We use this recipe to pickle fruits and vegetables when we have only an hour or so.
     
    APPLE CONVERSION GUIDE

    For cooking or baking, here’s an apple conversion guide from Kercher’s Orchard:

  • 1 large apple (3″ to 3-3/4″ diameter) yields 2 cups sliced
  • 1 medium apple (2-3/4″) yields 1-1/3 cups
  • 1 small apple (2-1/4″) yields 3/4 cup
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    RECIPE: Blueberry Ice Pops For National Blueberry Popsicle Day

    Blueberry Ice Pops

    Blueberry Cream Ice Pops

    [1] Puréed blueberries, perked up with a bit of lemon juice (photo courtesy Will Cook For Smiles). [2] Make a creamy blueberry pop with yogurt or non-dairy milk (photo courtesy A Healthy Life For Me). Here’s the recipe with almond and coconut milks; the recipe for a yogurt pop is below.

     

    September 1st is National Blueberry Popsicle Day, following close on the heels of National Cherry Popsicle Day, August 24th.

    Here’s the history of Popsicles (a happy accident!).

    But the name of the holidays needs to be changed. The Popsicle® brand doesn’t make blueberry Popsicles (here are the current flavors), for starters.

    Regardless of the flavor, only Unilever can call its ice pops Popsicles.

    Well sure, you can call it Popsicle for your own private use; but try to give brands the respect they deserve. Call them ice pops instead of Popsicles®, a slow cooker instead of Crock-Pot®, a food processor instead of Cuisinart®, tissues instead of Kleenex® and lip balm instead of Chapstick® (and on and on).

    Anyone can make or sell blueberry ice pops. And making them couldn’t be easier.

    RECIPE: EASY BLUEBERRY ICE POPS

    Ingredients

    First, chose what kind of blueberry you’ll use: blueberry juice, fresh or frozen blueberries. See the conversion table below.

  • 24 ounces blueberry juice (our favorite is Knudsen)
  • 1 pound bag frozen blueberries, puréed*
  • 1-2 pints fresh blueberries, puréed*
  •  
    Sweetener

    Next, choose your sweetener. These are pretty low caloric pops if you use non-caloric sweetener or agave (you need only half the amount of agave, as it’s twice as sweet).

  • Agave
  • Granulated (table) sugar
  • Honey
  • Non-caloric sweetener (the different types of sweeteners)
  • Simple syrup
  •  
    Plus

  • 1/3 cup water
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice (add a 3:1 ratio of juice to zest if you like)
  • Ice pop molds or paper cups with sticks or plastic spoons
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BRING bring the sugar (or other sweetener) and the water to a boil in a small sauce pan over high, stirring until the sugar (or other sweetener) dissolves. Transfer to a large measuring cup or other container and refrigerate for 30 minutes, until cool. If using blueberry juice, it may be sweet enough to avoid this step. Taste and decide.

    2. COMBINE the blueberry juice or puréed blueberries with the lemon or lime juice. Add the sweetener/water mix to taste. (The juice may need far less sweetening than the fresh or frozen berries.)

    3. STIR thoroughly and pour into ice pop molds. Freeze for 4-6 hours, with the mold tops on. If you’re not using ice pop molds with built-in handles, insert a stick into each mold after 1 or 2 hours when it can stand up straight.

    4. RUN the molds under warm water to release the pops for serving.
     

    BLUEBERRY CONVERSION MEASUREMENTS

    These measurements are from CooksInfo.com. Volume equivalents will vary based on size of the berries.

    Depending on how many pops you’re making and how many ounces are in each mold, determine how much fruit you need:

  • 1 pint fresh blueberries = 2 cups
  • 1 pound bag frozen berries = 3-1/2 cups
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries = 9 oz
  •  

    RECIPE: YOGURT & BLUEBERRY POPS

  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tables honey or other sweetener (see list above
  • 2 cups vanilla or blueberry Greek yogurt (or any flavor)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PURÉE the blueberries and sweetener together (see footnote below).

    2. POUR into a large bowl, add the yogurt mix gently: For a swirled effect, use a spatula to make swirls in the bowl. You can also add the yogurt first, then the blueberries, to get a half-and-half effect in photo #2, above. Otherwise, combine thoroughly for a lighter purple pop.

    3. TASTE and adjust sweetener if desired, then pour into the molds or cups. Freeze for 4-6 hours, with the mold tops on. If you’re not using ice pop molds with built-in handles, insert a stick into each mold after 1 or 2 hours when it can stand up straight.

    4. RUN the molds under warm water to remove the pops.

     

    Blueberry Yogurt Pops Recipe

    [3] Don’t have ice pop molds? Use paper cups and sticks or plastic spoons. But ice pop moles are inexpensive. If you enjoy making pops, treat yourself to a set.

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    *To purée, place the berries in a food processor or blender and blend on high speed until the consistency of a smoothie.

      

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