No-bake mooncakes made with Japanese mochi recipe that gives you soft and chewy mochi mooncakes that stay soft even after refrigeration. Flavored with natural pandan flavor and filled with creamy lightly sweet custard filling.
Our family is a huge fan of Japanese mochi. My kids nagged me to make mochi all the time. So imagine when I made these pandan mochi mooncakes, they were so excited! I love to make them too because they are easy to make. Wayyy easier than making the other type of snow skin mooncakes that are so popular the past decades.
WHAT ARE SNOW SKIN MOONCAKES (冰皮月饼) AND MOCHI MOONCAKES
They are called snow skin because the mooncakes aren’t baked like traditional baked mooncakes. Some people called mochi mooncakes like the ones I made here snow skin mooncakes too. They aren’t exactly the same if you asked me, but that’s just my 2 cents. They are both made with very similar basic ingredients: glutinous rice flour (mochiko flour), sugar, milk, and few more other ingredients for snow skin mooncakes.
I STILL LIKE MOCHI MOONCAKES BETTER THAN SNOW SKIN MOONCAKES
I’ve tried quite a few of snow skin mooncakes recipes that required that I “stir-fry” the glutinous flour until “cooked”. This will be the only time the flour is cooked and then will be made into dough. My family complained that they tasted weird. Perhaps I didn’t stir-fry the flour long enough, though I felt like I had. Then I’ve also tried recipes that actually cook the flour along with other ingredients into a dough, but the mooncakes get tough after refrigeration the next day. So, I decided..you know what, let’s just do the regular Japanese mochi and see how that turned out. Of course, I wasn’t the pioneer of mochi mooncakes. The idea is already out there. I just used my favorite mochi recipe and roll with it. Guess what…I’m so happy with the result.
WHY YOU’LL LIKE THIS MOCHI MOONCAKES RECIPE
1. Super easy
Yes, very easy. You only need glutinous rice flour (mochiko flour), sugar, salt, water, and flavoring (optional). I used pandan juice. You can use food coloring for a more colorful version
The recipe is pretty foolproof and the dough is very forgiving
3. No mooncakes mould needed if you don’t want to
If you have mooncakes mould, hey..go for it. If you don’t have them, you can still just make them into delicious soft and chewy mochi. I promise you they will go fast. They were gone in 1 day at our house!
4. Mochi stays soft in refrigerator
So for my own testing, I actually put the mochi in the refrigerator for 5 days and they stay soft with no change of texture whatsoever for that 5 days
5. Creamy and lightly sweetened filling
My daughter loves custard filling and she said this wasn’t too sweet for her. We don’t have much of sweet tooth here, but you are welcomed to sweeten the recipe to your taste
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SPECIAL INGREDIENT AND TOOL USED IN MOCHI MOONCAKES RECIPE:
1. Glutinous rice flour/sweet rice flour/ mochiko flour
2. Mooncakes mould
I like the hand-pressed mooncakes mould. I used the 50 gr mould. You can get bigger one and just need to adjust the weight of the dough and filling
WHY I STIR-FRY THE GLUTINOUS RICE FLOUR USED FOR DUSTING THE MOONCAKES
Like I’ve mentioned above that some of the traditional snow skin mooncakes are made with cooked glutinous flour and there will be no other cooking involved after that. So, it is important to make sure the flour is cooked through or the mooncakes will taste starchy and raw. In our case though, I use the flour for dusting the cakes, so I don’t want the cakes to taste starchy and raw and that’s why I stir-fry the glutinous rice flour on the dry pan until they are slightly nutty/toasted.
HOW TO ADJUST THE SIZE OF THE MOONCAKES WITH THE MOULD
You should be able to see the maximum weight limit on the mould. Mine is a 50 grams mould. This means the weight of the mochi dough and the filling needs to equal to 50 grams. Usually the mochi dough (or the skin) is slightly heavier than the filling. Below are just examples of how you can scale the weight for the dough and filling to fit into the mould
50 grams mould = 30 grams skin(mochi dough) + 20 grams filling
75 grams mould = 45 grams skin(mochi dough) + 30 grams filling
125 grams mould = 75 grams skin (mochi dough) + 50 grams filling
DO NOT FILL MORE THAN THE MOULD CAN ACCOMODATE. It’s not going to be a pretty picture I can tell you that (because I did that before).
FLAVOR IDEAS FOR MOCHI MOONCAKES
Using natural powder flavoring: matcha powder, beet root powder, cocoa powder, milo, culinary charcoal powder
Using liquid natural flavoring: pandan juice, blue pea flower (bunga telang)
Easy Pandan Mochi Mooncakes with Custard Filling
- 50 gr glutinous rice flour (sweet rice flour/mochiko flour)
Stir-fry the glutinous rice flour you will use for dusting (can be done several days/weeks before):
Place 50 gr of glutinous rice flour on a dry non-stick pan over medium heat. Stir fry for about 15 minutes or until the flour started to smell slightly nutty/toasted. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature and they can be kept for weeks or even months
Prepare custard filling (can be done the day before):
Place the sugar and all-purpose flour in a saucepan. Whisk to mix and then gradually add in milk while stirring at the same time to make sure you get a smooth mixture. Cook this mixture over medium heat until the sugar is melted
Remove from the heat to let it cool down for 5 minutes then gradually pour half of the mixture into the egg yolks while the other hands keep whisking the yolks. This is called tempering and this step is to prevent the egg yolks from curdling when you cook it. Lastly pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining half of the milk. Cook over medium heat until the custard is thickened
Let the custard cools down completely and then store in the refrigerator for at least one hour or until the next day if you prepare ahead
On the day you are going to make the mochi mooncakes, portion the custard roughly into balls, weighing about 20 gr each (more if your mooncake mould is larger) and then place them on a flat tray and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour
Place all the ingredients for mochi dough in a saucepan. Make sure the mixture is smooth. Strain if necessary to get rid of any lumps. Cook this mixture on the stove over medium to high heat until it started to bubble, thicken and turn slightly translucent
Sprinkle your work surface with toasted glutinous rice flour you prepared before. Place the cooked dough on top of the flour. Sprinkle with more flour to cover the dough. The dough will no longer stick to your hands at this point. Flatten into a round disc
Cut the flattened dough into 8 equal pieces, or about 30 gr each (you may need to adjust according to your mooncakes mould). Dust with more flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers
Flatten the mochi dough into a round, about 4-5 inch circle. Place the frozen custard filling in the middle and wrap the mochi dough around the filling. Dust with more flour
Place this inside the mooncakes mould. Gently pressing the mochi into the mould
Push the cake out. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling. You might have a bit leftover for the filling
They can be stored in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap for up to 1 week. If you want to store them longer, place them in freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Let them thaw in the refrigerator before serving