Making Gluten-Free Coconut and Tropical Peach Mochi Desserts
After making a batch of one of my favorite desserts, mochi, I was inspired to experiment. Any chef that attempts this knows the risks involved. Luckily, this one was a huge success! I had some very ripe peaches on hand that I wanted to use. I decided to use them as a filling. I happened to have a jar of apricot-pineapple preserves and thought this would be the perfect thing to add to the filling. The pineapple made me think of tropical flavors, which of course means coconut to me. I adore coconut and just knew I had to incorporate it. This let to the decision to replace the water in the cake with coconut milk and to roll them in sweetened coconut flakes instead of cornstarch.
The result is a fabulous rice cake that tastes refreshing, perfect for a hot summer day. Sweeter than the traditional but still not too sweet and wonderful textures. The infusion of coconut with a filling that's both tart and sweet whisks you to the tropics.
Tropical Peach Filling
- 2 ripe peaches, 1-1 1/2 cups skins removed and cut into large chunks
- 1/4 cup apricot-pineapple preserves
- 1 packet of gelatin powder
- 1 2/3 cup sweet rice flour, also called glutinous rice flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 2/3 cup coconut milk, or a 14 oz can
- Cornstarch for work surface
- Sweetened coconut flakes, processed until finely chopped
- Make the filling the day before or several hours before using. Add the chopped and skinned peaches to a saucepan with the apricot-pineapple preserves. Cook over medium-low heat until the peaches have released some of their juices.
- Use a potato masher or fork and mash up the peaches in the pan until it's one big chunky mush.
- Continue to cook just until it first starts to boil. Remove from heat. Slowly add the gelatin while stirring. Continue to stir for 2 minutes after all the gelatin has been added.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When filling is set stir it up and mash it around. Form it into 14, 1-inch balls and set aside in the fridge until ready to use. You will most likely have leftover filling. Personally I ate the rest plain and with ice cream. ^_^
- Let's start on the rice cake . . . In a medium microwavable bowl combine the rice flour, sugar, and salt.
- Add the coconut milk and stir until completely combined.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap, leaving a small slit for steam to vent. Cook on high for 5 minutes.
- If not completely cooked there will be bright white opaque spots, see pictures. Stir the dough and return to the microwave for and additional minute. Continue this until dough is fully cooked.
- Once fully cooked stir the dough for 5 minutes. Stirring for this long is the hardest part, but it's well worth it for the deliciously chewy results!
- Dust a clean work surface and your hands with cornstarch. Transfer the rice dough onto the surface and roll into a log. Cut the log into 14 equal pieces.
- Lay plastic wrap over the pieces while you work. Take one piece and slightly flatten it in your palm.
- Place a ball of filling in the center and wrap the edges up and around, pinching to seal in the filling. Continue pinching until it's completely sealed and smooth.
- Roll the finished cake in the finely chopped sweetened coconut and then they're ready to serve. I find them even better after they've been in the fridge for an hour or two.