If you love ice cream and you love mochi, you will be over the moon for mochi ice cream balls. Sweet and chewy on the outside, cold and creamy on the inside, mochi ice cream makes a delicious and easy dessert to please your guests after a Japanese meal. But anytime eating is fine. Just pop out a ball from the freezer and enjoy. You can buy them in the freezer section of your local asian food market but the six little balls are expensive and the flavors limited.
Use any ice cream or sherbet flavor you like. Try to choose one that complements your party menu. If I serve Japanese food, ginger, azuki bean or green tea works nicely. For everyday eating, my daughter likes chocolate while my son likes coffee ice cream. My husband? Hefs a vanilla guy.
Mochi Ice Cream
2 pints ice cream or sherbet, any flavor
2 cups mochiko flour
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup potato starch or cornstarch
Using a small scoop, form little balls of ice cream and place them on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet. Freeze them until very hard. The size of the ice cream balls will determine the eventual size of the mochi ice cream so try to make them on the smallish side (about 1 inch balls).
In a small pot, bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring well. Remove from heat and whisk in the mochiko flour. Blend until smooth. Return over a medium-low flame and cook for about 7-10 minutes, stirring to prevent burning.
Sprinkle potato starch or cornstarch on a clean work surface. Pour on the hot mochi mixture. Allow to cool for about ten minutes. Pinch off a small amount of mochi and roll to form a ball. Then, flatten this ball with your palm. Place a frozen ice cream ball in the center and bring the edges of the mochi up and pinch to seal. Place this in a cupcake liner and return this ball to the freezer immediately. Continue with the rest of the mochi and ice cream balls. The yield will vary depending on the size you make.
You can flavor your mochi to complement the ice cream center, if you like. Add extracts--like vanilla, lemon, strawberry, almond--after the heating stage. You can tint the mochi with food coloring, too. Think holiday flavors like cranberry or pumpkin to customize your mochi ice cream.
Keep some mochi ice cream on hand for last minute guests. If you wrap the mochi ice cream in plastic wrap or store in an air-tight freezer container, it should last about one month. Check for freezer burn if you keep them longer.