Apple butter daifuku

I made these a while ago when I went apple picking and cider pressing with some friends! I wanted to use the apples and cider in a fun or creative way, and that’s when the idea to make daifuku, or stuffed mochi came from. Typically, daifuku is stuffed with red bean paste, but in my case, I’m using a different filling. For the filling, I made my own apple butter, using the fresh apples that we had picked, plus cider, honey, and miso to give them a nice, well rounded, sweet and salty flavor. With the mochi portion, I wanted to make mochi using the cider as well, and I used a bit of beet powder to help with softening the texture, as well as to give them a pinker hue. Truthfully, I was aiming for red, but with mochi being so pale in color, you would need a lot of a coloring to get something past pastel tones, but I did not want the mochi to taste like beets, so this was the happy compromise. I also made twigs using the apple peels that I baked, just so that all of the apple was being put to use!

For the apple butter:
1 cup diced, peeled, and cored apples – reserve the peels
1/2 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon miso paste
2 tablespoons honeyCombine everything into a pot and bring to a simmer. Allow the apples to break down completely into a paste, making sure to stir the pot frequently so that the bottom doesn’t burn. Once the apples are a thick, paste-like consistency, take off heat and pour into 1-inch silicone sphere molds and freeze these solid.

For the apple peels:
Apple peels
1 teaspoon ginger powder
a pinch of salt

Toss the apple peels in ginger powder and salt. Bake at 285 degrees F on a lined sheet tray for about 10 minutes. Keep these in an airtight container.

For the mochi:
1/2 cup mochiko
1/4 cup cider
2 teaspoons beet powder
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons sugar
potato starch

Mix everything but the honey, sugar, and potato starch together and steam the mixture for about 20 minutes. Pour the honey and sugar into a nonstick pan and turn onto low heat. Pour the steamed mochi mixture into that and stir until combined and the sugar melted. Pour onto the potato starch and dust the surface with it. Portion out the mochi and then wrap it around the frozen apple butter spheres. Allow these to sit at room temperature until soft to the touch, and then poke holes into them using a chopstick. Then place in the apple peels to finish.

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