Kinako Mochi Chiffon Sandwiches

Kinako is one of my favorite ingredients, I feel like it is highly underrated. Translating to “gold powder”, kinako is a Japanese toasted soy bean powder. It is very nutty, similar in flavor to Korean injeolmi or even just peanut butter, and it quite frequently used in Japanese desserts. For me, I grew up eating kinako mochi in Taiwan, where my grandma and mom would feed it to us. Chewy, soft mochi rolled in this toasted soy bean flour, it was a delightful treat on a hot Taiwanese summer. For this recipe, I wanted to take that childhood inspiration, and use it to make a chiffon cake sandwich. Unlike the other chiffon cake sandwiches where I offered a normal and gluten-free recipe, in the spirit of using mochiko, or glutinous rice flour, I am only providing the gluten-free version that uses both mochiko and kinako in the cake batter. The mochiko and kinako work together in both the cake to create a springy, light texture, and in the kinako mochi garnish to evoke one of my favorite childhood snacks. I am also pairing the cake with a black sesame cream as well.

Since kinako is similar in flavor to peanut butter, that was why I paired it with black sesame, since the two really do complement each other nicely in the nutty department. The kinako adds a gorgeous golden-yellow color to the cake, while the black sesame adds a fun visual contrast to that with a more grey-colored cream, which is then contrasted with the amber-gold mochi that are dusted with kinako as well. I used honey in the mochi mixture, since the honey provides a more complex bitterness, while also creates an even softer-textured mochi. I personally love making my mochi using honey instead of sugar, just because the flavor of honey and rice together is surprisingly tasty, while the honey also plays off of the kinako and sesame, adding something rich and floral to contrast the toasty, nutty flavors of those two ingredients. Overall, these were probably among my top two in terms of the chiffon cake sandwiches I have developed thus far, although I might be biased in the fact that it utilizes so many flavors from my childhood.

Makes 8 sandwiches:
For the kinako chiffon:
6 eggs, separated
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cups mochiko
1/2 cup kinako powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt

In a bowl, whip the egg whites with the sugar to stiff peaks. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with milk, canola oil, and vanilla first. Then sift into that the mochiko, kinako, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the egg whites to create your batter.

Pour the batter into an 8-inch chiffon cake mold, preferably one with a removable bottom. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes. Then let the cakes rest in the oven, turned off with the door slightly cracked open, for another 10 minutes. Place the chiffon cakes upside down on a heatproof bottle that is big enough to fit through the hole of the tin(I used an olive oil bottle, though certain wine bottles should work as well!). Rest the cake in that upside down position for at least 45 minutes before attempting to remove the cake from the tin. Divide the cake into 8 edges, cutting a slit into each wedge, before storing in an airtight container for assembly.

For the kinako-honey mochi:
2/3 cups mochiko
1/3 cup water
3 tbsp honey
a pinch of salt
kinako powder

In a bowl, mix together the mochiko, water, honey, and salt. Pour the mixture into a lined microwave-safe container, and cover with plastic wrap. Poke holes into the top of the plastic wrap. Microwave for 1 minute, the mix the mochi. Then remicrowave it, with the hole-punched cling wrap still on top, for another 2 minutes. Pour the still-warm mochi onto a surface that has been dusted with kinako powder. Dust more on top, before diving up the mochi into 24 pieces, rolling each with kinako to finish.

For the black sesame cream:
6oz heavy cream
1oz confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
a pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp black sesame powder

Whisk everything together until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag and store in the refrigerator until time to use.

To garnish:
Kinako powder

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s