I have found them in long life packs at our local Oriental ingredients store and whilst they taste delicious and are immediate, but that hasn't stopped me wanting to try to make them for myself.
Handling the dough is a joy to anyone used to baking gluten free. The warm translucent paste is stretchy and pliable in a way that most gluten free doughs never are. Stretching and pressing gently will allow you to create a thin sheet of dough which can then be cut to form the sweets, though I was very tempted to roll it up and start again, just for fun!
These daifuku are filled with anko, which is a thick sweetened puree of aduki beans. The teen loves them filled with sweetened peanut butter paste but my favourite is a thick spicy squash or pumpkin puree. I didn't have any pumpkin around, so went for the more traditional filling of aduki beans.
This recipe makes 12-15 sweets. Making the sweets themselves took about 1 hour from beginning to washing up (using pre-cooked bean paste). The sweets can be stored covered for 24 hours before serving or frozen, so they could be made in advance to serve as desserts or sweets. I had wanted to take photos of the method but the whole process is both dusty and sticky that action photos were not possible, sorry!
- 175g aduki beans
- 85g white sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- put the aduki beans in 1.5L of cold water and bring to the boil.
- let boil at a rolling boil for 10 minutes, then take off the heat.
- put a lid on the pan, and set aside for 6-8 hours or overnight.
- drain the beans and return to the pan with 1.5L fresh water
- bring to the boil again and turn down to a simmer
- continue to cook, topping up with boiling water as necessary.
- cook the beans until soft for 45 mins to 1 hour
- drain the beans thoroughly, rinse the pan then put the beans back in
- add 175g sugar (or more to taste) and 1 tsp salt
- return pan to the heat and stir to dissolve sugar and salt
- mash beans: you can do this using a potato masher, a stick blender or a food processor
- if you want very smooth puree, you can sieve the mashed beans to remove the skins (I didn't)
- set aside to let the puree cool whilst you make the daifuku dough
- 100g glutinous rice flour
- 50g white sugar
- 165ml water
- line a lipped baking tray with baking parchment and dust thickly with corn or potato starch
- sieve the glutinous rice flour into a rice cooker or saucepan
- stir in 50g sugar then pour on the water, stirring continuously
- stir thoroughly to ensure there are no lumps
- turn the rice cooker on or set the pan over a low heat for 10 minutes
- allow the mixture to cook, stirring once or twice until it is thick and sticky (you may find you need to add a little more water to ensue the paste cooks to a translucent mass without a hint of powder remaining).
- scrape up the hot paste - it will look like a lump of gluey mashed potato, and completely un-usable, but don't worry, it's fine!
- tip the hot paste out onto the lined baking tray
- dust your hands and the top of the dough with more starch
- press the dough out using your fingers / knuckles to create an even sheet about 4-5mm thick, this takes a little while but isn't that much different from pressing out a wheat dough for a pizza base.
- when you have created an even(ish) layer, cut out one piece at a time using a knife, pastry cutter or glass 6-7cm wide. If you use a knife and cut triangles you will have no wastage at all, otherwise there will be some trimmings.
- place 1 tsp of cold bean paste in the centre of the cut dough
- bring opposite sticky edges of the dough together and squeeze to seal, then squeeze all the seals together to create a join underneath,
- dust the bottom of the sweet with a little more starch to seal
- set each sweet in turn on serving plate
- if you are left with some trimmings from the dough, you can re-roll and make some more. you will have to knead the dough a bit harder to bring it all together before you can press it out again and cut into pieces. these last few daifuku mochi will have thicker sken and be a bit chewier - I actually preferred these to the rest I made!