I was introduced to gluten-free baking recently and thought I would do a mochi baking experiment with glutinous rice flour as I was curious to know how oven-baked mochi would turn out to be.
In order to reduce calories for this dessert treat, I substituted oil with extra pumpkin puree to give it more moisture. These mochi balls tasted just like the regular glutinous rice ball dumplings with red bean paste filling except with an added pumpkin richness. They were springy and chewy but had a dry crispy crust on the outside. Not a great idea to go 100% fat free so I would suggest that you reduce the amount of pumpkin puree slightly and add about 2-4 tbsp of canola or sunflower oil instead – just play by ear so long you get a smooth dough that you can easily work with (not sticky wet or crumbly dry).
As mentioned, this was purely an experimental attempt. I could have steamed the balls which would produce a much better outcome but without this attempt, I wouldn’t have successfully created some delicious mochi donuts (recipe to be up next week) thereafter, haha.
Anyway, if you want, just stick to my recipe and enjoy these mochi balls like how you would eat an orange – discard the skin! 😉 Not that bad after all. At least, my husband finished them all, haha!
Baked Pumpkin Mochi Balls with Red Bean Paste
Ingredients (makes 16 balls)
330g glutinous rice flour + extra for flouring
20g tapioca starch
1/2 tsp sea salt
350g pumpkin puree
100ml skimmed milk
250g ready-made red bean paste, divided into 16 equal parts
1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Combine the glutinous rice flour, tapioca starch and salt in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and pumpkin puree. Gradually fold in the flour mixture till a slightly sticky dough forms.
4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead (add a bit more flour if the dough is very sticky) and shape into a thick log. Cut into 16 equal parts.
5. Take one piece of dough and flatten it with your fingers.
6. Place 1 portion of red bean paste in the middle and pull the sides of the dough to wrap it.
7. Roll the dough gently between your palms to make a round ball and transfer onto the lined baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the dough and space the balls slightly apart on the tray so they don’t stick to one another.
8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Flip the balls and bake for another 5 minutes.
9. Leave the mochi balls to cool slightly on a wire rack before digging in as the inside would be steaming hot.