H is for Helados! (also, how-to!)

Today, a multilingual icecream moment. Helados means ice cream in Spanish (which I learned working in Hialeah, hah!) and I've put together a how-to make mochi ice cream balls post for you. Mochi is a Japanese treat. It's a sweet rice paste made from either just sweet rice, or sweet rice flour and sugar. We love it with ice cream, though you could definitely eat it plain.

The recipe we used is this:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 cups sweet rice/glutenous rice/mochiko flour (can be found at your local Asian food market or Whole Foods)
1/2 cup corn starch

Boil the sugar and water, and then remove from heat to whisk in the rice flour. It will turn into a gloopy gross-looking hot mess. Do not taste at this point! It WILL burn your tongue. Return to low heat and stir constantly for 7-10 minutes. For this you will want to switch to a spoon because your arm will want to fall off if you try to whisk it all that time. You will want the mixture to have a shiny appearance when you take it off the heat.

Cover a smooth working surface with corn starch, and dump the mochi mixture out onto it. Let cool. And I mean cool - if you try to put ice cream on warm mochi you will get a big mess!

Smoosh out circles/oblong shapes of cooled mochi. You will want to get it as thin as you can without putting holes in it. This will require more corn starch because it is sticky.

Pics taken with the point-and-shoot
b/c my camera man was on hand
model duty :P
Then place a small ball of ice cream on the mochi and wrap it up. You can use any kind of ice cream. This time we used homemade green tea ice cream. Mmmm....

(A step to make this a bit easier, especially if you are a one-person show - pre-freeze little balls of ice cream on parchment paper. They are harder and don't melt quite as quickly as if you scoop them one by one.)

Immediately place mochi balls on a piece of parchment paper in the freezer to harden. Once they are hard, you can put them all in one container. They keep well for about a week, up to a month if you wrap individually in plastic.
(They don't usually look this melty - we did this on a day that it was over 70 degrees out, so we had the windows open.. Didn't really think about the icecream melting - oops!)