I’ve been thinking about mochi brownies for a while now. Mochi. Brownies. YUM.
There’s a spot on the Big Island (Hawai‘i Island) called Nori’s Samin & Snacks that is known for it’s chocolate mochi cake. It’s a cross between a cake and brownie and, well, mochi. And while I love the idea of a chocolate mochi cake, I kept coming back to this dream of a fudgy, chewy, crispy crusted brownie. So here we are, many tests later, with this mochi brownie, that’s flecked with semi-sweet chocolate and checks all the boxes I was hoping to check. It goes great with coffee or tea, it’s not too sweet, but sweet enough to be deemed a proper treat. I can personally attest to it’s semi-addictive qualities, as I ate far too many squares during every round of testing for qc purposes. :)
A few notes about the recipe… chopped chocolate should be used rather than chips if at all possible. Why? Because chips have stabilizers that help them to hold shape and prevent melting, they immediately sink down to the bottom of the brownie and don’t yield the desired result. Regarding espresso powder; it’s a small amount, just a 1/2 teaspoon but a little goes a long way here. It really helps to brighten those chocolate notes. That being said, if you don’t have it, don’t fret. You can definitely make these without the espresso. Finally, mixing—please don’t overmix—mix until all the wet and dry have been combined and the batter is smooth.
MAKES 16 SQUARES
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
to room temperature
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mochiko
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
8 x 8-inch pan
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with butter or neutral oil and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. In another larger bowl, whisk together the mochiko, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, espresso powder (if using) and kosher salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and rap the pan on the counter a couple of times to bring any air bubbles up to the surface. Evenly sprinkle the chopped chocolate on the top.
Bake until the mochi is set and starts to pull away from the edges of the pan, about 70 to 75 minutes. The center should not be jiggly when it’s done. Insert a toothpick into the center to test doneness; it’s done when it comes out clean or with a few little crumbs. Set the pan on a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing into 16 squares using a very sharp or plastic knife to minimize sticking. If the knife seems to be sticking, rub it with a little unsalted butter or neutral oil. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.