November 25, 2013
mochi de framboises
(stiff-and-sticky raspberry pudding)
I like the flavor of raspberries, but generally, I don’t like raspberries. I hate the seeds. I hate when raspberries are sour rather than sweet. I hate how expensive raspberries are. I hate how fast raspberries go bad. I hate dishes made from whole raspberries. I hate when recipes call for raspberries. But, I do like the flavor of raspberries.
On a different (and less harsh) note, while on a recent trip to Japan, I bought a box of kuzu starch for about a fourth of what it costs at home. Plus, I know that in Japan I’m buying the real stuff. This is the starch I’ve used previously for sauces and kuzumochi.
Like many of my dishes, the path to this one was a bit roundabout. I was looking at a recipe for rote grütze, a red fruit pudding from Germany, on Sharon Hudgins’ website. (I know Sharon from the talks she has presented at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cooking. Last summer we even spoke on the same panel although our topics were in no way related.) The base recipe for rote grütze is essentially a starch‑thickened pudding. I decided to replace the cornstarch with kuzu starch to produce an end product similar to kuzumochi.
I started with a 330‑g (12‑oz) package of frozen raspberries that I added to a saucepan along with 100 g (12 c) of granulated sugar. The saucepan was placed over medium heat until the berry vesicles started to collapse and release their juice. I modulated the heat to maintain a low boil, as I would when making jam.
Once the saucepan contents were reduced to juice and seeds, I transferred them to a fine sieve and strained the seeds from the syrup. I weighed the remaining syrup, which in this case was 210 g. I then measured out some sweet wine and some kuzu starch in amounts equal to ten percent by weight of the syrup, which in this case was 21 g each. The starch was dissolved in the wine and the combination added to the syrup, which I had already put into a small saucepan. While continuously stirring, the syrup was rapidly heated until the mixture thickened.
The warm, thick mixture was then transferred to a disposable piping bag. The bag was used as a convenient way to transfer the mixture to small serving bowls. This quantity filled eight small bowls. Although it could be served warm, I think the flavor of the kuzumochi is best when chilled.

© 2013 Peter Hertzmann. All rights reserved.