I used to live and work in Kamiyama-cho on the island of Shikoku in Japan. I watched rice grow from every window of my tiny apartment. I taught English in four elementary schools and two middle schools, and in addition to leading an adult English conversation group with the inspiring farmers of my rural community, I also sang in the town choir. I learned a lot in Japan, including a love of taiko drumming, a deepened sense of obsession for Hello Kitty, and an appreciation for food that feels uniquely Japanese. It was at this point in my life that I fell in love with mochi in all forms. I still dream about a particular mochi stuffed with fresh strawberries and whipped cream that I once at in an Osaka train station.
Lately, and here in the SF Bay Area, that mochi love continues. Hawaiian ono mochi rich with butter? Bring it. But the colorful, flavorful hybrid mochi muffins of Third Culture Bakery in Berkeley inspired me to incorporate our chef’s chocolate (also known as ground chocolate) and single-origin cocoa nibs into this decadent treat.
The texture is quite different than a regular muffin; dense, chewy, and rich. The flavor is chocolatey, nutty, and not too sweet, making them perfect for breakfast. Since it’s rice flour, these are also gluten-free.
This recipe was adapted from Snixxy Kitchen.
Chocolate Mochi Muffins
Makes: 2 dozen muffins, Time: Under 2 hours
- 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing the pans
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 4 cups mochiko sweet rice flour
- 2 ½ cups dark brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups Kokoa Kamili, Tanzania chef’s chocolate or ground chocolate
- ½ cup Kokoa Kamili, Tanzania cocoa nibs (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and center the oven rack.
- Grease the sides and the top of two 12-cup muffin tins with the coconut oil.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sweet rice flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- In a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, then thoroughly blend in the coconut oil and the butter. Stream in the milk and the vanilla.
- Add a tablespoon or so of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a hand mixer until completely combined. In four batches, thoroughly combine the dry ingredients into the wet, making sure the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Stir the ground chocolate into the batter.
- Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup almost all the way to the top.
- Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the cocoa nibs, if using.
- Bake both tins together 40-50 minutes until the top is lightly brown and the muffin springs back when poked with a finger. Insert a toothpick into the thickest part of a muffin and make sure it comes out clean of raw batter.
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Enjoy immediately. Store the muffins in an airtight container, or wrap them well and freeze for at least three months.