Are you down with the kids, on Tik Tok and know about Little Moons? No me either, so here’s what you need to know about the ice cream sensation that’s gripped the world’s kids, Little Moons.
By the power of Tik Tok and pester power the nation is in the grip of not only a global pandemic but a global craze for mochi covered ice cream balls, at £4.50 for six if you are lucky enough to find them. Firstly what is mochi?
March of the Mochi Introduced into Japan at the end of the Jomon period (300 BC), mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain glutinous rice and water, though it often contains sweetened bean paste, sugar and cornstarch. It is considered an essential element of an annual celebration named Mochitsuki, which takes place at the end of December until Shogatsu, the Japanese New Year. To make mochi in the traditional manner, glutinous rice is first washed and soaked for two days. It is then steamed until soft and transferred into an usu, a large Japanese stamp mill, for a process named 'mochi-pounding' which involves one person using a wooden mallet called a kine to pound the mixture, while another hand mixes. The dough is then left to rest before being moulded into buns. Modern aficionados can also make the sweet round buns with little effort. Start by steaming mochigome rice until soft, then rinse with water, and beat the mix until it forms a sticky paste. The rice should then be pounded into a white paste and moulded into the desired shape. The dessert can also be made in a stand mixer. Often, mochi is infused with matcha (a Japanese green tea powder) or dusted with rice flour for a crispy finish. Though mochi has been eaten in the UK for many years, it rose to particular fame in 2015, when Little Moons Ice Cream was introduced to the British market. Since then, Mochi Ice Cream (a hybrid invented by Japanese-American businesswoman and activist Frances Hashimoto) has become a firm favourite for Brits.
Sounds simple enough – so when my bored thirteen year old suggested we make our own because the real ones are as rare as a day out with your friends, we headed to Holland and Barrett to buy rice flour. Not having all the traditional kit, we opted for a mixing bowl, some food colouring, sugar and artificial flavouring.
“Let’s make the mochi and try it before we waste all our ice cream,” I said to a very offended face who didn’t appreciate my negativity towards the whole experiment. She showed me Tik Tok and the video on how to master it, and of course in the hands of a Japanese chef the whole thing looked easy enough. It wasn’t. It was sticky though, really sticky.
You are meant to start with balls of ice cream, gob stopper size that you individually wrap in cling film and return to the freezer while you knock up the mochi. Then once you’ve rolled out the mochi (yes rolled out not dug out from between your fingers like you are playing with raw cake batter), and cut into circles, you simple twizzle your wand and the mochi entirely covers your perfect spheres of vanilla ice cream that you prepared earlier. At no point do the professional Japanese makers swear or flick the mochi at the enthusiastic child, just so you know.
The finished effect is a squidgy ice cream chewy thing – delicious, allegedly. Ours did not succeed and our local Tesco are still out of stock so we’ve not tried a real one yet, but we will. In the meantime we are retro styling out the cornet and I for one am enjoying it.
Click here to view a Tik Tok Little Moons post or 50 million of them if you fancy because everyone and their cat are all over Little Moons.
If you want the facts and figures and to learn more about the vast amount of money this craze is producing this post from the Daily Telegraph will give you all the information you need. Post from The Telegraph