One of my besties…a cute little blonde from the middle of Colorado who also happens to be an AMAZING cook, has a Japanese boyfriend. Consequently, she has taught herself to make some of the best Asian food I’ve ever eaten. While trolling through her kitchen cabinets I found Mochiko flour. It’s the sweet rice flour used to make Mochi. But through her, and her boyfriends cousins (who are also awesome cooks, dammit!!!!), I learned that Mochiko is also used in a variety of applications. A little research later, I discovered that Mochiko is also gluten free. So, a few experiments later, along with a desire to figure out something cool to do for the I Heart Walnuts contest and I came up with this recipe for Gluten Free Maple Walnut Mochiko Tea Cakes.
Now, since another one of my besties is gluten intolerant AND she was coming over to watch us all on the World Food Championships TV series, I thought I’d make this again, but rather than individual tea cakes, I poured the entire batter into a springform pan. Nothing else in the recipe is different. Not even the cooking time! The only thing I added…and frankly that was nay because I had some extra syrup…was that I brushed the entire top of the cake with syrup before serving. It gave it even more maple flavor as well as a beautiful shine.
Oh, did I mention that my gluten intolerant friend is a PROFESSIONAL PASTRY CHEF? Yeah, no pressure there. Well, she loved it so much she took the leftovers home! Score!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now excuse me while I go make enough of these to feed Sparky while I sit in front of the TV watching the Tour de France 6 hours a day for the next 3 weeks.
Gluten Free Maple Walnut Mochiko Tea Cakes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
6 ounces evaporated milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup mochiko flour (sweet rice flour. Available in the Asian aisle in most large grocery stores)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups walnuts
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, divided into teaspoons
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Remove the 12 prettiest walnut halves and set aside.
3. Add the remaining walnuts to a food processor and process on chop until walnuts are very small pieces, but not dust.
4. Whisk melted butter and sugar together.
5. Add milk, eggs and vanilla, and mix well.
6. Add mochiko flour and baking powder and whisk until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
7. Fold in 1 cup of the chopped walnuts.
8. Evenly distribute batter into 12 un-greased muffin cups.
9. Pour 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup over the tops of each cake and, using a toothpick, swirl around to make marbling patterns.
10. Bake 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cakes comes out clean.
11. Pour 3 teaspoons of syrup over the tops of the reserved walnut halves, coating them completely.
12. Use the remaining 3 teaspoons of syrup to paint the sides of each tea cake, then roll them in the remaining chopped walnuts.
13. Place 1 walnut half on top of each tea cake.