Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

Three Girls, Two Mochi Cakes and One World Thinking Day

32 Comments

This modern day Mochi cake is a chewy, coconut flavored Japanese pastry that was introduced to me by my niece, Lindsey, a budding chef and possibly my numero uno commentor on this site.  She is enamored with Japanese culture; brings a Bento box lunch to school, reads stacks of Manga, bakes Japanese pastries and the list goes on.  She is not Japanese.  Her mother is actually from Vietnam and her father is from the United States.

Her sister needed to bring one of these cakes to Girl Scout World Thinking Day and together, along with my daughter, they were going to make it at my house this weekend so that I could post it.  The three girls worked together like an olympic bobsledding team who seem to know each others’ every move, and in no time whipped up a double batch of this recipe so that we could have one whole cake to keep. Lucky us! It’s delicious and absolutely addictive.

World Thinking Day is February 22nd and was originated by Girl Scouts of America to honor girls around the world, educate them about various cultures and countries and to teach them the importance of accepting others while still being proud of themselves.  Girls get together to “travel” to each others’ countries, taste food, mingle and learn.  They come away with knowledge, and even more importantly, a respect for diversity.

After the baking frenzy was complete and the cake was on to its destination, Sunday morning rolled around, and I was found driving my son and three other teenage guys  to a local theme park.  One guy whose family is from Korea, another whose family is from Lebanon, another whose family is from Vietnam and the US and the fourth, my son, whose family is from just about everywhere.

They all don’t seem to give a flying leap that each hails from somewhere they are not from, believes in a religion very different from the guy next to him, and speaks a different second language at home.   They just know that they all like roller coasters and that flirting with girls and riding million mile-an-hour roller coasters is a perfect way to spend the day.

This is why I live here in Suburban Los Angeles.  Even though there are racial challenges in our schools, my carload is exactly the reason I love where I am. Yet, I can’t deny that there is racial tension around every corner, between some neighbors and on the streets.  Perhaps it is indicative of the front pages of most newspapers.  It seems we have come so far just to dig our heels in and stand in the same place.

As racial tensions mount around the world, this week girls all over the globe are celebrating diversity and learning more about each other.  They are also learning that although different, they have some central similarities like enjoying good food, friends and family.  Maybe our world needs a World Thinking Day perhaps?  A casual day to share all the good things that makes us different.  A simple but sweet thought.  Naive, absolutely, but nice all the same.

I hope you get a chance to make mochi cake this week in honor of World Thinking Day or make another dish you have never made before from a culture different than your own.  Try this Egyptian Kushari dish from Miss Anthropist’s Kitchen or Matcha Cupcakes from Seventeen and Baking.  These blogs are both written by teens who are proud of who they are and want to share a piece of themselves with you.  Make today World Thinking Day at your house.

—At the very least, please buy a box of Girl Scout Cookies from your local Girl Scouts.  Even if the cookies aren’t your fave…they are supporting so much more.

Mochi Cake
Taken from Gourmet Magazine, May 2005
Makes one 9×13 pan, or 24 squares
1 lb. box of mochiko flour (3 c. equivalent)
2 1/2 c. of sugar
1/4 t. salt
2 14 0z. cans of coconut milk (not low-fat)
5 large eggs
1/2 stick of butter (1/4 c. of butter)
1 t. vanilla extract

To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mochiko flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl or large liquid measuring cup (4 cup capacity), beat eggs, then add coconut milk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Carefully, pour the wet ingredients over the mochiko flour mixture and whisk until the mixture is smooth and uniform in texture.  Pour batter into the greased 9×13 pan.  Carefully, smooth out the top.

Bake for 90 minutes until top is golden brown and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan (mine did not pull away from the sides but was done.  I think time and color are a fine judgement for doneness).

Allow cake to cool for about 30 minutes on a rack, and then carefully flip it over and coax it out of the pan.  Cut into 24 squares.  When serving, top with a fresh raspberry on each piece.  Store in an airtight container for up to three days.

Enjoy your Mochi Cake and have a toast to World Thinking Day!

32 thoughts on “Three Girls, Two Mochi Cakes and One World Thinking Day

  1. Thank you so much for this heartfelt post, and those mochi cakes look INCREDIBLE! Like your niece (who sounds adorable), I am also enamored by the Japanese culture! :) Thanks for linking my blog and sharing World Thinking Day (I’ve actually never heard of it!).
    I really do hope to spread some more cultural awareness for the next few days on my blog through food…so much going on in the Middle East right now!
    Thanks again for the awesome post and recipe!

  2. That’s awesome! The girls did a great job! They look tasty!

  3. i agree with you photospaz. from the pictures itself, i know the cakes tastes good.

  4. That looks delicious! Great post!

  5. This was a great post and these mochi cakes look divine! I live in South Florida among alot of diversity. I am always fascinated to learn about others culture and traditions …especially when it relates to food!

  6. I have a serious love for mochi…especially that thick chewy texture. I’m so excited that you posted this! It looks AMAZING!

  7. I love how moist those look…wonderful presentation and photos too..Yummy!

  8. Geni, your cake using mochi flour looks fabulous…I love the texture of mochi :-) Lovely presentation as well.

  9. YAY! I just found this post on Food Gawker. :)

  10. I tried Mochi before they taste good but this one looks way much better!

  11. What a lovely post. I totally agree — the more we know about each other (even if it’s something small, like food) the likelier we are to be accepting, to listen, to learn. Three cheers for the Girl Scouts!

  12. What lovely, little cakes. Love that coconut flavor.

  13. What a lovely cake. The girls really did a wonderful job it. I really appreciated your featuring World Thinking Day. Many of us would not have known about it without your post. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  14. oh these are so cute!I wish I could reach out and grab one!

  15. And you didn’t have to do the work this time, looks delicious. The girls did a great job.

  16. What an interesting post. The cake looks delicious too.

  17. The cakes look great, and the pictures are beautiful as always. I loved the post as well, I grew up in Toronto which I feel is about as multicultural as it gets. It’s always fascinating learning about other cultures and I love how sharing different foods is such a great way to connect with different people.

  18. What is a “modern day mochi cake?”

  19. I love the team work :) this sounds great, thanks for sharing!

  20. I’d never heard of World Thinking Day or of Mochi Cakes before. Thank you for bringing them both to my attention!

  21. Yay Geni! Congratulations on the FoodPress feature!

  22. Your cake looks really good. I’ve never heard of it or of mochiko flour, but will look for the flour in our Asian grocery store. I’d like to add a few comments about Thinking Day for those who have never heard of it before. World Thinking Day was created in 1926 at the 4th Annual Girl Guide/Girl Scout International Conference, held at Camp Edith Macy in USA. The delegates chose February 22nd as a day for all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world to think of each other, as it was the mutual birthday of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout Movement, and his wife Olave, who served as the World Chief Guide.
    Besides thinking of our sisters around the world, we also contribute to the World Friendship Fund administered by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). The money is used to help our sisters wherever the need is greatest.
    Best wishes to all.

  23. This was a wonderful post. You made some great points about diversity that really got me thinking. There is still so much progress we need to make in our country in terms of not just tolerance of other cultures– but acceptance and celebration. It warms my heart to see the next generation demonstrating their implicit knowledge that we are all people first, and because of that simple fact, we are more similar than we are different.

    Also, your cakes look fantastic! I think that introducing people to international flavors is a great way to increase knowledge and celebration of other cultures. I am looking forward to hunting down the ingredients and trying it out!

  24. I love this story. I believe some people are just too stubborn to get out of their own way and see the world is diverse and beautiful. You will never change these people unless they want to be changed. Until then, they are missing out on alot. And this mochi cake recipe looks absolutely delish! Loved this post.

  25. I have been looking for a snack to share at Thinking Day. Our troop is presenting Japan. I think these mochi cakes will be just the thing! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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