Time is a funny thing.  Life for me never seems to slow down, and in fact my goals, dreams and aspirations only seem to proliferate at a frightening speed.  My ‘to-do’ lists are plentiful, grow daily, and always seem uncontrollably long!

So for the next installment in my Asian Inspiration month, let us rewind 2 years.

Back in July 2009, I was inspired by a quick and easy, one bowl wonder using glutious rice flour at one of my favourite blogs, Lemonpi.  When reading this recipe for a Mochi Cake creation, I was intrigued by the chewy texture this flour produced.  I had seen this ingredient at my local asian grocer, but never had used it myself.

As enthusiast as the uber talented Lemonpi is about all the creations she shares on her blog, there was something particularly appealing about the versatility and adaptability of this recipe.  So I marked it down on one of my many lists. 

2 years later, here we are!

After a quick round up of supplies, and a few turns of a wooden spoon, this slice was in the oven.  One taste, and I practically slapped myself for taking so long in whipping up this mochi slice.  It has a delightful hint of sweetness offset by the earthly flavour of the green tea.  And the sprinkling of red bean paste added a surprise texture with each mouthful.

Knowing this slice was going to be a breeze to put together, I thought the very least I could do is make my own red bean paste.  Sure, you can buy in in a tin, but where is the fun in that?  That turned out to be pretty simple, too.  All in all, a wonderfully simple, Asian inspired sweet treat.

{ Green tea and red bean mochi slice } Mochi recipe adapted from Lemonpi

* Ingredients *
115g glutinous rice flour
5g green tea powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
40g unsalted butter, melted
95g caster sugar
100g evaporated milk (about 1/4 can)
1 egg
125g red bean paste (see below)

* Directions *
Preheat the oven to 175?C. Grease and line 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) square cake tin.  Sift the flour, green tea and baking powder together. In an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in the melted butter, then the evaporated milk.  Fold in the dry ingredients and red bean paste.  Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool the cake on a rack, then remove from tin and cut into slices.

{ Red Bean Paste / Tsubushi-An } recipe by Apple Pie, Patis & Pâté

* Ingredients *
180 grams (about 1 cup) red azuki beans
150 (about ¾ cup) sugar
Pinch of salt

* Directions *
Wash the azuki beans and place in a large pot filled with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, drain, and discard the water. Add about 3 cups of water to a pot containing the par-boiled azuki beans. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot, and simmer the azuki beans until soft, approximately 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours. The water should be almost completely absorbed by the time the beans are done. Add water as needed while simmering to prevent the beans from scorching.  Add the sugar, stirring gently until the azuki bean paste is heated through and glossy. Season with a pinch of salt and mix well. The paste should be thick with some whole and half-crushed azuki beans.