Mizu Shingen Mochi, or water cake, is like nothing I’ve eaten before. It’s like eating a gelatinous blob of water that changes from solid to liquid the moment it goes in your mouth. It’s definitely a fun dessert to make and eat. My water cake didn’t look like the works of art I’ve seen on Japanese websites, but I imagine the experience of eating it is pretty similar. The Mizu Shingen Mochi needs to be eaten soon after being unmolded or it will just turn into a literal puddle of water.
There are only 3 ingredients needed to make Mizu Shingen Mochi, with water being one of them. The other two ingredients are agar powder and granulated sugar. I learned that there are different grades of agar; I’m not sure which one is the most ideal for this recipe yet. I think I’ll try using kanten powder in the future and update this post if it my water cake turns out clearer.
This is the trickiest step of the process: dissolving the agar. Water needs to be added VERY gradually, or you’ll end up with clumpy gloops of agar that won’t go away when you try to boil them down.
I added about 1 tsp of water to the agar mixture each time until I was convinced that the gloops weren’t going to shrink any further.
This was the point where I added the rest of my water.
I heated the agar water until just before it started boiling; the small amount of agar lumps that in the water should dissolve right before the water comes to the boil.
This looks strange, but it was the only way for me to fill my round molds without making a mess.
After the spheres are filled, refrigerate your ball for about an hour before unmolding.
It looks like a ball of ice, but this ball turned out to be a ball of semi-solid gloop that jiggled a lot.
I topped it off with kuromitsu (black sugar syrup) and kinako (roasted soybean flour). These added some sweetness and nuttiness, and enhanced the delicate texture of the water cake.
This is a simple recipe and makes for a very unique and delicious dessert!
Mizu Shingen Mochi (Water Cake) Recipe
Yields 1 water cake
- 1/8 tsp agar powder
- 1/8 tsp granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup (room temperature) water
- Combine the agar powder and the sugar in a sauce pan
- Add a very small amount of water to the agar powder and sugar and mix until all of the water is absorbed.
- Repeat step 2 until there are very few lumpy bits of agar left, then add the remainder of the water.
- Heat the water until the agar lumps completely disappear; this should happen right before the water begins to boil.
- Pour your mixture into spherical molds and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Unmold and add toppings (Kuromitsu and Kinako (a Japanese black sugar syrup and roasted soybean flour))
Modified recipe from The Cooking of Joy.