Japanese Desserts: Mochi Mochi Chocolat

It's a self-indulgent quest of mine to make sure that I share all the best Japanese desserts I encounter with the Odigo community.  I focus on things that almost anyone visiting Japan will be able to find, so no, I don't just tell you about a tiny shop in a back alley of Koide City (even though I do know a really good bakery there); rather, I try to pick out things that you'll be able to find in convenience stores, supermarkets, and chain shops you can find throughout Japan.

Today's dessert is a convenience store/supermarket gem, and I am excited to introduce you all to...

Mochi Mochi Chocolat

Japan has a knack for taking the best things from other countries and making it their own, especially when it comes to food.  While some Japanese variants tend to be straight adaptations, my favorites are when they put a uniquely Japanese spin on things.  Mochi Mochi Chocolat is a prime example, and it is currently available in two flavors: chocolate and sweet potato.

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The approach is simple enough: take French Ganache (hence why the name is "chocolat" and not chocolate), cover it in chocolate flavored mochi, and dust it with cocoa powder.  Still, this is something that is supposed to be sealed and sold throughout Japan, so how good is the mochi and ganache going to hold up?
Fortunately for us, the packaging is well done.  Each pack comes with two servings of four mochi balls that are individually wrapped.

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The serving size is actually pretty good for one person, even if the mochi balls may seem a little on the small size.  To me, it was the perfect palate cleanser and satisfied my sweet tooth without making me feel too guilty about it.

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When you break into the mochi ball, you can see just how incredible the chemistry behind these little treats must be, because the mochi is soft and chewy and the ganache is firm enough while still maintaining its creaminess.

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Like most Japanese desserts, it is not as sweet as western options typically are.  For me, that's a good thing--I prefer letting the natural flavors of the chocolate, mochi, and cocoa powder do their thing more than sugar or, even worse, artificial sweetener.   Overall, the Chocolate flavored Mochi Mochi Chocolat is a personal recommendation for anyone looking for an interesting and tasty sweet treat.

So how about the Sweet Potato option?

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Like the chocolate variety, this consists of ganache wrapped in mochi, but this time, Japanese sweet potato (satsuma-imo) is used as a seasonal flavor.

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It definitely had a strong sweet potato flavor, which is great if you really enjoy it like my household does.  This is an especially good option if you prefer things to be a little on the sweeter side, too.  As I mentioned earlier, the chocolate flavored mochi balls were less sweet to allow for a deep cocoa flavor, but the sweet potato ganache compensates for the sweet potato by adding honey as a natural sweetener.  The honey really does intensify the sweetness, so if you've got a big sweet tooth (or two or three), this might be the better option for you.

Mochi Mochi Chocolat is available in most convenience stores and supermarkets throughout Japan.  A pack with 8 mochi balls (2 servings of 4) will run you between 150-200 yen.

So there you have it...

...another Japanese dessert to add to your shopping list for when you journey in Japan.  If you like ganache and/or mochi, I say zehi, give these delightful treats a taste!

Mike B