Mochi Experiments pt. 1 : Bloody Chaltteok (찹쌀떡 / 찰떡)

Chapssal-tteok / Chaltteok is a chewy Korean treat made from sweet glutinous rice flour, not unlike Japanese mochi. It’s commonly found with steamed and baked confectionery items in most Asian markets, and for good reason.. Chaltteok is textural hedonism, especially this adaption.

Traditionally, it exists in a fairly glutinous state, with only the additional items providing contrast. This version, however, brings a crispy crust to the texture party (think mochi brownies). L.A. rice cake, as it’s commonly referred to, evolved to suit the ingredients readily available outside of Asia in decades past.

Borne out of necessity and immigrant ingenuity, we now have a treat that’s not only unique, but incredibly unfussy. Even with the addition of blood, it only takes a few minutes to come together. The taste of blood is very light in this version, so feel free to swap more blood in place of milk if you’d like to make it more pronounced.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cup glutenous sweet rice flour
  • 1½ to 2 cups brown sugar*
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pork blood
  • 1 cup milk (if using Mochiko flour, add 1-1.5 cup more milk)*
  • 1⅔ cup salted nuts, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup raisins (or other dried fruit), roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Blend and strain the blood, if necessary.*
  3. In a bowl whisk together the glutinous rice flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a separate, larger bowl, mix together the blood and milk.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients slowly into the wet, incorporating them well as they’re being added.
  6. Add the assorted nuts and fruits and mix well.

    ricecake1
    mixed batter ready for the oven
  7. Pour the batter over well greased 9×13 inch pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top gets brown and crisp.*
  8. Cool completely and cut into bars of desired shape and size.

Notes and Tips:

Blood can be strained fairly easily, but it does take a bit of time. You can do this with a large measuring cup, appropriately sized strainer with edge attachment, and a small ladle (add cheese cloth to the mix if you want to get particularly anal about it). It takes gentle scraping / movement with the ladle to filter it through.. and a good amount of patience.

bloodstrain
straining out blood clots ;P

Mochiko and other glutinous sweet rice flours may react differently, due to the way they’re processed, so they can’t always be replaced equally without also adjusting the liquids in the recipe. If you use Mochiko for this recipe, adding 1½ cups more liquid will result in the desirable texture for this cake.

The acidic nature of the brown sugar is what causes the baking soda to react (leaven). If you decide to use granulated sugar (or other sugars) instead of brown sugar, you may get a different end result. You’ll likely need to substitute baking powder in the recipe, which can be a tricky process to calculate, as it involved multiple factors.

These cakes are only lightly sweetened. If you enjoy more sweetness, increasing the sugar content is an option, but you may also inadvertently change the texture. Adding more dried fruit, or sweeter fruits like dried dates, can help with that problem in a somewhat less intrusive manner.

Lightly sprinkling a little flour on the greased baking pan can help with removal of the cake. Adding wide parchment strips (also greased) across the pan in one or both directions is another option to help with this.

Less depth of batter will also provide less glutinous, chewy pleasure, but it does provide more crispness to the cake. My personal best results were with about 3/4 in” depth of batter in the pan.

These are best eaten right after baking and slightly cooled – they’re beautifully gooey /chewy on the inside and and still have a nice crust on the outside. Any left overs will need to be stored in the fridge (#bloodproblems). This version of Chaltteok also freezes really well in airtight containers. Separating with parchment may be necessary, but I’ve had no problem just stacking them.

You can bring them back to life with quick ride in the microwave (about a minute or less, depending on the wattage), but the crispiness will be lost. Sending them back into the oven for a few minutes is the best option – 375-400 for 4+ minutes, depending on whether they’re frozen or not (just be careful not to burn them).


Sources:
http://www.beyondkimchee.com/la-style-sweet-rice-cake-bars/
http://aeriskitchen.com/2012/05/la-sticky-rice-tteok/
https://www.chopsticksandflour.com/la-chapssaltteok/
https://www.koreanbapsang.com/youngyang-chaltteok-healthy-sweet-rice-cake/
https://www.justonecookbook.com/mochiko/
https://runawayrice.com/cooking-basics/rice-flour-vs-glutinous-rice-flour-what-are-the-differences/
https://www.maangchi.com/ingredient/sweet-rice-flour
https://www.finecooking.com/article/baking-soda-and-baking-powder
https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/baking-powder-vs-baking-soda/
https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/baking-soda
https://www.thespruceeats.com/main-types-of-leavening-agents-and-how-they-work-4125705

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