These brown butter mochi muffins are quite different from any other muffins. For one thing, they have a chewy soft texture with intriguing little bursts of flavor that is the best version of mochi I’ve ever eaten. Ringing through them all, is the nutty taste of brown butter, then butterscotch with a resonant intensity of burnt caramel, and finally the crunch of sesame seeds that pop out to startle you. I think it’s safe to say, one batch probably won’t stay around very long, but if you are blessed with any left-over muffins, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4-days.
Brown Butter Mochi Muffins
Makes 1 dozen medium-sized muffins or 2 dozen mini-sized muffins
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pans
1 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups mochiko (glutinous-rice) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
black and toasted white sesame seeds for topping muffins
Preheat oven to 350°F
Grease cupcake tins with butter, including the top of each muffin cup to help release the muffins after baking.
To brown the butter, place the butter in a heavy saucepan, and set over medium heat. Cook, swirling, until the butter turns golden brown and begins to smell nutty. This will take about 5 minutes total, be careful not to let it burn like I did with my first attempt. Remove from heat, and add coconut milk and brown sugar. Whisk until sugar and coconut milk melt. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together mochiko flour, baking powder and salt. Pour milk mixture into dry mixture, and whisk until smooth. The batter will be lumpy. Scoop batter into prepared cupcake tin completely filling it to the top. Sprinkle the tops with black and white sesame seeds.
Bake 45 minutes until golden brown. If using mini-sized muffin tin bake for 30 minutes.
Remove muffins from tin and cool on a wire rack.