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, 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 some leftover muffins, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-days.
Brown Butter Mochi Muffins
Makes 1 dozen medium-sized muffins or 2 dozen mini-sized muffins.
Recipe adapted from Brown-Butter Mochi at The New York Times by Samin Nosrat. Inspired by Third Culture Bakery at Berkeley, CA.
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 sweet rice flour (I use Koda Farms Blue Star Mochiko)
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 rim around each muffin cup to help remove the muffins after baking.
To brown the butter, melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the saucepan occasionally, 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 separate large bowl, whisk together mochiko flour, baking powder and salt. Pour milk mixture into dry mixture, and mix until smooth.
Scoop batter into prepared cupcake tin completely filling it to the top. Sprinkle the tops with black and white sesame seeds.
Bake about 45 minutes until they just feel set in the center and the tops are golden brown. If using mini-sized muffin tin bake for about 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack before serving.