Japanese Raindrop Cake Is Coming to America

Raindrop Cake Looks Awesome And Is Almost Zero CaloriesThis raindrop cake is making its U.S. debut.

Posted by The Huffington Post on Thursday, March 31, 2016

Nobody does pretty-looking food or edible fads quite like the Japanese. With dewdrop cake (also called raindrop cake), you get both: a work of culinary art, and a dessert craze that has patrons lining up for a taste. Now, New York City foodies can get in on the trend, as enterprising American chef Darren Wong is offering it at Brooklyn "food flea market" Smorgasburg.

The Japanese treat called mizu shingen mochi, or “water droplet cake,” can only last about 30 minutes at room temperature before vanishing like the morning dew. In fact, the original mizu shingen mochi was made with spring water from the Japanese Alps and was only available in two Japanese cafes—both of which quickly became foodie destinations.

Wong told Huffington Post that adapting the ephemeral dessert here was trickier than he expected. New York City water may be good for bagels, but dewdrop cake is something altogether. Some people have speculated that the chemistry of Japanese mineral water may be necessary to achieve the perfect consistency. “The cake has to maintain its shape but still have the texture of water,” Wong said. “It’s very delicate and fragile.” 

Eventually, he got it. True to the original recipe, Wong's raindrop cakes will be served with a drizzle of brown sugar syrup and a dusting of kinako, or roasted soybean flour. 

How does the raindrop itself taste? “Like water-flavored Jell-o,” wrote one blogger who had made her own. But when you look this good, who needs flavor?

You can whip up your own raindrop cakes (but you'd better eat them fast) with the recipe below from The Cooking of Joy. All of the ingredients and the dewdrop-shaped jelly mold can be purchased online.

Recipe

  • 2/3 cup spring water
  • pinch of vanilla sugar
  • about 1/8 tsp. of agar powder

1. Mix the water and sugar in a microwaveable measuring cup.
2. Microwave 30 seconds and stir until the sugar dissolves. While stirring, sprinkle in the agar powder.
3. Continue heating and stirring, at 30 second intervals, until the agar is completely dissolved, 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Pour the liquid into the jelly molds and pop any bubbles you see.
5. Refrigerate the mochi for several hours or overnight.
6. To serve, carefully drop the mochi out of their molds and serve immediately with the garnish of your choice.

    The original mizu shingen mochi is served with kinako (toasted soybean flour) and dark sugar syrup. Joy recommends sweetened condensed milk and powdered black sesame seeds.

    Serves two.

    A version of this post previously appeared in November 2015.

    Header image via YouTube // Hey! It's Mosogourmet!

    The Most Popular Infomercial Product in Each State

    You don't have to pay $19.95 plus shipping and handling to discover the most popular infomercial product in each state: AT&T retailer All Home Connections is giving that information away for free via a handy map.

    The map was compiled by cross-referencing the top-grossing infomercial products of all time with Google Trends search interest from the past calendar year. So, which crazy products do people order most from their TVs?

    Folks in Arizona know that it's too hot there to wear layers; that's why they invest in the Cami Secret—a clip-on, mock top that gives them the look of a camisole without all the added fabric. No-nonsense New Yorkers are protecting themselves from identity theft with the RFID-blocking Aluma wallet. Delaware's priorities are all sorted out, because tons of its residents are still riding the Snuggie wave. Meanwhile, Vermont has figured out that Pajama Jeans are the way to go—because who needs real pants?

    Unsurprisingly, the most popular product in many states has to do with fitness and weight loss, because when you're watching TV late enough to start seeing infomercials, you're probably also thinking to yourself: "I need to get my life together. I should get in shape." Seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin—have invested in the P90X home fitness system, while West Virginia and Arkansas prefer the gentler workout provided by the Shake Weight. The ThighMaster is still a thing in Illinois and Washington, while Total Gym and Bowflex were favored by South Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. 

    Kitchen items are clearly another category ripe for impulse-buying: Alabama and North Dakota are all over the George Forman Grill; Alaska and Rhode Island are mixing things up with the Magic Bullet; and Floridians must be using their Slice-o-matics to chop up limes for their poolside margaritas.

    Cleaning products like OxiClean (D.C. and Hawaii), Sani Sticks (North Carolina), and the infamous ShamWow (which claims the loyalty of Mainers) are also popular, but it's Proactiv that turned out to be the big winner. The beloved skin care system claimed the top spot in eight states—California, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—making it the most popular item on the map.

    Peep the full map above, or check out the full study from All Home Connections here.

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    A Florida Brewery Created Edible Six-Pack Rings to Protect Marine Animals

    For tiny scraps of plastic, six-pack rings can pose a huge threat to marine life. Small enough and ubiquitous enough that they’re easy to discard and forget about, the little plastic webs all too often make their way to the ocean, where animals can ingest or become trapped in them. In order to combat that problem, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has created what they say is the world’s first fully biodegradable, compostable, edible six-pack rings.

    The edible rings are made of barley and wheat and are, if not necessarily tasty, at least safe for animals and humans to ingest. Saltwater Brewery started packaging their beers with the edible six-pack rings in 2016. They charge slightly more for their brews to offset the cost of the rings' production. They hope that customers will be willing to pay a bit more for the environmentally friendly beers and are encouraging other companies to adopt the edible six-pack rings in order to lower manufacturing prices and save more animals.

    As Saltwater Brewery president Chris Gove says in the video above: “We want to influence the big guys and kind of inspire them to also get on board.”

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