The Sweet Spot

Pastry Chef & Traveler

Chocolate Mochi Cake

It’s a chocolate mochi cake, a chocolate Japanese rice cake, a local Hawaii favourite, a Luau dessert.

Just how many names can this cake carry. I can’t stop eating it hence I wanted to share this up with you as soon as I can.

chocolate mochi squishy cake chocolate mochi qq cake

So, I first came to know about this chocolate mochi cake from Food 52. It was intriguing as it says that it’s squishy, not moist or dense or spongy, but bouncy (QQ), like mochi but not sticky. It is quite similar to rice cakes or Kuih Bakar but it is somewhat lighter despite it being chocolate. The subtle chocolate flavour doesn’t need you to glug down a glass of water, unlike some rich and dark brownies. It also has a very distinguished top layer in a completely different texture. It felt like traditionally baked mooncake skin, and maybe abit of regular loaf bread crust. I’m not trying to confuse you but you need to try this cake at least once. The ingredients may seem a little off but just give it a go; glutinous rice flour, evaporated milk and chocolate.

food52 chocolate mochi cake

I can see why this cake is somewhat Japanese inspired since Hawaii is not that far from Japan. (just about 6000+ km apart). < yup, I just googled that. I can’t tell you for sure if it is a Polynesian recipe or a Japanese recipe because you just don’t see glutinous rice flour AND chocolate together in a recipe that often. In this recipe, from the lady who owns a shop called Nori’s Saimin & Snacks in Hawaii uses coconut milk as well and it is apparently very well received during funerals (huh, ok) and as omiyage (souvenirs).

But regardless it being Japanese or Hawaiian, please do try and make this cake (and be mindboggled by it). You’re welcome :)

chocolate mochi cake


Chocolate Mochi Cake
Serves: 16 pcs
  • 140g glutinous rice flour
  • 200g white sugar
  • ½ tablespoon baking soda
  • 60g salted butter
  • 100g dark chocolate. chopped
  • 1 can (390g) evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 eggs, beaten
  1. Preheat the oven to 175 C and grease a 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat the butter and the chocolate together in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until you have a smooth mixture.
  4. Pour the melted chocolate and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. With the mixer running on low, add the evaporated milk, vanilla, and eggs and mix until incorporated. You can also just use a whisk to mix everything.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until the batter is smooth and lump-less. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, until the cake no longer jiggles.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool before serving. This cake should be stored at room temperature rather than refrigerated


Congo Bars / Chocolate Chip Bar


Do you like chocolate chip cookies and brownie ? Well, if you do, then you will like Congo Bars. It is similar to a Blondie. It’s made the similar way with regular brownies but instead of it being chocolate, vanilla is used, hence the name. Some make blondie with white chocolate in replacement of dark chocolate from a brownie, but I think that’s too sweet even for me. But Congo Bars don’t, it has brown sugar instead hence the chewy, moist texture (but sweet as well) I’m not really sure where Congo Bar originates from but definitely not from African counterparts. Apparently, it is a classic southeastern US treat. And it’s so old that there’s a 100 year old recipe cut out!

congo bars 1

ghirardelli congo bars

Having said that, I actually haven’t found out until about 2 months ago where I attended a buttercream flower class and the teacher made it for us. I’m like “wha? what bars ?” So, if you wanna know, it is quite popular amongst the Malay communities here in Malaysia as I’ve never met someone else who knows what is Congo Bar apart from them. So hey, if you have some chocolate chip handy, hurry and make them!

ghirardelli chocolate chip

In this recipe, I use 2 types of chocolate chips; Ghirardelli and Hershey’s. One of the chip size is smaller and one is bigger. The bigger ones goes into the cake and part of the smaller ones goes on top of the cake. So you get some ooey gooey chocolate inside the cake when you bite, while keeping it visually abundance with chocolate chips. See, win win ;). But fret not if you don’t have different types of chocolate chip. You can use dark couverture chocolate buttons and it works well too! Callebaut has some really awesome chocolate if you are looking for some.

The recipe is very straight forward using creaming method but with melted butter instead of room temperature butter. Do not reduce too much of the sugar (as I’ve already reduced from the original). The sugar is important in keeping the bar chewy and moist and not cakey and dry. It is a little tricky of the baking time. If you want a chewy bar, then bake only at 25. If you want a more cakey texture, do 30 mins. Oh yummy I think I may need to go bake a batch ;)Congo Bars Chocolate chip

Congo Bars / Chocolate Chip Bar
Serves: 20 pcs
  • 190g Salted Butter, melted
  • 280g brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 280g all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 140g Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip
  • 140g Hersheys Chocolate Chip
  • 60g toasted walnut.
  1. Preheat oven to 175 C. Line a 10” square baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt butter in a double boiler or microwave. Combine melted butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and mix till thoroughly mixed with a whisk. Add eggs, 1 at a time.
  3. Sift flour and baking powder together and fold it into the batter till almost mixed through with a spatula Add 1 of the chocolate chips and walnut and mix till batter is smooth.
  4. Spread batter in the prepared pan and smooth it evenly. Sprinkle the other type of chocolate chip on top. Bake congo bars for 25-30 minutes or until they are set and lightly brown.
  5. Let it cool in the pan. Remove from pan and cut bars evenly. Store in an airtight container.


Indonesian Spicy Grilled Chicken with Coconut Water


indonesian coconut spicy grill chicken

I recently saw this on TV (Astro Wah Lai Toi) during CNY when Hong Kong actor Wayne Lai was in town to film a series of auspicious dishes for Chinese New Year. It’s only 4 episodes but lots of interesting dishes from there. My mom has made 1 and I have made 1 dish from just ONE episode, because it’s quite interesting and looks delicious. The first one that my mom made was the vegetarian ngo hiang (will upload recipe when I have pictures; she will make again, I’m sure) and the 2nd dish is this one. The lady on the show was a Indonesian Chinese married to Malaysian so this grilled chicken is somewhat Indonesian inspired as it uses Indonesian Kecap Manis (thick sweet sauce) and fresh coconut water (because we live in the tropics).

There weren’t any exact measurements during the show but I just gauge it based on what I see and tweaked it as I go along.

preparing indonesian coconut grill chicken

I used 4 chicken legs but I think there’s enough marinade to do 6.

chili paste

Cooking till butter almost bubbles, then add the same ratio of kecap manis.

marinade chicken

Cook chicken in coconut water. Then, marinade for 30 minutes.


Indonesian Spicy Grilled Chicken with Coconut Water
Serves: 6
  • 6 whole chicken legs
  • 6 pcs red chili
  • 8 small red onion
  • 2 garlic clove
  • 1 young coconut (water and flesh)
  • 80g salted butter
  • 80g ABC kecap manis
  • 2 limes, cut to wedges
  1. Remove the green head from chili and cut in half. In a small pot, bring water and chili to a boil, about 10 minutes or until it is soft.
  2. Once soft, remove from pot and add it in a food processor or blender. Blend with red onion and garlic and 2-3 tbsp of the coconut water until smooth.
  3. Pour out into a saucepan and cook on medium heat. Once it starts bubbling, add in butter. Stir till butter has melted and seperated from the chili. The chili paste will be slightly darker red in colour. This will take about 10 minutes.
  4. In a pot, add in chicken legs and the remaining coconut water. Cover with a lid. Turn on the heat and let it cook for 10 minutes, without opening the lid.
  5. After the chili paste is fragrant and pasty, pour it into a tray. Add kecap manis (the amount of kecap is the same ratio as the chili paste in volume). Squeeze in juice from 1½ limes. Keep the remaining ½ lime to squeeze it before serving.
  6. Add in the chicken, coat the paste all over and let it marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Turn on the grill function in the oven (200 C) and grill, skin side up for 15-20 minutes. Yes, including the marinade (It is delicious with rice)
  8. Slice coconut flesh and sprinkle on top with some chopped chili, coriander and lime wedge.


This is actually my first time cooking with coconut water. Usually I drink coconut water, well, use the shreds, or make coconut milk out from it, but not coconut water by itself. Cooking the chicken in coconut water infuses it with a fragrant yet refreshing smell. And also, the process of making chili paste. Most of the time I would use fresh red chili or dried chili soaked in water (like making KL Pan Mee) but this time, the chili is boiled first till it is somewhat soft. It eases the process of blending it as it still retains some moisture. Oh and if there’s anything newer to me, it’s caramelizing the chili paste with BUTTER! oh God! Butter makes it extra fragrant as I’m using SCS salted butter.

indonesian coconut spicy grill chicken 2

This is actually very yummy, maybe because it’s sweet and spicy but not too sticky. The leftover sauce goes very well with rice so just be careful that you made need some extra rice to polish it off!


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