Sometimes my appetite for noms really makes me try myself, and since this time I can proudly present two non-fails I'm running with it, and happily!
First let me confess I'm a horrible cook. A terrible, depressingly bad cook. I've tried cooking pasta without water. I've managed to turn a perfectly good recipe of rhubarb pie into a nightmare by forgetting to add sugar. The things I've exploded in the oven include oven potatoes (twice?), chicken (twice) and mozzarella sticks (once). So you all better take me seriously when I actually manage something! D:(
The first pic is of a daifuku mochi. These are sweet rice cakes, often filled with anko (red bean paste). I couldn't find the paste so I had to make that too, so for this you'll get two recipes for the price of one.
This is the dough when it's about ready (I cooked mine on the stove because our microwave is not trustworthy): translucent and sticky but smooth. Making this on the stove is easy too: cook it on low heat for about ten minutes mixing a couple of times and that's it. Do not touch the mochi dough, it's glue. Furthermore, don't pour any of it down the sink or the loo, not ever. Trust me on its gluing abilities.
This is the most fun part! When the dough is ready, pour it onto a pan that's been sprinkled with corn/potato starch. Dust your hands with it too to avoid sticking to your dessert. Then pat the dough onto an even layer about 5mm thick, careful you don't burn yourself with it.
Then cut it into pieces, put a spoonful of cold anko in the middle of each piece and roll into a ball. Dust with a mixture of powdered sugar and corn/potato starch if you're going to keep them for longer.
Also: make them prettier than mine. And don't be as greedy with anko as I was - the dough is too thin on the top of these because I wanted to fill it with so much bean sweetness.
Then for another simple recipe: steamed red bean buns. Don't let the appearance fool you, the ones on the photo are not uncooked even though the shininess would make one assume otherwise!