Amazing Amazake

Fermentation is useful almost everywhere. This time we use our experience from the projects with Koji for sweet caramel. With the help of our miracle mushroom Koji, we want to make rice-based caramels. Caramel actually consists of butter and sugar. Admittedly, this can taste very, very good and there is hardly anything to improve. But you can at least change something.

We change the basic ingredients. Instead of butter and sugar we use said rice, koji, cocoa butter and coconut sugar and refine the whole thing with our agency honey.

Our recipe is thus almost vegan, honey is not, yet we want to show that caramel can be first cream even without butter !

There is rice baby

Koji is the basis for Amazake. Amazake is the starting product of rice-based alcoholic beverages such as sake. Unlike Shio Koji, no salt is used, making it very suitable for sweet applications.

Amazake consists of starch inoculated with koji that has been matured, cooked starch and water. This mixture is then broken down by enzymes (amylase) at room temperature or a controlled temperature of 55-60°C, i.e. starch is converted into sugar.

To make the rice koji, we use round grain rice, which we wash thoroughly and soak overnight in water. The water is slightly milky from the dissolved starch the next day. We pour off the water and distribute the swollen rice in bamboo baskets to steam in them. Then we let the rice cool. For this we spread it out flat on trays. It hardly sticks and the grains spread well.

We spread the koji mushroom with a fine sieve, rubbing the fermented and spore-populated buckwheat seeds together to loosen the spores. We put the inoculated rice into our fermenter, which ensures a constant temperature of 34 degrees and humidity of about 80 percent. To develop its optimal growth, the koji mushroom needs at least 48 hours. We roll the rice once every eight hours, thus ensuring even temperature distribution and optimal growth.

After 48 hours, the rice has acquired a white fluff, the koji fungus has done a great job. A sweet smell is in the air, we meet the subject of mold with a certain respect – on cheese everyday koji mold on rice is still somewhat unusual for us.

The rice is hot
The deep brown caramel is spread on a small baking tray
The temptation to spoon it straight into your mouth is great….

To prepare the amazake, we need another portion of cooked rice. This rice we first soak for an hour and then cook it to a porridge. The mixing ratio is one part round grain rice and 9 parts water. This mixture we cook over high heat until the water evaporates. Then we add another 250 ml of cold water and cook the porridge for another 30 minutes. It is important during the cooking process to keep the rice moving, as with rice pudding, which also burns quickly. We let the porridge cool to 60 degrees and then mix it with the rice previously processed with koji. We let this mixture rest for another 6 hours at 60 degrees. Saccharification takes place over the next few hours. Amylase, which converts rice starch into sugar, is very active at a temperature of about 60 degrees. Ready is our Amazake!

We cook this sweet porridge for about 4 hours. Here, the sugar contained caramelizes and turns brown. We let the porridge cool and find that it is not really sweet and too creamy to shape. For more sweetness we use coconut blossom sugar and our honey. To achieve a firm consistency, we also add cocoa butter to the mixture. We heat the porridge and add the remaining ingredients and mix everything for about 10 minutes. The mixture needs the 10 minutes to emulsify properly. We lay out a tray with foil and pour the mass evenly. We leave the tray to cool at room temperature and then place it, covered, in the refrigerator for two days. During this time, the candy crystallizes. After complete crystallization, we prick out small “milk blobs”.

Yes vegan, oh wait honey….

Not quite vegan but without milk or butter and still like from the land where milk and honey flow. Now we are also ready to give our grandchildren a special candy, because you are worth it to us.

The MILK. Amazake chocolate box