“I didn’t invent moffles. They’ve been popular in Japan for years, and I think they actually have moffle cafes there,” says Isa Fabro.
But even if she didn’t invent the exotic hybrid dessert, essentially a 4-inch round of delicately sweet mochi pressed in a waffle iron, we’re glad the Orsa & Winston pastry chef has introduced her decadent version.
Fabro’s moffle is a delightful mélange of textures that’s peculiarly pleasant–the waffle iron creates an outer crust with crispy-crunchy ridges while the inside maintains that characteristic mochi chewiness. While still hot, the pastry is placed on a lightly tart layer of yuzu-persimmon curd and finished with drizzles of chocolate sauce and miso caramel, plus whipped cream and frosted rice sprinkles that taste like an ultra-refined version of Fruity Pebbles. Ice cream or sorbet is an optional addition–it would be silly to pass up a house-made scoop of shiso, pistachio or Fabro’s favorite, miso.
Fabro first learned about the moffle while researching mochi recipes, but deemed the concept too casual for Orsa & Winston’s regular tasting menu. However, when Orsa & Winston chef/owner Josef Centeno decided to shed some formality and transform the fine-dining restaurant into Yakitori-Ya, a casual, two-month Japanese-Italian yakitori pop-up, Fabro knew the moffle would work perfectly on a menu with dishes like pancetta-wrapped chicken liver skewers and confit-chicken rice bowls.
For the dessert, Fabro makes fresh mochi everyday. She says she found the recipe online on a pastry blog called The Quenelle and insists that it’s so easy that anyone can do it at home with only glutinous rice flour, superfine sugar, and a microwave oven required. If you’d rather not take on the task, you can get Fabro’s fabulous moffle at Orsa & Winston until March 3.
Yakitori-Ya at Orsa & Winston, 122 W. 4th Street, Los Angeles, 213-687-0300