I was talking to fellow food blogger Y about my Pocky situation. My situation goes like this: several times a day during my recent trip to Tokyo, I would pop into a convenience store and check out what kinds of Pocky they had. I scored a great range of fancy Pocky and Kit Kats all at a steal ($1-2AUD). I was saving these for when I got home and had a Pocky craving and felt that the outlay of $5 here for 10 sticks was a bit silly. Little did I anticipate leaving them behind at my sister's London home. What I did anticipate was that she ate them all leaving me with nothing except the Pocky I managed to take with me (which was admittedly a good Pocky, the Giant Hello Kitty Green Tea Pocky).
Y suggested that I make my own Pocky and pointed me in the direction of the Pier Cookbook where they have a good "Poky Stick" recipe (the secret ingredient being tahini of all things).
As for the presentation, my husband suggested making myself a little Pocky Forest which I thought was ingenious so out came my Christmas decorations and I set about stabbing a cardboard box with a knife, Dexter style.[
The best way to impart the flavours was via chocolate and white chocolate is usually used with Pocky. I have nothing against white chocolate. I know some that think White Chocolate isn't worth eating. That's not true at all, yes it's sweet and nothing really like dark or milk chocolate but combining it with berries or cranberries and it's a killer combo. I'll let the chocolate snobs miss out on it, it only means more for me.
Cocolo Organic Fairtrade Chocolate
For other flavour suggestions involving dark chocolate I asked some of my friends who I shall call Pockyettes, and they came up with some amazing sounding flavours. I also had a packet of some cranberries which I love to snack on and some lovely Organic Fairtrade Cocolo dark chocolate that I was dying to use.
Bittersweet dark chocolate Pocky studded with Cranberries
Other flavours that were suggested to me were Honeycomb, which I like, but I find milk chocolate too overwhelming with honeycomb so I used the Dark Cocolo again.
My first lot yielded 130 sticks which was more than I was willing to eat no matter how hungry I was so I have halved the recipe so that you make a more reasonable amount. But do know that these are seriously, faithfully good to the original Pocky recipe. yours may be a bit thicker as they're hand-cut and the chocolate a bit thicker as they're hand poured but make no mistake, they are frightfully addictive. Don't say you weren't warned...And don't think I'd leave you hanging with 130 sticks. I will have another story coming up with even more Pocky flavours!
Pocky or Poky Sticks
- 105g/3.7 oz strong baker's/bread flour
- 80g/2.82oz plain all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 13g/0.46oz icing sugar sifted
- 6g/0.21oz dried yeast
- 65ml/2.20 fl oz milk, lukewarm
- 16g/0.56oz tahini
- 25g/0.88oz honey
- zest of 1/2 mandarin or 1/4 orange
- 25g/0.88oz butter at room temperature
Step 1 - Combine the yeast and lukewarm milk in a small bowl and stir to combine. Fit a dough hook in an electric mixer and mix the dry ingredients on a low speed.
Step 2 - In another bowl, mix the honey and tahini together. Add this mix and the milk and yeast mix to the dry ingredients. Mix together on medium speed to form a dough. Add zest and butter and 60ml water and continue mixing until the dough is firm and elastic. I needed to add a bit more flour to make the dough come together after the addition of the butter as it was a little too wet.
Step 3 - Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Step 4 - Preheat the oven to 180c/350F. Divide hte dough into two and knead the dough until smooth then roll it out into a rectangle. Roll it out to 4mm thick (1/4 inch). With a ruler and a sharp knife, cut 5mmx15cms strips and carefully transfer these onto a lightly greased baking tray or greaseproof paper lined baking tray.
Golden brown baked Pocky sticks
Step 5 - Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes (watch it, it may take a bit longer or shorter). You want it golden brown, not light yellow as it will not "snap" properly.
Adapted from the Pier Cookbook
Honeycomb Pocky (for kids)
- 1 Violet crumble bar or honeycomb, crushed
- Milk Chocolate
Step 1 - Melt milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl and use a spoon to spoon chocolate over sticks (allow excess chocolate to drip off by holding it vertically for a few seconds). While still unset, press crushed honeycomb against chocolate and leave on greaseproof paper to dry.
White Christmas Pocky (for those with a sweet tooth)
- White Chocolate
- Shredded coconut
Step 1 - Melt chocolate. Use a spoon to spoon chocolate over sticks (allow excess chocolate to drip off by holding it vertically for a few seconds) and then lay down on greaseproof paper and while still unset, press shredded coconutand dried cranberries against chocolate. Leave on greaseproof paper to dry and/or set in fridge.
Dark Christmas Pocky (for those who like their Pocky with a sophisticated edge)
- Dark Chocolate (I used Cocolo Organic Dark chocolate)
- Dried cranberries chopped up finely
Step 1 - Melt chocolate. Use a spoon to spoon chocolate over sticks (allow excess chocolate to drip off by holding it vertically for a few seconds) and then lay down on greaseproof paper and while still unset, press dried cranberries against chocolate. Leave on greaseproof paper to dry and/or set in fridge.
Spicy Christmas Pocky (for those looking for a little thrill)
- Mild chili powder
- Dark Chocolate
Step 1 - Melt chocolate. Use a spoon to spoon chocolate over sticks (allow excess chocolate to drip off by holding it vertically for a few seconds) and then sprinkle chili powder over partially set chocolate and set in the fridge.
Green Tea Pocky (for those seeking tranquility at Christmas)
- Green tea powder
- White Chocolate
Step 1 - Melt chocolate. Use a spoon to spoon chocolate over sticks (allow excess chocolate to drip off by holding it vertically for a few seconds) and then sprinkle green tea powder over partially set white chocolate and set in the fridge.
This is my entry for the No Croutons Required December 2008 event!