Divide the bean paste in half and make balls.
If you have the cherry blossom leaves, soak them in water for about 10 minutes (to desalt) and wash.
Mash the hot cooked rice with a spoon (or similar). Sprinkle a little water if the rice is hard. (I put the rice in a rice bowl to mash it easily as the photo shows.)
Mix the ingredients marked ★ well. Put only a small amount of the red food colouring on the tip of a chopstick and dissolve it in the mixture.
Add the mixture into the cooked rice, and mash in until sticky. Make sure all of the rice turns pink.
Divide the rice in half, and wrap the bean paste ball.
It's done. It looks more authentic with a cherry blossom leaf.
If you don't add the red food colouring, sakura mochi will be white like the photo, but the taste is same.
Story Behind this Recipe
I have learned how to make sakura mochi, but I didn't have rice flour, domyoji flour, or a cherry blossom leaf... I wanted to make a sakura mochi easily, so I came up with this recipe.
-A little amount of the red food colouring is enough to turn the rice pink, so don't add too much. If you add too much, the rice turns red. -A pinch of salt gives the rice a salty kick, and it will taste like the authentic sakura mochi. If you don't have the salted cherry blossom leaf, add little more salt in the rice to adjust the taste. I taste the mixture at the Step 3, and adjust the taste to my liking.