Friday, March 6, 2009

Sesame Seed Cake

I had some leftover buttermilk and wanted to use it for a quick, snack cake. I flipped through Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich and found a simple cake with ingredients that I had on hand. This sesame seed cake comes from the Grain, nuts, and seeds chapter. In the introduction, Medrich explains that the strategic use grains and seeds can add flavor, texture, and tenderness. The simplicity of her recipes allows subtler flavors to come forward, get noticed, and be appreciated.

Luckily enough, I had some black sesame seeds in my refrigerator. I actually store most seeds, nuts, and grains in my refrigerator to keep them fresh longer. White sesame seeds would work as well; they just wouldn’t be as visible in the cake. To add to the sesame flavor, some toasted sesame oil was also used in the batter. The flour and other dry ingredients were sifted together three times, and this resulted in a very fine cake texture. Butter and sugar were mixed, and then eggs, whisked with sesame oil and vanilla, were added. The sifted dry ingredients and buttermilk were added in intervals. Then, I really should have followed the instructions which stated that you should use parchment in the bottom of your cake pan. I skipped it, and the cake did stick a little. I managed to get it out of the pan still looking mostly presentable, and I let it cool before dusting it with confectioner’s sugar.

It’s a small cake that bakes in one eight-inch round pan, and that was just the right size to provide a nice snack or dessert for two of us for a few days. The sesame oil flavor wasn’t as evident as you might think. It just slightly boosted the flavor already supplied by the seeds, and the pretty seeds dispersed throughout provided tiny bits of crunch. The cake got better and better as it sat from the first day to the second and then the third. The tenderness and flavor really made it seem like it should have been much more complicated to make.



24 comments:

  1. Looks delicious , I love sesame seeds , and for sure I love this cake.
    Thanks for the tip to preserve seeds in the refrigerator.

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  2. wow, what a sophisticated and grown up dessert. this sounds just perfectly delicious!

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  3. Sounds amazing with the black sesame seeds! I'd love some for my midnight snack :)

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  4. This is a beautiful cake. It reminds me that I have been wanting to make something with all the poppyseeds I have in my pantry.

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  5. Your sesame seeds cake looks very yummy! I love sesame seeds.

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  6. What a great use for black sesame seeds! It looks fantastic!

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  7. Never tried black sesame seeds in cake. I generally use them in savory pastries. But this one looks amazing, I think I need this change.

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  8. Very interesting..And your cake is attractive !

    I've never tried making or eating any seed cake before. And I'm convinced to give it a try..May I ask where the recipe could be found? Thanks..

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  9. I'm sorry, but I don't re-print recipes from books. I'm over-cautious about copyright issues. If the recipe is online, I'll link to it. Otherwise, I just link to the book.

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  10. This looks so amazing and delicious. I am going to have to try this one! Now, I have to, just have to check out the tequila cocktails!

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  11. Looks so moist! Love the sesame seeds.

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  12. it's terrific how something as simple as a dusting of powdered sugar can make a fantastic cake look even better and extremely elegant. nice seed usage, lisa. :)

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  13. Sounds and looks so unique can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. I am not a fan of sesame but maybe you could persuase me to eat a piece of your beautiful cake!!

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  15. Lovely cake, and getting that tender texture is where I often go wrong. I have not looked at Pure Dessert, but I am a fan of Alice Medrich. I love how in Bittersweet she describes the discoveries she made in doing things "wrong."

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  16. Oooh, is this a fairly sweet cake?

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  17. It's really not a very sweet cake. The confectioner's sugar topping sweetens it a bit, but the cake itself is just a little sweet.

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  18. I've been wanting to try this cake forever. Your endorsement seals the deal!

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  19. beautiful! Love the sesame seeds inside

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  20. This looks like the perfect cake to enjoy with a cup of tea. Moist and delicious!

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  21. I've had this gigantic bag of black sesame seeds for a while now. thanks for the idea! This sounds great.

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