Saturday, October 31, 2009

Black [Sesame] Magic

Happy Hallowe'en, everyone! I hope your evenings were safe and fun, and if you have children that did the rounds tonight that they didn't get blown away by the gales storming outside!

I never cease to be amazed by the imaginations of the food bloggers around the world that I have the fortune of keeping up with. From new marketplaces and restaurants, to unique ingredients, to whole other worlds of cuisine that I never thought of before, my eyes are constantly being drawn to article after article - and my "ideas book" is filling up faster than I can cross off the entries! I'm not complaining in the least though. Who else can sit in an otherwise dry and dull three-hour lecture and pipe up every three minutes with a new fact to build or contradict the prescribed material? While I may be a bit of a shit disturber (if you'll pardon the term) in class, I also am able to lay claim to re-igniting the passion of some of my teachers who otherwise only re-hashed material they learned in the same program only a few years before at my college! I enjoy being able to share whatever bits of knowledge I can, to whomever will listen (or at least put up with me)... especially when it comes from people all around the world!

These cupcakes are an example of the power of other cooks have over my imagination, and also of how a good idea is always worth making your own! Carrie, who writes an incredible blog you may know as Fields of Cake and Other Good Stuff, posted an entry way back in March to the Iron Cupcake event for a goody akin to the Vosges Black Pearl Bar - a Dark Chocolate Sesame Wasabi Cupcake. Now, if you know me and my love for all things wasabi, you know this would be a shoo-in for my favourites list on any normal occasion. But as luck would have it (of course!) it's also full of all the kinds of goodies I can't enjoy - eggs, dairy, and the critical ingredient sesame oil! Not to mention that the process of brittle- ganache- and buttercream-making scared the jeepers out of me (particularly the brittle... hot sugar + me are not a happy pair!). But I knew people who would love eating the cupcakes as much as I would love making them... and cupcakes, I could make. I can do cake with my eyes closed (most of the time!). Perhaps later, when time, money for butter and cream (and good chocolate!), and bravery are on my side, I will put everything together like Carrie did and it might just look half as good! For now, I settled on veganizing her creation, and I was very pleased with it! Not oily at all like I worried, and just aromatic enough without taking over the luscious chocolate flavour.

Without the embellishments of the original recipe, the cupcakes themselves seemed kind of... plain. Not boring, really (because who else puts such a decadent, aromatic and flavour packed oil in a dark chocolate cupcake?), but not really wow worthy. Enter my good pal and fellow foodie Joel (AKA the Foodie411) with his recipe for Manda Muffins, and newly-proclaimed love for black sesame seeds! Perfect. They would be the smile-marring ninjas of my recipe... I'm not mean enough to go through with my initial plan of a heaping spoonful of wasabi powder, but this addition worked nicely. Mind you... I still have some ancho paste hanging around in my fridge...

Double - Dark Chocolate Sesame Cakes
Makes 24
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 oz low-fat silken tofu, pureed
1 cup cooled, strong coffee
1 cup fat free soymilk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup toasted sesame seed oil
3 tbsp black sesame seeds, toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. Make a well in the center and pour in the tofu, coffee, soymilk, lemon juice and oil.
  4. Stir until smooth, then mix in the sesame seeds.
  5. Spoon the batter into prepared cups, dividing evenly.
  6. Bake 25 minutes.
  7. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack for 20 minutes, then unmould and cool completely.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 126.2
Total Fat: 5.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 11.5 mg
Total Carbs: 18.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.8 g
Protein: 2.6 g


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