While I’m visiting my family in Japan, I have asked several blogger friends to blog-sit for me and today’s sitter is Tobias from T and Tea Cake.
Tobias is a food-loving university student from Europe and on his blog, T and Tea Cake, he mainly focuses on European cuisine but sometimes experiments with more exotic food and ingredients that inspire him. Most of his recipes are easy to prepare and budget-friendly.
When reading Tobias’s blog, it’s hard to believe that he’s been blogging for less than a year. Despite his humble attitude toward his work, Tobias’ photography is simply breathtaking and this self-taught home cook and baker makes beautiful dishes like Parsnip Dumplings with Scallion & Bacon Filling and Cherry & Red Wine Chocolate Cake. His blog is welcoming even for a beginner cook and he tells you:
“I do not think I am the most skilled cook or baker with too much expertise – so I doubt you will need too much skill either [to try my recipes]. I’m going with the mantra: When I can do it – you can do it! In fact, if there is any skill required for a recipe I believe that it can be acquired by going through it in a learning by doing manner.”
Are you inspired? Now please welcome Tobias with these delicious fusion cupcakes.
Hiya avid readers of Just One Cookbook! I feel genuinely honored to be chosen by Nami to write a post on her blog while she is away. I know you are all spoiled by her quality content, so I hope I won’t let you down. She is one of the most ambitious bloggers I know and puts a lot of effort into her blog and recipes. Nami really has got a talent for making Japanese cuisine approachable and never leaves any questions unanswered. She is such a sweetheart and I am happy to call her my blogger friend.
When she invited me to blog-sit for her, I (besides doing the happy dance and immediately saying yes) had to think long and hard about what to share. I wanted something I thought she and her loyal readers may like and that somewhat fits into her repertoire. The result surely isn’t anything Japanese (I’ll leave that to our expert) but more of a fusion food.
She once said she likes roasted sesame seeds (something we have in common and yes, I have no problem remembering the most random things. It’s a gift.) so the idea for this recipe was born. The texture of these cupcakes is wonderfully airy with a crisp outside. It also is a great recipe for using hulled sesame seeds which are a bit more grey-ish but even healthier than there unhulled counterparts. There is nothing that fits better to sesame than honey, so why making the terrible mistake of keeping two things apart that obviously belong together, right?
Making the frosting honestly takes not more than ten minutes. The key is to cook the honey mixture to the point where it starts to brown. This gives enough stability to the frosting.
Anyway, let’s get our baking mojo on!
- 2.1 oz. (60 g) white sesame seeds
- 2.1 oz. (60 g) black sesame seeds
- 2.7 fl. oz. (80 ml) oil ( I used sesame oil but other neutral oils like canola or sunflower seed oil work just as well)
- 4 eggs
- 8.1 oz. (230 g) sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla essence
- 5 Tbsp. sweet soy sauce
- ½ Tbsp. baking powder
- 8.1 oz. (230 g) cake flour
- More black sesame seeds for decoration.
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ tsp. of salt
- 3 fl. oz. (90 ml) of honey
- 3.2 oz. (90 g) sugar
- In a small pot, roast both white and black sesame seeds on medium heat; stirring continuously (The seeds will start crackling. When you think they are almost roasted enough, remove from heat as they will keep browning with the heat off.)
- In a food processor, combine sesame seeds with oil and puree until smooth (I had to stop and scrape some seeds off the sides of the bowl at one point.) Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C), grease and flour or line cupcake pan.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs with a hand mixer until fluffy.
- Add sugar, vanilla essence and sweet soy sauce, mix well.
- Beat in sesame paste.
- Stir in baking powder and flour, little by little, until everything is well combined.
- Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
- Bake on centre rack for 25 minutes or until a stick comes out clean.
- Remove from pan, let cool on cooling rack.
- Pipe or spread frosting on cupcakes, sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
- In a small pot, boil sugar and honey on medium heat until bubbles emerge and it darkens.
- In the meantime, add salt to egg whites and beat until very stiff with a hand mixer (or kitchen aid, off course) in a heat-proof bowl (when using a hand mixer, you will need a bowl that is rather small but deep).
- While beating continuously, very slowly pour in boiling hot honey-sugar mixture.
- Keep beating until everything is well incorporated.