Sunday, January 27, 2013

Black Sesame is Good for Your Hair. [Black Sesame Ladyfingers]

I went on a lovely hike with my family this past weekend. I couldn't resist taking this beautiful shot on our way back home.

Since my last post, I have been craving for black sesame ice cream and I was planning to make some this weekend. However, I woke up Saturday morning and decided it was too cold to make a trip to buy heavy whipping cream. I still wanted black sesame so I made black sesame ladyfingers.

Oh my gawd. I definitely stumbled onto something wonderful. Theses are intense tiny bite size snacks that taste great by themselves or dipped in a latte. These would also make a wonderful base for a black sesame tiramisu. New idea brewing? We'll see...

Black Sesame Ladyfingers
basic recipe adapted from Joy of Baking

Makes 16

1 egg, separated
9g sugar
14g black sesame seeds
dash of vanilla extract
pinch of cream of tartar
12g sugar
22g cake flour

  1. Toast and grind black sesame seeds using a mortar/pestle until it is a fine powder and oil is being secreted. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  3. Beat yolk and 9g sugar until thick and pale. Add vanilla and black sesame until mixed.
  4. Whip egg white until foamy, add cream of tartar. Continue whipping until soft peaks are formed and gradually add sugar. Continue whipping until thick and glossy (firm peaks).
  5. Sift flour on top of yolk mix. Add 1/3 of egg whites. Gently fold until incorporated. Add another 1/3 and fold. Add last 1/3 and fold. 
  6. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Pipe ladyfingers into 3/4 inch by 3 inches sizes. Space them 1 inch apart. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges and still spongy to the touch.
  8. Let it cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet then move the ladyfingers to cool on the cooling rack. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dessert for Two #5 - [Black Sesame Dessert/Paste (芝麻糊)]

I hate this time of the year. The cold temperatures, dry skin, chapped lips, and the need to wear many layers to stay warm. The funny part? It doesn't even snow here. Yes, San Franciscans are spoiled by the weather. We complain when it's the low 40s or when it's the high 70s. If the world suddenly ended, we would die first because of our inability to handle temperature changes.

Oh, and I'm sick again with a cough. The kids I work with need to stop being germ factories. Luckily when I get sick, I don't experience severe symptoms unlike my fiance. He managed to catch my bug and he had the chills, sweats, fever, swollen gums, and sore limbs. He was out for a good 30 hours before he woke up again. I made him chicken soup to compensate...

While I was shivering away at my desk working on lesson plans for the week, I had a sudden craving for a warm dessert, specifically black sesame paste. Ever since my mom purchased a package of black sesame powder, I've been itching to use it in a dessert.

Black Sesame Dessert/Paste (芝麻糊)
loosely adapted from taozheng

Serves 2

Note: Hsin Tung Yang is the brand of black sesame powder I use. You can also grind your own powder by lightly toasting black sesame over low heat until fragrant and then using a mortar/pestle to grind until it's a fine powder and the natural oil appears. I prefer my desserts less sweet, but feel free to increase the sugar up to 2 Tablespoons.

36g (6 TBSP) black sesame powder
10g (2 TBSP) glutinous rice flour
16g (1 heaping TBSP) white granulated sugar
220g (1 cup) water

  1. If using prepackaged sesame powder, give it a quick run through the mortar and pestle until the natural oils are secreted. This will make the dessert more aromatic.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a small pot.
  3. Turn the heat on medium low and stir constantly to prevent burning. When the mixture thickens and bubbles, it's finished. It will take approximately 5 minutes or less. If the sesame paste is too thick, add a couple tablespoons of water and continue to stir until the paste is hot again. 
  4. Spoon into two bowls and serve.


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