Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sesame Cake That Smells Like Chinese Takeaway

Still impressed with the sesame cookies last week, I toasted a bunch of sesame seeds and ground them up to make what I thought would be something between a nut butter and tahini. What I got was the smell of toasted sesame oil like you find in Chinese takeaway. I loathe Chinese food. I grudgingly make it for my family, but not without reminding them what a trial it is, though I usually omit the sesame oil as it is really the smell that bothers me more than the taste. That said, I could go happily through my remaining years without ever being forced to look at a plate of the stuff, but I understand that I am clearly the oddball.

Strangely, simply toasting the sesame seeds smelled pleasant, it wasn't until I ground them that the house started smelling like the Kowloon on Rt. 1.

The cake was really popular, much like Chinese takeaway, I suppose. I have the cake under a dome in the fridge, but I'm still met with the overpowering smell of sesame every time I open the door-pungent stuff, that. I'm posting the recipe because everyone (myself excepted) enjoyed the cake, though it will be a long time before I am persuaded to bake it again. I'll put the recipe here so they can bake it for themselves someday...when I'm dead. The original recipe for the cake is from my 1966 Better Homes and gardens Pies and Cakes Cookbook.

And yeah, I still can't frost a cake worth a damn.

For the cake:

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds, cooled
1/2 cup shortening (I used butter)
1 1/4 cups milk (I used whole) Divided
2 large eggs

Sift together dry ingredients. Add shortening and 3/4 cup of the milk. Beat 2 minutes. Add remaining milk and eggs; beat 1 minutes. Pour into 2 greased and floured pans. bake at 350 degrees F. for about 25 minutes, or until cakes test done. Cool on racks 10 minutes, then cool completely on a rack before frosting.

For the frosting:

1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds ground into paste
1/3 cup cocoa
2 2/3 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream (more or less depending)

Beat together the first three ingredients. Add the cream slowly, beating until you have an icing that can be spread easily. It firms upon chilling.

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