Oh, that looks lovely. When I lived in Japan, I would eat black sesame all the time. There was a fantastic spread that made a nice sandwich–and not just when I had run out of peanut butter! Can’t wait to try it!
Wow, that is an interesting flavor profile. Without any text I’d have guessed squid ink fell into your batter :) I’ve only ever used black sesame seeds as a garnish for contrast. I wonder what other firmer fruits could work here…apple perhaps?
Hey Tracy- the cake is pretty soft with a loose crumb (from almond flour) with a nice top crust. It is weird, the first bite hits you really strong with a sesame flavor but it quickly makes more sense to your mouth and is more balanced after that (sesame/butter/pear). The pear is nicely bright and sweet. It is great.
This looks fantastic! I had my eye on this one in Bon Appetit, so glad to see the adjustment on the baking time so I don’t mess it up when I try it! Glad to see it’s delicious – certainly looks like a really interesting treat! :)
What an interesting recipe! Seems like Bon Appétit has some issues with recipes lately, as a friend of mine overcooked a pork roast recipe from the magazine recently (they did end up correcting the time). Not good.
Tim, as to your last comment, I love a man who does not lack self esteem!!! You should be in charge of everything.
My whole opinion of BA has been in the balance since Adam Rapoport took over last year. The earlier issues could have been title “Cooking for Kindergardeners.” Every now and then something cool will come along lately, keeping me attached to my 20-year subscription, but in general I’m not digging it. That said, the stuffed pork loin on the Oct. 11 cover was devine.
I love how contrasting these two flavours are and I especially love the surprise you get when you bite into something expecting it to taste one way but it is completely different to what you thought…it’s what keeps food interesting I think.
I made this too and people loved it! I’m a little bit of a weirdo about chunks of things (like fruit and nuts) mixed in with batter. Separately, as garnish or fillings, I’m crazy about them. But I digress, I pureed the pear and that worked out just as well, although some of the pear flavor may have been lost. Still good though!
I saw that recipe and since I had a big bag of black sesame seeds, I had to try it. You are dead on about the baking time. Mine was done in about 45 minutes. I used cake flour (no almond flour to be had here in the boonies) and it was delicious. That black sesame flavor is so compelling with the slight sweetness of the pear. Love it! I’ve always tended to love weird colored food. Must be a hangover from my childhood food coloring experiments. LOL
This was the recipe that caught my attention, too! With your enthusiastic recommendation and cook-time correction, I really will have to try it now. And, after all, I DO love a good top crust. I was wary of grinding the seeds in my coffee-grinder-turned-spice-grinder, knowing that they would turn into a paste. Do you think that would turn out well?
I made this cake last week (making some substitutions) and despite the fact that the cook time was totally wrong, and my pan overflowed, it was so darn delicious I pretty much ate it in two days. I really loved the crust, as well as the nutty flavor from the black sesame seeds. And that color! To die for.
I’ll be talking about those parmesan shortbreads (well, Manchego, rather) over my way in a week or so, and i LOVED them. made them as part of our Iron Chef cooking group and plated them with fennel ice cream and orange-fennel caramel sauce. I won :).
I’m really excited about this flavor profile. I wouldn’t go around asking people to try my grey sesame paste cake but I would definitely tell them to try my exotic pear cake with sesame seeds. I’m game.
I adore sesame in sweet things, so I don’t think I’m going to have a minute of shock with this one. It looks just so beautiful. It is quite annoying when you pay for a recipe and it is totally wrong! It happens so often. I have a book of Laduree recipes, full of gorgeous ideas, but I had to adjust every single one of them. I’m not even mentioning magazines, 99% of them have wrong recipes with cakes (and probably with savoury stuff too, but savoury recipes are usually much more forgiving).
Parmesan shortbread sound like something I’d have with a glass of wine as an aperitif, maybe?
Caffe- Yes, they would be nice with wine. It just isn’t how I roll. Those shortbread are starting to pop up on blogs, so I am sure my lack of enthusiasm is more about personal preferences than the recipe. In any case, yes- boo to bad recipes!
A little strange to see a cake that color, but once I read “black sesame” I was hooked. Here’s a question: a couple of years ago I bought a jar of black sesame paste. It’s the consistency of molasses. Do you think it could take the place of the 1/2 cup of seeds that are ground up? Maybe I will just try it an let you know. It’s been sitting on my shelf all this time!
I was so curious to see what the true recipe resulted in. I made this loaf last weekend, but I couldn’t find black sesame seeds in Zürich (i didn’t look that hard) so I substituted some caraway seeds and made a pear-almond-seed cake. It was delicious and I recommend it if you ever find yourself without sesame seeds but with jar of caraway seeds. I had the same issue with the baking time – mine was done at 45 minutes. Looking forward to tracking down some sesame seeds after reading your description – beautiful!
If I weren’t just about out of sesame seeds, I would be making this. Love sesame in desserts! Hmm, maybe I’ll get some more just to make this. I love how you always find more unusual recipes to feature.
If you have a Japanese specialty market nearby, you can find black sesame paste since they use it in chiffon cakes, ice creams, and other desserts.
And do go to Indian and other ethnic markets for sesame seeds, especially black ones. You can find them in bags, from 4-8 ounces, very fresh and much cheaper than supermarkets!
Almond meal can be easily made in a spice grinder or food processor for anyone who can’t get it.
this is such a crazy looking cake that I know i will love it! actually quite like the colour, makes a refreshing change. Must get some black sesame seeds, saw them used on VK Rees blog and thought they looked like a winner! x
This looks amazing. I’m always pulled into the recipes that seem weird and off putting at first. Sesame is one of my favorite flavors. I always get the black sesame bubble tea, suck it down with gusto and then forget to check my teeth. :)
Jam! Glad you enjoyed the cake. I wonder if anyone makes it to the 1 hour and 40 minute mark with this recipe? There are lots of great cake recipes that have almond meal. I’ll try to track some down online and email you. xo
I wish I had read this before buying 2 jars of black sesame seeds! I’ve been garnishing lots of things with sesame seeds lately… I agree with you on the time, mine clocked in under an hour. I wasn’t a big fan of the taste though, but that’s just me!
black sesame is something I’ve never used. There are a couple of seeds out there with the name black sesame. One is nigella, the other is an actual sesame seed with a black hull. Do you know which one you used? I have a big bag of nigella seeds labeled as black sesame but I think you’ve used the other one.
The texture on this is so light and fluffy! I love black sesame anything–we have black sesame ice cream and other sweets in Japan, and sesame oil or seeds is in a lot of savory dishes as well. The pear is a nice compliment to the sesame. Thanks for posting this!
I baked mine in small two loaf pans for 35 minutes, but I have a (Japanese) oven range — think of a large microwave with oven functions–so my data might not be helpful for your statistics.
Finally, I wonder if you can find ground sesame in the States? I used organic black surigoma (ground sesame). Maybe an Asian import grocer would have it. It’s lovely in miso soup, too!
I had bookmarked this recipe for a while and finally tried it tonight….So delicious, and got rave reviews from my husband and my kids (4 yr old and 2 yr old) – Thanks for sharing, love the flavour, texture and moisture in the cake.
hey, i was wondering if i could use black sesame powder instead of grinding the seeds to a paste? I don’t have the raw seeds at hand (I can easily buy them in the supermarket but, you know, I already have the powder at home), but i’m kinda worried about what the powder will do to the consistency of the cake.