This black sesame mochi cake has a wonderful subtle nuttiness from black sesame and a delightful chewy texture.
One of the cookbooks that I’ve been looking forward to cooking is Korean American from New York Times columnist Eric Kim. I’ve read the book cover to cover in one sitting, which is a rare thing. It made me ugly cry given how relatable and beautifully written Korean American is. Then I read it a second time to pick out all the recipes I wanted to try. The first recipe I’m excited to share is the black sesame mochi cake. We recently had a mochi theme potluck which left me deeply curious about what other mochi recipes I need to try.
- Black sesame: is a common ingredient in Asian cooking and baking. It lends a roasted nutty flavor with deep earthy undertones. You can find it at your local Asian supermarkets and online. If you can't find black sesame, white sesame is a great substitute.
- Sweetening agents: the recipe uses both sugar and honey. I did cut down on the sugar because my family doesn't like overly sweet desserts.
- Sweet rice flour: also known as glutinous flour, is ground from short grain glutinous ‘sticky’ rice. Although it's labelled as 'glutinous rice flour,' it has no gluten and named after its stickiness. Mochiko flour is similar to sweet rice flour.
I've included both brands of sweet rice flour or glutinous rice flour that I typically stock in my pantry.
Tips for Making the Cake
- Toast the black sesame to bring out its fragrance.
- Use a spice grinder or pestle and mortal to pulverize half of the sesame seeds.
- Fold all of the sesame seeds into the batter for a wonderful textural contrast. You can also fold half of the sesame seeds in and leave half on the top. I've baked this twice already and prefer a mixture of sesame seeds in the cake and on top.
- Combine the eggs, sugar, honey, and salt and beat for 2 full minutes to incorporate air and helps the cake rise.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees F. Check the cake at the last 10 minutes and tent it with foil to prevent it from browning too much.
The black sesame cake needed an hour to cool down before I could cut into it. The end result was a subtle nuttiness from the sesame with pieces of sesame seeds peppered throughout. It lent a wonderful contrast to the delightfully chewy cake. This cake was perfect for snacking and sharing. We really enjoyed the mochi cake and can't wait to share more recipes from Eric's Korean American cookbook.
For more Asian dessert inspiration: coconut mango sago pudding, matcha creme brulee, toasted black sesame ice cream, and Vietnamese glutinous rice balls with ginger syrup.
Black Sesame Mochi Cake
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons pulverized black sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- 8 ounces sweet rice flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a 11x8 inch rectangular pan with parchment paper, leaving a bit of overhang on the sides to help you lift the cake out later. Mist the pan with cooking spray or butter.
- Use a mortal and pestle or spice grinder, pulverize 2 tablespoons of toasted black sesame seeds into a rough powder.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, honey, and salt until fluff and pale yellow, about 2 minutes.
- Whisk in milk, melted butter, vanilla, and sesame oil.
- Fold in pulverized black sesame seeds and remaining black sesame seeds.
- Put a fine mesh sieve over the bowl and sift in rice flour and baking powder. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the batter into the greased pan.
- Bake in the oven for 50 minutes until the top is browned and cracked slightly or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cake for 1 hour before slicing it up. The cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
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