Thursday, 16 June 2011

Sesame sponges

Captain's Log, Lifestyle supplement: When tired of writing speculative work-experience emails and doubting your own worth as a human being, remind yourself that you can make cake.  Damn nice cake.

Now that I've decided to call these sesame sponges, it's reminded me of two childhood memories: my father reading me the Arabian Nights, in which the wicked brother can't remember the password 'open sesame' and tries 'open cumin!' (i.e. open, come-in oh the lulz).  Also the bit in Winnie the Pooh when Owl's house has blown down, and Roo identifies an object as a 'spudge': 'You know what a spudge is Owl?  It's when your sponge goes all-' '-Roo dear!' interrupts Kanga.

Appropriately enough, these little noms were inspired by baklava, the middle eastern sweets/pastries/things which are sold the length and breadth of Edgware Road and contain sesame and honey.  Also, one of them (the one I instantly nommed) did turn out to be a spudge.

Sesame sponges
You Will Need: muffin tin (slightly deeper holes than a normal fairycake tin), wooden spoon, teaspoon, very small saucepan, large bowl, scales, cup, knife and fork.

4oz soft butter (I recommend Kerry Gold, it seems the softest brand)
4oz golden caster sugar
2 beaten eggs (with fork in cup)
3oz self-raising flour
1oz ground almonds
approx. 50g sesame seeds
approx. 6 teaspoonfuls clear honey

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.  Grease 6 of the muffin-holes with butter, and pour about a teaspoon's worth of sesame seeds into each one.  Shake and swirl the tin until the seeds have coated the base and sides of the holes.  Might be an idea to stand over the sink or other large, wipeable surface for this one (mine went under the toaster.)
2) Cream the butter and sugar.  Add the beaten eggs a little at a time.  Beat in the flour and almonds together, a third at a time, and combine to a smooth batter.
3) Divide the batter evenly between the six seeded holes.  Bake in the hot oven until risen and a skewer comes out clean, about 10-13 minutes.
4) Melt the honey gently in the little pan until very runny but not simmering.  Poke little holes in each cake (still in the tin) and spoon a 6th of the honey over each one.
5) Leave to cool, a good while.
6) Turn out onto a serving plate or cooling rack, by putting said plate/rack face down onto the tin, and flipping both together so that the cakes come out upside-down.  This will be very tricky and result in failcake trifle if the tin is still hot, so be patient!
7) You could serve as a cake with tea, or still warm as a pudding with honey icecream and/or creme fraiche.

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