Little Tahini Chocolate Cakes

When it snows, I bake.
When it rains, I bake.

Come to think of it, when it's sunny, I sometimes bake too.

By now, it has been determined that I love to bake, and I've become pretty good at it.

I won't win any baking contests, and I am not interested in fondant or cake decorating, but I make a pretty delicious cake.

I no longer need a recipe, and I don't feel that it is science, like I was taught in Home-Ec class in 7th grade.......wait, what's HOME EC? You mean you don't know?

It stands for Home Economics, for you millenials, and it is no longer taught in schools.

It was a class given to junior high age girls and boys back in the 70's, and taught us how to bake a basic chocolate cake using a handmixer; it taught us how to iron a shirt; and even taught us how to use a sewing machine! (btw, I can not even sew a button).

Life skills. Necessary to live and survive in my world.

No one gives a crap about sewing or baking from scratch anymore.....I recently went to someone's house and she served a "homemade" cake. I was impressed at first, only to find out it was from a boxed cake mix with canned frosting. Ok, she did add the eggs and oil (the preservatives were added in for her). :)

Learn some life skills, people!
Bake a cake from scratch! Bake your own bread!
It makes you feel good, I swear. Like you have accomplished something wonderful (at least for me it does).

Cooking and baking is my therapy. Try it.

These little odd beauties are from the New York Times, by way of the cookbook SMASHING PLATES (which I feel like doing right now) by Maria Elia.

They have that delicious tahini in the mix (I used chocolate tahini!!). They are delicious little molten cakes w/ sesame and lime zest.
Very adult and very probably won't be making them in Home Economics class anytime soon.

They are not "lava" cakes, nothing is really oozing out, just a nice soft and fudgy center.

The batter makes a lot more than the recipe says.
I used a standard size muffin tin and filled my cakes to the top, and I got 9 little cakes from the recipe. You could also use buttered ramekins for a more uniform cake, instead of an upside down muffin.

Don't skip the lime zest, it's a really interesting element.

Tahini Chocolate Cakes: (adapted from the NYT)

10 tablespoons/150 grams unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pans
1/3 cup/25 grams unsweetened cocoa, plus more for pans
3 tablespoons/27 grams sesame seeds
1/2 cup/60 grams all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
5 1/2 ounces/165 grams 70 percent dark chocolate, in pieces (I use Trader Joe's 72%)
3 large eggs
1 cup/200 grams superfine sugar (I used regular granulated sugar)
5 tablespoons/100 grams tahini (I used Soom chocolate tahini)
zest of a lime
Crème fraîche or ice cream, for serving

Heat oven to 350F degrees. Use butter to grease 9 half-cup muffin molds or ramekins. Dust molds with cocoa and sprinkle the sesame seeds in the bottom of each.

Sift together remaining 1/3 cup cocoa with the flour and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Melt chocolate and remaining 10 tablespoons butter in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, or in a small, heavy saucepan on very low heat. You can also melt the chocolate w/ butter in the microwave on 30 second intervals. (Watch carefully if using a saucepan.) When almost completely melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth. Set aside.

Using a whisk or electric beater, whisk eggs and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stir a little of this mixture into the tahini to lighten it, then stir the tahini into the egg mixture. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in the cocoa/flour mixture.

Pour the batter into the molds or muffin tins and set molds on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake 12 to 14 minutes, less for smaller molds. A skewer or toothpick inserted in the middle should not come out clean.

Cool 10 minutes or more before unmolding. Dust tops with lime zest and serve with crème fraîche or ice cream.

FYI: I froze these and just popped in the microwave for 20-25 seconds as needed (as if you NEED cake!)....and they came out perfect!

These are decadent and delicious!!!



PCX Tech Dallas said…
I made this today – finally!
I love tahini and chocolates and would have never thought to put them in a cake, but it totally works. I thought the baking soda taste was a little too prominent so would reduce it if i did it again, but everyone else who had a slice had only compliments, so thanks for the recipe. Very cool :-)
Veena said…
These look so good!

One note though about your post regarding home ec not being taught in schools. Our district offers fashion design (high school only) and foods classes (middle and high school). Both my sons took foods classes as part of the requirement for being officers at the state and national level for FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America). They can cook, bake AND clean up and was one of the best parts of their high school education. One graduated from business school and one is still in college but I never had to worry about their ability to feed themselves! ;-)

I volunteer to judge at the NJ State Conference held in March and am always amazed by the talented youth that compete. You would be a great judge! (Hint, hint)
Stacey Snacks said…
Where in NJ do you live?
I don't think they offer cooking classes in our high school (Summit), but who knows? Food and nutrition is a whole 'nother ball game since I was in school.

I would love to judge any cooking contest! I am a judge in a local cookie baking contest soon.

Veena said…
Sending you a PM on Facebook.
Carolyn said…
A most unusual combination but I have all the ingredients so I think I will give this a try! I have regular tahini,not chocolate.