Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sesame Cupcakes and Honey Tea Ice Cream: A Match Made in Heaven

Things have been on high speed recently, with my son's science themed 8th birthday party this weekend, attending night school, and taking care of the day-to-days of the household. Yet through it all I have been trying to keep up with my blogging (a promise to myself to be more consistent), but yesterday I dropped the ball. I could blame it on the fact that the results of our first Cardiovascular Technology exam were revealed last night. I got an A, in case any of my readers were interested.

However, to make amends for mentioning all the yummy things I have been baking the past couple days on Twitter and on FoodBuzz; I am giving you two recipes tonight. Yes, you read correctly, two recipes. They are for the newest cupcake to grace my kitchen and the ice cream I created to accompany it.

I love sesame seeds. Asian desserts use these little, nutty bits of heaven to make sweet dessert-type drinks and as filling for glutinous rice balls that are served with a palm sugar sauce, which I love. My husband, though openminded, is not really a fan of such treats. Neither is our son. I decided to try making a cupcake, something our whole family loves, using black and white sesame seeds. Both are based upon recipes in Alice Medrich’s book Pure Desserts. They went over well in our household. So well in fact, that my husband says he is having some for dessert tonight.

Open Says Me Cupcake and homemade Honey Tea Ice Cream


(Makes 12-14 cupcakes.)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/8 cup toasted black sesame seeds
  • 1/8 cup toasted white sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
  1. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs together in a bowl with a whisk. Add the sesame oil and vanilla and thoroughly combine.
  3. Add the vegetable oil, then the sugar and beat for several more minutes until it is light-colored and well blended.
  4. Pour in a third of the flour mixture, and beat just until combined. Scrape down the sides as necessary.
  5. Add half the buttermilk and beat until combined.
  6. Repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture, the rest of the buttermilk, and finally the rest of the flour mixture with the sesame seeds*. With each addition, beat it only until it is just incorporated.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 20-22 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
*NOTE* You could just add the toasted sesame seeds whole, or like me, mix the two types of sesame seeds together and grind half of that mixture. It distributes the nutty sesame flavor more thoroughly throughout the cupcake.


(Makes about 4 servings, 1 cup each)
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cream
  • 2 black tea bags
  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it just barely simmers around the edges. Pour into a bowl and steep the tea bags in the milk for about 10 minutes. Allow the tea milk to cool completely.
  2. Whisk in the honey and pinch of salt until they are dissolved. You have to make sure the milk is fully cooled or the mixture could curdle. Mix the honey in slowly and carefully at first.
  3. Whisk in the cream.
  4. Pour it in the ice cream machine, or do what I did, follow David Lebowitz's directions to make ice cream without a machine. It is a little more work, but very gratifying.
I hope your family enjoys these sweet, toasty cupcakes and delicious ice cream as well.
Happy Baking!

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