Black sesame, raspberry aand matcha layer cake

Black sesame, raspberry and matcha layer cake recipe! Glutenfree or not… :)

8 comments
Special everyday cakes and treats

This ‘wow’ cake is the latest favourite shared with friends and family who thoroughly enjoyed it.  Words of praise were bandied about like ‘amazing’, ‘nice’ (a real compliment from someone understated) and ‘outstanding’.  If you love interesting East-meets-West flavours, want a glutenfree cake (or not, using standard plain flour) and don’t mind having a little sugar in your life as a sweet treat with a thinnish slice or two, then this is the cake for you.  The black sesame sponge has that slightly nutty savoury flavour, the matcha frosting a touch of citric yuzu or lemon and the black sesame cookie crumbs add a wonderfully tasty crunch embedded in the smooth fluffiness.  There’s some lovely vanilla in the background while the fresh raspberries provide an explosion of zingy flavour.  I was amazed (err surprised) with my little invention from the first mouthful and would love for everyone to try some.  It’s totally worth making the simple elements then in a relaxed way layering it slapdashedly in a cake ring à la Tosi.  Tada!  The black sesame, raspberry and matcha layer cake! 🙂

Black sesame, raspberry aand matcha layer cake

Black sesame, raspberry and matcha layer cake

THE RECIPE

When I refer to la Tosi I mean Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar fame and this cake is an adaptation of her amazing birthday cake (recipe on the blog here).  Black sesame paste and sesame seeds replace the funfetti.  Fresh raspberries are added then matcha powder and yuzu substitute some of the clear vanilla extract. That’s how this tall luscious layer cake became a yummy East Asian-American concoction.

You can use plain all-purpose flour instead of a glutenfree mix if you prefer.  And I used golden unrefined sugar but caster (superfine) sugar is fine.  If you want the vanilla more in the background reduce it or omit the clear vanilla extract which Tosi explains is reminiscent of American box cakes.  I reduced the vanillas from the original cake but kept them fairly present to sweetly counterbalance the more earthy or nutty Asian flavours.

With the leftover birthday cookie crumb and sponge you can make very easy sesame truffles by adapting these birthday truffles.  But now let’s make the cake…

Ah.. and all the illustrated recipes are printable – just click on them.

Black sesame, raspberry aand matcha layer cake

Black sesame, raspberry and matcha layer cake

Timings (approximate)

  • Make sesame cookie crumb previous day or Day 1 (10 mins work + 25-40 mins baking)
  • Day 1 – Make sponge (30-40 mins work & waiting + 25-35 mins baking); cool 3-4 hours; make frosting (10 mins); assemble (20-30 mins); freeze (12 hours overnight).
  • Day 2Peel off acetate strip (2 seconds); defrost in fridge minimum 3 hours before eating.

The sponge and crumb can be made in advance, wrapped in plastic film and stored in the fridge up to 5 days or freezer up to 1-2 months.

Equipment

  • Baking tin:  32cm x 23cm (13in x 9in) and 4.5 to 5cm high (2in) or similar to this rectangular tin.
  • Cake ring 14cm/5.5in diametre and 6cm/2.4in high (I’ve used 4.5cm/1.7in high, which works okay and this time 2 tart rings sellotaped together because the cake ring went missing!)
  • Acetate strip (6cm/2.4in wide) like this one or this one.

Healthier sesame cookie crumb

  • 25g/2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 170g/1 and 1/3 cups glutenfree flour mix (add more later if needed)
  • 1/2 tsp (2g) baking powder, optionally gluten free
  • 1/2 tsp (2g) fine sea salt
  • 50g/2 and 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 30g/ml milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp clear vanilla extract, optional
  • 40g/2tbsp grapeseed oil (or light olive/vegetable oil)
  • 10g/1 and 1/2 tbsp roasted (toasted) black sesame seeds
  • 10g/1 and 1/2 tbsp roasted (toasted) white sesame seeds

Black sesame, raspberry aand matcha layer cake, illustrated recipe, sesame cookie crumb

Black sesame sponge

  • 55g/4 tbsp/1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 60g/1/3 cup vegetable shortening (white baking fat like Crisco or margarine)
  • 250g/1 cup + 5 and 1/3 tsp caster/superfine sugar, I used golden unrefined (or 1 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar)
  • 50g/4 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 158-165g beaten egg at room temperature (about 3 medium-sized free-range eggs)
  • 120g/ 115ml buttermilk at room temperature (110g/105ml when using standard plain flour)
  • 65g/1/3 cup /80ml grapeseed oil (or light neutral olive oil/vegetable oil)
  • 1 scant tsp (4g) pure vanilla extract, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp clear vanilla extract, optional
  • 245g/2 cups glutenfree flour (I used Doves Farm gf self-raising) or plain flour
  • 6g/1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder, optionally glutenfree
  • 3g/3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 45g/3 tbsp black sesame paste

Black sesame, raspberry aand matcha layer cake, illustrated recipe, sponge 1

Black sesame, raspberry aand matcha layer cake, illustrated recipe, sponge 2

The swirly effect doesn’t show that much but it’s nice.  If you want a more pronounced two-tone effect then first separate 1/5 or 1/6 of the mixture into a smaller bowl and fold gently to incorporate the black sesame.  Then gently fold this into the main bowl of pale yellow mixture for a few seconds.

Matcha Frosting with a hint of lemon-yuzu

This frosting has a touch of lemon and yuzu to lighten the lightly earthy taste of matcha green tea.  Yuzu is an asian citrus fruit with a light flavour between lemon and mandarin – you can replace it with lemon juice or omit.  You may want to add more matcha (or lemon/yuzu) to make the flavour more pronounced.

  • 115g/8 tbsp/1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 50g/1/4 cup vegetable shortening (white baking fat like Crisco or margarine)
  • 55g cream cheese/1/4 cup less 3/4 tsp (I used Philadelphia cream cheese)
  • 50g/2 tbsp glucose (syrup form), at room temperature or a little warmed
  • 1 tsp (5g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp clear vanilla extract, optional
  • 200g/1 and 1/4 cups icing (powdered) sugar
  • 2 – 3 tsp matcha green tea powder
  • 1/2 tsp (1.5 – 2g) fine sea salt
  • a pinch of baking powder (0.25g)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice (or a pinch citric acid, 0.25g)
  • 1/2 tsp yuzu juice (I used the juice found in bottle form) or lemon juice, optional

Black sesame, raspberry aand matcha layer cake, illustrated recipe, matcha frosting

Assembling

  • Milk soak made with 56g/ml full-fat milk and 1/2 tsp clear or pure vanilla extract
  • Sponge, frosting and around 135g (2/3 of above recipe) sesame crumb, to taste – it’s flexible
  • Fresh raspberries (250 to 350g or more, to taste – 8.8oz to 12.3oz)

Notes:

  • For a nice effect, when placing the raspberries first make a outer circle of them lying sideways with their top ‘mouths’ facing outwards (see photo).
  • Use 2 acetate strips first as in the illustration below and if your cake is getting very tall then tape on or tuck in a third strip as you construct.

Black sesame, raspberry aand matcha layer cake, assembling illustrated recipe

Black sesame. raspberry and matcha cake - assembling 1

Black sesame. raspberry and matcha cake - assembling 2

Freeze overnight (12 hours minimum) then the next day cut the acetate downwards at the seam, whip it off and defrost in the fridge at least 3 hours before eating.  Top with fresh raspberries.

The layers are supposed to look appealingly random by the way, artistically showing off the amazing flavours and textures in this cake.  Which means it’s fun and relaxing to make.  Hurray!

Black sesame, raspberry aand matcha layer cake

Black sesame, raspberry and matcha layer cake

Eating and storing

This cake is best eaten the first few days when the cookie crumb has its best crunch.  Stored in the fridge in airtight tupperware it keeps up to 3 or 4 days.  You’ll get neater slices if cut while frozen.  Slices can be stored in tupperware in the freezer up to a month or more but are better eaten within a couple of weeks.  Defrost 3 hours in the fridge before eating or a few hours at room temperature.

Black sesame, raspberry aand matcha layer cake

Black sesame, raspberry and matcha layer cake

When I took frozen slices to London they did not arrive in tip top condition but were greatly appreciated by my family who were surprised how delicious the mess was (I showed photos of the pristine cake for reference, lol).  They couldn’t stop scraping the last of it off plates and tupperware.  In Barcelona I let friends know we’d better finish this cake off and they enthusiastically helped out in a yummy flash of crunchy hidden cookie crumbs, raspberry explosion, subtle matcha and nutty sesame.  Sharing is caring but now I’m sitting here with no more cake, sob.  Maybe I’ll make a version for my birthday, yay!  This delicious black sesame, raspberry and matcha layer cake is my East Asian take on Tosi’s birthday cake and my taste buds love it.  You might like to try it too…?

Black sesame, raspberry aand matcha layer cake

Black sesame, raspberry and matcha layer cake

A cheerful farewell to you dears.  Wishing you a deliciously nutty fruity week ahead with some happy baking and eating!  Or just eating!  🙂 Lili x

Posted by

Baking on Sundays with my French mum was a lovely part of my childhood. Later I experimented with baking books or internet recipes and did the pâtisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Still trying out new recipes and inventing cakes with influences from all around the world, including some healthier ones. Yes, love cakes!!! Hope you'll love them too and have fun baking. :)

8 thoughts on “Black sesame, raspberry and matcha layer cake recipe! Glutenfree or not… :)”

  1. I’ve been wanting to make the trek to visit a milk bar outlet, but this just makes me want to eat your version Lili! It looks stunning and I love the sound of bright raspberry and yuzu with the more savoury sesame and matcha.

    Like

    • Hi Laurie, Thank you! Yes, I was really happy with the flavours and messy but bright look. It is also my dream to visit a Milk Bar! But I’ve resigned myself to just making Tosi-like cakes at home. It’s a hard life. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.