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Tuesday 25 February 2014

Sluttishly Sweet: Honey & Sesame Cakes

These cakes are rather like English madeleines (remember those?), little light sponge towers rolled in chocolate icing and coconut that always seemed to be hanging around in the bakery window. These are a slightly more sophisticated version, with toasted sesame seeds, orange blossom and sticky honey making them perfect for elevenses, or twelveses, or maybe lunch...

If you don't have any dariole moulds you can use ramekins; depending on the size you might have to increase the baking time by 5 minutes or so.

Honey & Sesame Cakes (Makes 6)

You will need:
For the cakes:
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 125g self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water (optional)
For the topping:
  • 5 tbsp honey
  • 40g sesame seeds
  • Drizzle of honey, to decorate
Make it!
  1. Preheat the over to 160 C / 325 F / Gas Mark 3. Grease 6 large dariole moulds. (If you don't have dariole moulds, you could use the deepest muffin tray you have or deep ramekins; you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly). 
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. 
  3. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl, then add in a quarter at a time, with a tablespoon of flour to stop the mixture from splitting. Repeat with the rest of the eggs. 
  4. Gently fold in the remaining flour until just combined.
  5. Carefully stir in the spoonful of honey and orange blossom water, if using. 
  6. Spoon into the moulds, filling them 1/2 full (don't overfill because they'll explode) and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Place on a wire rack to cool for around 10 minutes. Then, turn out the cakes and level the tops with a sharp knife, so that they stand firmly. Leave to finish cooling.
The topping:
  1. In a small, dry saucepan, toast the sesame seeds for a few minutes until fragrant and golden-brown. Tip onto a large flat plate.
  2. Warm the honey in a small saucepan with a splash of hot water. 
  3. Stick a fork in the bottom of the cakes and roll in the honey until coated, then roll in the sesame seeds. 
  4. Decorate with another drizzle of honey and TRY not to eat the whole plate before dinner.

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