In my kitchen, I go through spurts of experimenting with different types of global cuisines. In the past week, I've been doing lots of Thai food. This cake is inspired by traditional Thai dessert flavors, albeit not at all influenced by traditional Thai textures. Black sesame is a very common ingredient in desserts of many kinds, and coconut is a ubiquitous ingredient when it comes to traditional Thai desserts. Palm sugar is typically used for both savory and sweet dishes in Thailand, and plays an important role in many traditional baked desserts, such as the beloved toddy palm cake.
This cake is pretty easy. You don't even need an electric mixer. It's a great weeknight cake, since no mixer or frosting is necessary. If you desire topping, whip up heavy cream with powdered coconut milk and sugar until heavy peaks are achieved. Please note that a cake with this topping is only good for a day or two before the whipped cream begins to weep. Refrigeration and avoidance of hot weather are also a must if you do the whipped topping. You could always make it on the side and serve a dollop with each slice :).
1 c flour (or gluten-free flour sub blend., in my case)
1 c fine unsweetened desiccated coconut/coconut flour*
1- 3/4 granulated white sugar
1/4c softened palm sugar (microwave for 30 seconds)
1 TB baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temp.
1 stick butter, melted
1/2c vegetable oil
2 TB black sesame seeds**
2 tsp vanilla, preferably Bourbon vanilla***
1 tsp coconut extract
1c + 2 TB milk (or Indian yogurt or sour cream)
2 TB white rum or cachaca
* found at your local Indian market or often in gluten-free aisle of fine supermarkets
**found at SE Asian market
***TJ sells a great one at a great price
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2 In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, coconut, baking powder, and salt until well-blended. Set aside
3. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in microwave and allow to cool slightly.
4. Whisk in oil, vanilla, coconut extract, rum, white sugar, and palm sugar until blended uniformly.
5. Whisk in eggs, one at a time.
6. Alternate whisking in flour mixture and milk, one third at a time, starting and ending with flour.
7. Stir in sesame seeds until combined.
8. Bake for about 1 hour, or until cake springs back when touched in center.
9. Allow to cool,slice, and enjoy.
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