This month’s Cake Slice Baker’s challenge has a few great cakes to choose from, but I decided on this Turkish Tahini Cake because it sounds so interesting. There’s no butter in it and it’s full of fruit and nuts with a bit of cinnamony spice. The butter is replaced by tahini (!), which is an ingredient usually added to hummus (tahini is essentially ground soaked sesame seeds made into a creamy paste). Now, that makes for an interesting cake!
I’ve never made hummus, so I’ve never used tahini before. I was surprised at how like peanut butter it is, but with a nutty sesame seed flavor. I was also amazed at the wonderful texture of the cake. It’s a thick crumb, rich and feathery at the same time if that makes sense. I really liked this cake.
I went a little nutso 🙂 with the sesame seeds on top – next time I’ll use fewer seeds – but it did make a nice crunchy topping for the cake. I warmed up a slice with a little butter and it was divine. I just can’t get over the wonderful texture of the cake.
If you’re looking for something different, I highly recommend this cake. It was a little pricey to make since I don’t keep tahini or sesame seeds in the cabinet, but was well worth it. Simply wonderful.
Don’t forget to visit the other Cake Slice Baker’s bakes for this month (below the recipe). There are some beautiful creations this month.
****I loved this thick, rich, feathery, fruit and nut-filled cake. Just the right touch of cinnamon, too.
- 9 oz. tahini
- 1 C sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda, sifted
- 2 tbsp cognac (brandy)
- 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 C walnuts, chopped
- 2 3/4 oz candied fruit (I used chopped dried fruit)
- 1/2 C golden raisins
- 1 C orange juice
- sesame seeds, to decorate top of cake
Preheat the oven to 325° and grease a 9" cake pan. Line with parchment paper and set aside.
Beat the tahini in a large mixer bowl, gradually adding the sugar. Beat for about 2 minutes on medium.
Mix together the sifted baking soda with the cognac until the baking soda is dissolved. Add to the tahini mix.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour and cinnamon. Add the walnuts, fruits, and raisins and toss to coat.
Add half of the flour/fruit mixture to the tahini and beat, followed by half of the orange juice. Repeat using the second half of the flour/fruit mixture and the remaining orange juice. Batter will be very thick.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle the top with the sesame seeds, and bake until the cake is set and browned (about 50-55 minutes). Check with toothpick - there will be cake crumbs clinging to it, but it shouldn't be batter.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 30 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and remove the parchment paper.
Tips and Stuff:
I used dried fruit (apple, apricot, pear, plum) since I couldn't find candied fruit. I recommend using twice as much fruit.
You may be able to make it without the cognac, but it does add a nice and different flavor.
Use about 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds sprinkled on the top.