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My pantry is getting a little crazy with the amount of cupcake liners I’ve been purchasing. I can’t help myself, cupcake liners, why do you have to be so cute? So last weekend, I rearranged my pantry and threw out some expired stuff to make more room for more cupcake liners necessary baking ingredients. 🙂

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During pantry clean up, I found a bag of black sesame powder! I love sweet sesame desserts! Let the cravings begin. I baked with sesame many times before like these sesame macarons, sesame cookies, and sesame bread. Don’t worry, sesame cupcakes will be coming, I promise. But first, black sesame muffins. I didn’t bake cupcakes because I wanted to eat something not too sweet for breakfast. Although these muffins can totally pass for cupcakes if you prefer your cupcakes to be less sweet. Just top it off with some black sesame frosting!

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I found this amazing black sesame muffins on Fork to Belly. I only had sesame powder in my pantry, no black sesame seeds nor black sesame paste. But I figured black sesame paste is made from ground black sesame, so it can’t be that much different? I managed to make some black sesame paste with the powder by adding equal part of powder and honey (ex. 1 tablespoon of black sesame powder and mix with 1 tablespoon of honey). The paste made out of powder had the same consistency as store bought paste and paste made out of seeds but it lacked the natural sesame oil. Once baked, these muffins were lighter in colour compared to ones made out of sesame seeds. Despite the colour difference, you could definitely taste the sesame flavour! It may be more subtle in flavour but it was definitely enough to satisfy my black sesame cravings. I know for sure, once I get my hands on those black sesame seeds, I will be making this again. One last thing I did differently is buttermilk. I used buttermilk instead of milk because of the wonderful things buttermilk have been claimed to do to baked goods.

Another thing I love about these muffins were the toppings. The topping reminded me of these powdered black sesame candies I had when I went back to China. It also made me miss my grandma even more because she loves those candies. Good thing I will be seeing her in less than a month. 🙂 I will definitely be baking these muffins for her when I am back in Ottawa for the holidays!

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Black sesame muffins

(Recipe adapted from Fork to Belly)

Ingredients:
For the topping:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
4 tbsp (1/4 cup) butter, cold and cubed
3 tbsp powdered black sesame seeds
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the muffin:
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/8 cup (or 2 tablespoons) black sesame seed paste*
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk (I used 3/4 cup buttermilk)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Mix the flour, butter, sesame seeds, and sugar together with a fork or pastry cutter till pea size crumbs form. Do not over mix. Cover and keep in the refrigerator till ready to use.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, cream the softened butter, black sesame seed paste, and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and beat until well combined. Add in the vanilla extract and beat for another few seconds.
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix together on low speed until just about combined. Slowly drizzle in the milk (or buttermilk) and continue to stir until the batter is uniform. Use an ice cream scoop to evenly distribute the batter into the muffin cups. Remove the crumble from the refrigerator and sprinkle evenly over each muffin. Use up all the crumble and make sure to press it down completely so it sticks to the batter.
  6. Bake for 18-22 minutes.

*Black sesame paste: Mix 2 tablespoons of black sesame powder OR grounded black sesame seeds with ~2 tablespoons of honey.

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