We return! After a hectic school year of desperate cover letter writing, many identity crises, and everything that happens in between, Danielle and I are back to show you our weird cooking/baking adventures. Here’s something of a Sunday morning experiment.
Today I made what I will call black sesame red bean cakes, which are a demonization of this black bean brownie recipe. As usual, my experimentation began when I realized I was short of a few key ingredients: black beans and dates. What’s even the point, Camille?? Well, the point is that I can take advantage of my parents’ seemingly infinite food supply now that I’m not a poor college kid (for this one week before I start my internship, at least).
Let’s take a look at all the things I changed (and hoped wouldn’t butcher my tastebuds later). I also made a quick black sesame paste to spread or drizzle on top.
- 2 cups red beans (I used 3/4 cup dried and cooked them but 1 can is fine)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened*
- 15 prunes (Someone’s gonna be poopin’ well tonight)
- 1/4 cup honey**
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp ground black sesame
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
Black Sesame Paste
- Ground black sesame
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line 8 x 8” baking pan or a muffin tin with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray or grease.
- Add all ingredients to a food processor/blender and process/blend until nice and smooth. Pro tip: chop the prunes up first if your blender is a lil on the weak side. Pour into pan/tin and bake for 30 minutes if in the baking pan and about 20 minutes if in the muffin tin. (Adjust accordingly to your muffin sizes)
- To make the paste: use black sesame and honey in a 1:1 ratio.
- Let cool. I guess.
My inspiration for making these was to create a baked good that my mom would eat. She rarely eats my baked goods when I use refined sugars in them, so I promised I wouldn’t. She has massive bags of dried prunes and apricots (holla, Costco) in the fridge, and I was reminded of how I’ve seen so many recipes that call for dates, and prunes are basically dates right? Wrinkly and purply brown?
Then I was struck by inspiration when I realized I lacked the essential black beans for a black bean brownie recipe. What did I have in the cabinet? Red beans. What do red beans remind me of? Taiwanese desserts. What other thing pops up in Taiwanese desserts? Black sesame! Must be time to get funky and combine them.
Verdict: the red bean and black sesame duo has earned my approval.
*Make your own applesauce! It’s super easy and tasty as long as you use sweet enough apples, like Fuji. Just boil some water, add some peeled and diced apples, mix in some cinnamon, and simmer for at least 20-30 minutes or until they’re mushy. Drain and blend for a smooth consistency. The drained apple cider is delicious, by the way.
**I added some honey because the batter wasn’t sweet enough despite the prunes. This is optional; just add some sweetener to taste. Or just add more prunes. Or use dates like the original recipe actually calls for. You do you.
P.S. I also made brownies using the prunes and red beans and they were absolutely delicious. So dark and rich. Highly recommend that recipe above.