Ruby Tandohs recipe for black sesame cookies with white chocolate

The sweet spot This soft bake is dipped in chocolate to contrast with the nuttiness of the seeds. A nice nibble for a picnic

Slightly nuttier and more savoury than their paler cousins, black sesame seeds are a wonderful thing to bake with: their intensity- both their flavor and jet-black coats- is a welcome tonic to the sometimes beige blandness of cooking. They are especially good scattered over flatbreads or blended into ice-cream, but these soft cookies are a favourite of mine, combining the slight bitterness of the seeds with treacly brown sugar and sweet white chocolate.

Soft black sesame cookies with white chocolate

You can construct these with white sesame seeds too, if that’s all you can get hold of, but black sesame seeds are increasingly easy to find: look in any east Asian grocery store or larger supermarkets.

Prep 15 min
Rest 1 hr
Cook 10 min
Makes 20 -2 4

100g black sesame seeds
125g unsalted butter, softened
150g soft darknes brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, gently beaten
120g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
1/ 4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch salt

To decorate
75g white sesame seeds
200g white chocolate
1 tbsp black sesame seeds

Blitz the black sesame seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor, until they are fine and mealy and no whole seeds remain, then set aside for a moment. Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg and the ground sesame seeds.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet concoction and gently stir together until everything is well blended and youare left with a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and put in the refrigerator for an hour or so- only long enough for the dough to firm up a little and lose its stickiness.

Heat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ gas 4 and line a couple of baking trays with parchment. Pour the white sesame seeds into a small bowl. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll small portions of it between your palms to create little cookie 25 mm balls, roughly. Roll each one in the white sesame seeds to cover them completely, then arrange on the prepared baking trays, leaving plenty of space between them, because they will spread during baking. You will probably have to bake these in a couple of batches.

Bake for eight to nine minutes. Because theyare so dark, it can be tricky to tell exactly when the cookies are done, but as long as theyare puffy and situated, theywill be fine. Leave to cool completely on the paper before attempting to move them.

Melt the white chocolate either in short explosions in a microwave( stirring often) or in a heatproof glass bowl defined over a pan of simmering water. Dip the cookies one by one into the melted chocolate to encompas merely half of them, like white chocolate half-moons. Arrange over a couple of wire racks and, while the chocolate is still soft, sprinkle a few black sesame seeds on top. Leave to firm and set.

Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay

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