we’ll start with the seed of an idea

Truth be told, I love my food blog best of all. But I’m always inspired by other bloggers out there. There are so many great writers, like-minded souls, and awesome recipes to be found. My favourite discoveries are recipes where the overall result doesn’t involve 12 layers of sponge or a tray of eggs or whatever, just something that’s recognisable, but with a sassy combination of flavours to make you think I must make this immediately and I’m so happy the internet exists so I could find this and not even have to pay for it, even. Like this Spiced Sesame Slice from the very cool Wayfaring Chocolate blog. It’s basically a cake. But then there’s sesame seeds in it. And on it. Plus ginger and cinnamon. I don’t know about you, but that sort of old-fashioned-plus-sexy-modern combination is pretty alluring. Then again, I get all hepped up over things that other people sneer at (like the music of Jesus Christ Superstar.) I may not be the best yardstick to measure “exciting stuff” by but trust me – this cake is damn good.

(If you’re wondering what the foliage in the background is, on the left is harakeke and on the right is our boutique saffron plantation. If you weren’t wondering at all, I just like calling two bulbs a boutique plantation.)

Spiced Sesame Slice 

Recipe from Wayfaring Chocolate…cheers Hannah!

50g sesame seeds
125g flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
2 eggs
140g brown sugar
125g butter, melted

Set your oven to 180 C/375 F and line a rectangular or square cake tin, don’t worry about the size – just one of those usual-sized caketin things, you know? Even if you’ve got nonstick or silicone it would pay to butter it because this stuff sticks quite a bit. Not sure why.

First of all, toast the sesame seeds till they’re good and brown and smelling popcorn-y in a pan. Set aside. Don’t taste them, you’ll burn your tongue. Like me.

Whisk the eggs and sugar till thick and creamy and increased in volume. Pour in the melted butter, and then fold in the dry ingredients and half the sesame seeds. Turn it into the cake tin and sprinkle over the rest of the sesame seeds. Bake for 20 mins until firm-but-springy to the touch. Let it cool for a bit before slicing up.

So delicious. It’s really light-textured, and the buttery nuttiness and the warm spiciness is seriously good. It was so easy to just keep slicing off bits…tidying up edges…eating the broken bit…ah, you know how it goes. We go through bottles of sesame oil – its rich, dark nutty flavour is amazing, and the seeds work really well in a sweeter setting. I didn’t have any allspice (does anyone ever have allspice?) so in a move that I hope Hannah of Wayfaring Chocolate would be proud of (she eats stuff like chilli-studded chocolate and kangaroo meat very casually) I used Ras-el-Hanout spice mix instead. But you could just leave it out, or even add more cinnamon and ginger.

And it’s really, really good with a cup of tea.

Title via: Untitled Opening Song from [title of show], the musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical. This show is pretty special to me, even though I obviously never got to see it on the Broadway, and I won’t go on about it (although you know I could easily go on about it) but I will say this: don’t anyone let a New Zealand production get made (and I seriously believe it could work) without me playing Susan. I just want to so bad, and I think that’s a good enough reason to make it happen.

Music lately:

Apart from the sweet writing skills and chocolate-a-plenty and recipes, the other thing I like about Hannah’s blog is that it always makes me think of the song Poor Wayfaring Stranger. We used to sing it in choir at school, which is when I really started to dig its melancholy, old-timey, Americana sound. This version by Dusty Springfield is particularly choice.

Gypsy Eyes from Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladylandwe just love us some Hendrix. Gypsy Eyes is a very cool song…I like the way he pronounces all the vowels on ‘re-a-lize that I’ve been hypnotised’.

The whole entire Distant Relatives album, from the one-two punch of Nas and Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley… amazing. Purposeful beats, powerful messages, impassioned delivery, but you only have to listen to first track As We Enter for five seconds to know it’s special stuff. I like the titular togetherness of the lyrics as they go back and forth – “My man’ll speak patois, and I can speak rap star…”
Next time: Butter is so expensive! Hey! Wha’happen? If anyone could make this all go away and get it down nearer to $2 a block I’d be most obliged. Till then, we’re probably looking at some dairy-free times up ahead.

9 thoughts on “we’ll start with the seed of an idea

  1. Rhyleysgranny says:

    Your seed 'thingy' looks so good. Lovely pics Laura. I am looking forward to your butter post. I can never understand why we can buy Anchor butter here so much cheaper than you pay for it in NZ. makes no sense


  2. Sarah says:

    Hi Laura,

    That cake looks very yummy. I think sesame is so underrated as a flavour! That reminds me, I still have to make your tahini shortbread, mmmm.

    I saw the Melbourne production of [Title of Show], it was a lot of fun! Susan rocks.

    xox Sarah


  3. Hannah says:

    Laura, I just, I, well, thank you. Really. 🙂 So many lovely words about lil ole me and my lil ole blog, and I can't really tell you how much it means. I read and loved your blog way back before I had one of my own, and it feels a bit dream-like to see my name (and recipe) on your blog. And on a night when I was feeling a bit mopey… thank you.

    Also, I completely agree about the name – I was annoyed at myself for not being able to think of something better! Also, your ras-el–hanout idea is inspired. Next stop for you: kangaroo? 😉


  4. maybeimamazed02 says:

    Hey, wha' happened? LOVE A Mighty Wind! I have a huge crush on Christopher Guest.

    I keep meaning to check out the soundtrack to [title of show] . . . I've heard amazing things.

    Cake looks delicious, Ms. Laura!


  5. alana says:

    YUM!! Made some oaty spicy biscuits yesterday, which to be honest I thought turned out pretty blah. So looking forward to trying this slice, for some cake-tin excitement!!


  6. Christina says:

    Hey Laura,

    This cake looks very yummy and is surprised me on how easy it is to make.

    Thanks for the tip on substituting cinnamon for the all spice. Not sure yet where I can find all spice in europe – so I actually had doubts in making this until I read further into your post.



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