This will have to be a fast post. I’m about to board an airplane heading to Paris and then travel by train to St. Jean Pied de Port. And from there, walk 800km across Spain on the Camino de Santiago. I’m about to walk my dream….
For years I’ve been reading about this, thinking about this, dreaming of this. For the past few months, I’ve been busy – training, breaking in my boots, preparing my gear and all the while working on both a new writing project and a new food column in the Kingston Whig-Standard, Canada’s oldest newspaper! Some days it’s hard to imagine that my life could be this wonderful.
Before I start the twenty-four-hour journey by car, plane, and train into the little village in the French Pyrenees, I wanted to get something new up on my blog. Last weekend I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving a week ahead of time with my family. I did this trio of desserts…
A chocolate tahini cake, a coconut milk pumpkin pie, and an autumn harvest fruit tart.
I’ve done the pressed crust fruit tart on this blog so many times. It’s such a favourite and so infinitely adaptable. But the tahini cake is new. I had a jar of tahini in my fridge approaching its use-by date. I didn’t want to waste it. I threw this cake together sans recipe and I have to say, I really like it. It’s not very sweet so you could easily add a bit more sugar. It’s the kind of cake you’d expect to be served in an elegant little cafe with some good, dark roasted, full-bodied coffee. I’m thinking of a place I once knew and loved when I was at university, The Gypsy Cafe.
No more preamble. I wish you all the happiest and most grateful of Thanksgivings. Count all your blessings. And then count them again.
Chocolate Tahini Cake
- 1 cup tahini at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2-3 tbsp brandy or Grand Marnier
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 & 3/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup broken chunks of semi-sweet chocolate (or use chocolate chips)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 20cm or 9″ cake pan.
- Mix the tahini and sugar until fluffy. About 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one a time, beating well. Mixture will stiffen.
- Add the brandy or Grand Marnier and vanilla.
- Stir in the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder.
- Spoon half the batter into the cake pan. Spread with a spatula to even. Add 2/3 of the chocolate (I chopped mine in the food processor and had to add some chocolate chips as well)
- Spoon the remaining batter onto the chocolate and again – use the spatula to spread the batter. The cake dough is quite stiff and sticky.
- Scatter the remaining chocolate on top
- Bake for about 25 minutes and then test for doneness by inserting a skewer. Skewer should come out relatively clean. Continue to cook a few minutes longer as needed.
- Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool. Sprinkle with icing sugar and served with whipped cream.