Black sesame is a common ingredient in many Chinese desserts. The Chinese use it in making stuffed mochi, boiled rice dumplings, and even for a black-as-night dessert soup (kinda like red bean soup). It can be a bit strange looking but it’s delicious. A must-try if you love peanut butter based treats.
With this roulade, I’m hoping to take ground sesame to the next level of elegance. Pairing the black sesame with feminine pastel tones and floral flavors turns a seemingly mysterious ingredient into a beautiful and intriguing one.
The colors of these roulade cakes are inspired by boxes of Laduree Tea from France. The boxes are so utterly elegant, they make me feel like I’m about to have tea with Marie Antoinette herself.
As much as I love macarons (and I really do) there are other desserts that I also think are especially perfect for drinking with tea, and roulades are one of them. The cake of a roulade is light and sponge-like, fluffed up with a meringue where egg whites are beaten to a stiff peak.
The purple roulade here is flavored with lavender extract, giving the cake a distinctively floral accent. The green variety is flavored with…you guessed it…vibrant, fresh green tea matcha powder!
At Chinese bakeries that sell roulades, it’s common to get an inner cream filling that isn’t sweetened with sugar, so that is exactly what I’ve done here. The cake alone is sweet enough, and without sugar the infused whipped cream flavors come though cleanly.
This is a perfect cake to make for company because it lasts in the fridge well for several days. In fact, you want the cake to set in the fridge for at least 5 hours before cutting and serving. This will allow the cake to hold its shape better when sliced. Also, as the cake sets in the fridge, it will darken in color from ashy grey to an almost black grey–a fascinating transformation.
If you’re bored with the typical Victoria Sponge and looking for a cake that will make an impression, make this Black Sesame Roulade. Elegant and unusual, it will be the enchanting centerpiece for your next tea party!
Black Sesame Tea Roulades
Makes 2- 9″ inch rolled cakes.
1 1/2 cup ground black sesame
1 cup cake flour
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs, yolks separated from whites in different bowls
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp meringue powder
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 packets of whip cream stabilizer
2-3 Tbsp matcha powder
1/2 tsp lavender extract plus a few dabs of violet food coloring
stand mixer or hand-held mixer
large 12″ x 18″ x 1″ jelly roll pan
parchment paper, cut to 12″ x 18″
clear plastic wrap
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the jelly roll pan with the parchment. In a large bowl, mix together egg yolks, water, oil, and vanilla extract with a whisk until evenly incorporated. In another bowl, mix together black sesame, cake flour, sugar, and salt.
2.) In the bowl of a stand mixer or other large bowl (if using hand-held) place the egg whites, cream of tartar, and meringue powder. Mix on medium-high speed until you achieve a stiff peak to the egg whites. This should take 5-7 minutes.
3.) Gradually add dry ingredients into the wet egg yolk mixture until evenly incorporated. Add half of the egg white mixture on top of the mixed black sesame batter and fold in using a “J” stroke using a rubber spatula with a light hand. Then add the second half of the egg whites and fold in until the mixture is just barely homogenous.
4.) Pour the batter into the parchment lined pan and spread out until the batter is even in the pan.
5.) Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven to cool to room temperature.
6.) Meanwhile, make the whipped cream filling for the roulade. Place 1 cup of heavy cream in a medium bowl and scatter 1 package of stabilizer powder on top. Using the stand mixer or hand-held mixer, whip the cream until you get soft peaks, then add the matcha powder and whip to a stiff peak. Set aside to chill in the fridge.
7.) Repeat step #6 until you get soft peaks of whipped cream, then add the lavender extract and again whip to a stiff peak. Set aside to chill in the fridge.
8.) With serrated knife, trim dry edges off of the cake, then cut the cake in half to form two 12″ x 9″ inch rectangles, making sure to cut the bottom parchment under the cake as well. Evenly spread matcha whipped cream on one piece of the cake, then roll into a roulade using the parchment lined base to aid in the rolling process. Repeat this process with the second piece of cake using the lavender whipped cream.
9.) Wrap roulades tightly in clear plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 5 hours before slicing and serving.
And if you’d like to know more about these gorgeous Laduree Teas and how to get them, look here!