Kinako, Sesame and Muscovado Financiers

While some people seem to struggle to get their head around Japanese sweets, I fell head over heels in love with mochi, matcha and black sesame anything and everything when Alessandro and I went to Japan 5 years ago.  Unlike matcha or black sesame, kinako was never the star of any of the sweet confections we tried yet it was still present, dusted over glutinous rice flour dumplings or ice cream, adding a deliciously nutty flavour. Kinako, better known as roasted soybean flour outside of Japan, means ‘yellow flour’ in Japanese and that is exactly what it looks like.  It is made by pulverizing roasted and skinned yellow soya beans (although you can also buy kinako made from whole soya beans).  Apparently you can also buy kinako made from green soya beans which has a greenish hue.  Although you can make your own kinako, it is much easier to pick up a small bag at a Japanese supermarket (especially as

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Black sesame ice cream

I don’t actually remember the first time I tried black sesame ice cream but I do know that the flavour of roast sesame and its many applications has intrigued me for years. Even more so now thanks to Alessandro who is obsessed with sesame (especially sesame Grissini rolled in San Daniele prosciutto and eaten together with a nice and creamy Gorgonzola). Although I am all for ice cream sundaes marrying gooey brownies with caramel sauce and chopped salty roasted peanuts, the simplicity of a single scoop of gorgeous deep grey sesame ice cream, studded with black sesame seeds is something I cannot say no to whenever I see it on a menu. Alessandro and I went to Japan a few years ago and besides falling in love with the whole country, once again I also fell head over heels in love with black sesame ice cream. Roasted sesame seeds have such a complex flavour and the deep grey hue of

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