Thursday, 18 June 2009


Mini Black Sesame Cheesecake with Oreo Cookie Crust
How fortunate I am to be able to do some product testing and recipe experiments! It's a whole lot of fun (when stuff turns out beautifully delicious!) and quite hilarious when it doesn't too. My colleagues at work have been more than willing to taste-test my recipes and they are on the whole, quite honest. There are those that will hoover up anything and everything I give them, but they're just being kind I know because they don't want the stream of food to stop. They gave this cheesecake the thumbs up, and I think it's quite good too.

For this test recipe, incorporating "The Product" instant Black Sesame Dessert mix (it's a dessert soup), I decided to go the cheesecake route. The chiffon cake I made was a flop because the dessert mix threw off the delicately precise proportions of ingredients required to produce a proper cake. So, having a sort of black sesame epiphany, instead of cake, I made no-bake mini black sesame cheesecakes with oreo crumb crusts. They were smooth, creamy and delicious.

I began by pressing my cookie crumb crusts into my cheesecake molds

This is the product I have been testing. It makes my mom's favourite convenient dessert soup! What a coincidence...she's been buying it forever! If you're not Asian, you may not be familiar with dessert soups. It's somewhat akin to instant jello pudding mix. Except it isn't.

I looked on the side of the package to try to figure out the proportions of "other ingredients" aside from the black sesame. The starches and sugar that were in the mix were problematic for baked cakes, but should be okay for some of my other ideas...

Here's the cream cheese and sesame batter...

...and the whipped cream that'll lighten the texture of the cheesecake. The cheesecake is "Asian" in flavour and in it's tendency to be lighter in texture and less sweet than western cheesecakes.
I decorated the mini cheesecakes with some toasted whole black sesame seeds to indicate the flavour of the cute little grey desserts (important if you don't want to explain why your cheesecake is grey!)

Ta-da! They popped out of their molds perfectly!
The oreo crumb crust can be substituted with a graham cracker crust or even a cake crust

The texture is smooth, silky and creamy. You are hit with the black sesame flavour first, and then you experience the creaminess and the contrasting chocolatey oreo crunch
I'll be developing another recipe with this product soon. Stay tuned!
Update: July 23, 2009 Recipe
(recipe created by

NB: this recipe can be easily adapted to make a Peanut-flavoured Cheesecake, using the Torto Peanut Dessert Mix.

Cream Cheese mixture:
250 g /1 cup/brick cream cheese, softened at room temperature [Philadelphia brand is best]
150 g/3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
50 g/1 pkg Torto brand black sesame dessert mix
61 g/1/3 cup milk
61 g/1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unflavoured powdered gelatine
53 g/1/4 cup water

Oreo Cookie crust mixture:
114 g/9 Oreo cookies, crushed (graham crackers or digestive biscuits could be used interchangeably with the Oreos)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Garnish: (optional)
Whole black sesame seeds

Have ready a mini cheesecake pan (Williams Sonoma) or a muffin tin lined with 12 foil liners. Alternately, 12 small ring molds lined with plastic wrap on a sheet pan may be used.
In a small bowl, combine the crushed cookies and melted butter. Divide the crust mixture evenly between the 12 molds. Press gently into the bottoms to make an even base. Refrigerate until needed.
  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the powdered gelatine over the ¼ cup water to soften. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and the milk over med-low heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved completely. Do not boil. Add the black sesame dessert mix and stir until thoroughly combined. Add the softened gelatine. Stir completely to incorporate. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the beater attachment, beat the cream cheese until softened, smooth and free of lumps. Add the cooled black sesame mixture to the bowl and continue to beat on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
  4. Using a rubber spatula or large balloon whisk, stir in a quarter of the whipped cream. Gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Divide the cheesecake mixture evenly between the molds, spooning it onto the prepared refrigerated crusts. Gently tap the molds on a counter to level the mixture or release any air pockets.
  6. Decorate each mini cheesecake by sprinkling whole black sesame seeds on the surface. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
  7. Remove cheesecakes from the molds and serve with whipped cream.

    Makes 12 mini cheesecakes.
Torto products are available all around the world. If you're from Canada, all Torto Instant Dessert products can be purchased at your local chinese grocery store. If you can't find it, visit or call (416) 321 8521 to find the closest retail shop near you. For anyone outside Canada, you can find it at your local chinese grocery store or email for more info.


Mary said...

They seem to have come out quite good , i haven't found anywhere close by me a cheesecake mould hope to find it soon cause making them single is a bit tiring.

Snooky doodle said...

what an interesting recipe! I ve never tried desserts with black sesame . wish to try it though

Y said...

Oh, it really looks like an oreo! I love the look and flavour of black sesame.

Manggy said...

Hey, I'm glad these turned out a LOT better than the chiffon! Interesting flavor profile and I'm very impressed with how they turned out so perfectly! :)

Weird WV: "chicrat"

cakewardrobe said...

I love black sesame desserts! I would have never thought to pair it with cheesecake! Certainly inventive! It looks beautiful too!

Juliana said...

Very interesting...sesame cheesecake...I am sure that taste very good. Yummie!

Girl Japan: April Marie Claire said...

Oh my gosh.. Testing, well it looks like you passed with flying colors darling!

I love goma.... Black Sesame, yum, I have to tell my girlfriend about this post... she'll just droll.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Not only they as cute as they can be, but black sesame must make them extra special! That sounds like a cool product to experiment with!

fiona westover said...

So, why do my mini cheesecakes keep coming out with the middles sagging? they poof out of the mold in the oven, then when cooling sag in the middle and look no where near as pretty as yours. Any advice?

Cakebrain said...

Hi Fiona,
yikes...a sagging mini cheesecake is a sad sight. That's unfortunate. Here are some cheesecake-making tips: Do not overbeat your creamcheese and egg mixture before baking your cheesecakes (refrigerator cheesecakes don't have a sagging problem). You can beat the creamcheese well, but after incorporating egg, don't overbeat. You don't want to incorporate air into the cheesecake mixture. If your cheesecakes are baked at too high a temperature, they may poof up and then deflate. Low and slow is good. My mini cheesecake molds are really small and don't sag because the surface area is quite small. The larger the surface area, the more tendency there is to sag in the center.

Anh said...

I love anything with sesame in it! pls do post up your 'experiment' to inspire us all.

Love your blog by the way. :D

fiona westover said...

Hmmm, so would you suggest 275 degree oven for a bit longer than 20 minutes? I have the molds from Williams-Sonoma as well but have never tested the true temp of my old icky oven. Is there any sort of a "test for doneness" on cheesecake? The taste was yummy, just not as pretty.Thanks for your help!

Cakebrain said...

I feel for ya with an older oven. They're temperamental and yours may be running hotter than you think. If you have one of those oven "thermometers" that you can leave inside the oven to check out the accuracy of your oven, then you can adjust all your baking times for recipes. I think you should just cream the creamcheese until smooth but try not to incorporate air into it. Then try lowering the temperature of your oven by 25 degrees. I'd keep an eye on the little cheesecakes and bake it for the time called for in the recipe; if it looks super jiggly I'd leave it in a bit longer until it looks set more. I generally just look at the surface and if it looks really wet in the centre I leave it in a bit longer. It's okay to take it out slightly damp looking in the very centre. When they cool they'll set. If you have that sagging problem still, and want to conceal it, just pile on some sugar on the tops and brulee the sugar until golden brown. Or pile berries on top. It'll taste even better and no one will care if they're saggy in the middle!

Kevin said...

black sesame cheesecake sounds really good!

Anything but Work said...

What a gorgeous looking dessert! Will need to look for those mini cheese cake pans, too!!Thanks for the inspiration!

jonathan said...

Where can I find this black sesame product you used? Does it save alot of time not having to grind?

I love black sesame but simply can't be bothered preparing.


Anonymous said...

Am drooling just looking at it, can you please post the recipe?

Cakebrain said...

Anonymous & Jonathan...well, since you twisted my arm, I'll post the recipe. This recipe uses the "Torto" brand of black sesame dessert mix. This is a prepared packaged mix intended to make black sesame dessert soup. They also have a peanut dessert soup mix. You just add hot water. Check out the bottom of this post for the recipe. The mini cheesecakes call for just one of the packages (not the whole box).

I can get this brand in most Asian markets. It's a company based in Hong Kong called Ettason. I think you can buy it at T&T supermarket in Vancouver. Not sure about the States.

Anonymous said...

Sorry am a bit slow...I can't seem to find the link at the bottom of the post for the recipe? Thank you so much for your help =)

Cakebrain said...

No, no...don't look for a link. Just look above you on the original post. I added an update that includes the recipe at the end.

Anonymous said...

Duh....I feel so stuuupid! Thank you, thank you, thank you so so much for the recipe. I can't wait to make the cheesecake! I am new to this blogging business and have to say it's really addictive. I absolutely LOVE yours, all the pictures especially of the beautiful cupcakes have inspired me to bake bake bake (not that I am a good one but you make it look/sound easy!). Anyway, off to make the yummy cheesecake!

lyndsay said...

YUM! i love black sesame!! so cute!


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