This is a recreation of a dessert a friend and I had at a café in Istanbul, where we ordered the "caramel tahini soufflé." The outside of the cake was set, but when we broke into it with our spoons, tahini filling spilled out. We took a bite. The tahini flavor hit us first—nutty and rich but tamed by a kick of salt. Then came the luxe sweetness of the caramel and, finally, that slightly bitter tahini aftertaste that kept us sticking our spoons back in for more. It was like a molten chocolate cake, but infinitely more interesting. And more addictive.
I knew I had to share this incredible dessert with the world. The beauty of the tahini-fied molten cake had to be replicated. And I was the woman to do it.
stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
eggs, separated into white and yolks, plus 4 additional egg yolks (6 eggs total)
Melt butter over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in tahini and salt. Cool 5 minutes, then whisk in egg whites.
In another bowl, beat egg yolks with an electric mixer for 3 minutes. Add in the sugar and beat for about 8 minutes, until thick, pale, and glossy.
Fold yolk mixture into cooled tahini mixture. Add flour and mix until combined.
Cover mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight.
To cook: Preheat oven to 375° F.
Grease 6 individual ramekins well with butter or, ideally, cooking spray. You can also use metal muffin tins, but they will bake much faster, so keep a close eye on them.
Divide batter evenly into ramekins. Bake 12 minutes, rotating halfway through, and then begin to check cakes frequently. They are done when they are slightly puffed and golden around the edges, but still have a little jiggle when shaken or touched. Take out of the oven and invert immediately onto a plate (you can invert onto a sheet pan if you are using muffin tins, then transfer). Garnish with confectioners' sugar and a sprinkle of sea salt.