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Black Sesame Microwave Sponge Cake and Miso

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Did you know that you can make the fluffiest sponge cake in just 40 seconds in your microwave? Thanks to molecular gastronomy chef Ferran Adria, whose imagination and creativity has revolutionized high end cuisine in the past decade, you can now easily make an incredible sponge cake using your microwave, an iSi Whip and a paper cup.

The secret of the el Bulli 40 second microwave sponge cake is to make an airy foam batter based on eggs using an iSi Whip and then cook it in a paper cup in a microwave. Unlike traditional cake batters, this one is mostly eggs with some sugar, the flavorful ingredient and just a little flour.
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Sesame Microwave Sponge Cake -2

Thanks to the light foam and the air trapped inside it, the resulting sponge cake has incredibly large air pockets which make it extra fluffy. The microwave sponge cake is also very moist, thanks to the high percentage of water provided by the eggs in the mixture .

You can make different sponge cakes using this modernist cuisine technique. From basic chocolate, to savory versions such as tomato or this famous creation from Ferran Adria served at el Bulli which is made from black sesame and garnished with miso paste and sesame salt. We plated it on the Alma 8 5/8" Contoured Plate from the Montgatina collection. If you are interested in this incredible collection go here. Below you can watch a video of this recipe.

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Ingredients (10 servings)

Toasted Black Sesame Praline

- 115g  (3.9 oz) black sesame seeds

- 25g (0.9 oz) toasted sesame oil

Black Sesame Sponge Cake Base

- 120g (4.2 oz) toasted black sesame praline

- 4 large egg whites

- 3 large egg yolks

- 80g  (2.8 oz) sugar

- 20g  (0.7 oz) wheat flour

Toasted Black Sesame Salt

- 20g (0.7 oz) black sesame

- 2g salt

Other Ingredients

- 20g (0.7 oz) white miso paste


- iSi Whip Siphon 1 quart

- 4 N2O charges

- 10 paper cups


Toasted Black Sesame Praline

1- Toast black sesame in a pan at medium heat.

2- While still hot, mix the black sesame seeds with the toasted sesame oil in a mortar and crush it thoroughly using a pestle until you obtain a fine paste.

3- Pass paste through a sieve and reserve.

Black Sesame Sponge Cake Base

1- Mix the praline you prepared previously with the egg whites, egg yolks, sugar and flour until you obtain a smooth dough.

2- Pass through the iSi funnel and sieve and pour into a 1L iSi Whip.

3- Charge the 1L iSi Whip with 4 N2O charges and shake each time.

4- Let it rest in the fridge for at least 2 to 4 hours.

Sesame Microwave Sponge Cake -sieve

Toasted Black Sesame Salt

1- Toast black sesame in a pan at medium heat.

2- Mix toasted black sesame with salt and make a fine powder using a spice grinder.

Baking the Sponge Cake in a Microwave

1- Prepare the paper cups by cutting 3 small slits on the base of the cups using scissors. This will allow the vapor generated while heating to escape.

Sesame Microwave Sponge Cake -cup-slits

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2- Spray the cups with a light coat of non-stick spray to make it easier to release the delicate sponge cake once cooked.

3- Using the iSi Whip siphon, fill about 1/3 of the paper cup with the black sesame foam. Foam will expand significantly when cooked so don’t fill the cup!


4- Place the filled cup in the microwave and cook for 40 seconds at maximum power. You can cook 2 or 3 sponge cakes at a time.

Sesame Microwave Sponge Cake -cup

5- Remove from microwave and let it cool at room temperature.

6- With the help of a small spatula, carefully release the sponge cake from the paper cup. Flip the cup and tap the top to release the sponge cake.


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1- Split the sponge cake in half using your hands and place on serving plate.

2- One one half, place a small dot of white miso paste.

3- On the other half, sprinkle some toasted sesame salt.

4- Suggest the diner to eat the miso side first.

  • mike

    hate to nit-pick but it was albert adria who came up with this technique.

  • Julia

    Can you do it with another ingrediënt in stead of sesame? Something like chocolate or other sweet things?

    • QuantumChef

      Yes you can! We’ll publish a chocolate version soon.

  • Trey Totman

    can you use ap flour with this reciepe

    • QuantumChef

      Haven’t tried. But it may have similar results since the quantity is small.

    • PhillyWill

      AP Flour works perfectly – it’s made from wheat after all. Also, the quantities shown here are for a half batch of the batter so you can use a .5 liter whip and 2 charges.

  • Marcelo Wrobel

    Can I make it without sugar?

    • QuantumChef

      Not without changing other things in this recipe. You’ll have to experiment to get it right.

  • PastrychefB

    can you store this cake in an airtight container for a day or two?

    • QuantumChef


  • Jack

    Thanks for posting this recipe. What is the purpose of the resting time and does the batter have to stay in the iSi while it’s resting or can I store it elsewhere? I’m planning to do multiple batches and am hoping to circumvent the 2-4 hour rest period

    • QuantumChef

      Having the mixture cold makes the foam more stable. The best way to refill is to always keep the prepared foam/batter/ingredient chilled and rested before filling.

      • Jack

        That will help a lot. Thanks!

  • A. DeLisle

    Can I do this recipe without the microwave? Could I use a convection oven or a standard Propane oven?

    • QuantumChef

      The recipe is designed for a microwave so unfortunately I don’t think it will work with an oven.

  • Adam Mathlin

    what the possiblity of a caramel version of this sponge? Do you think swapping out the sugar for a caramel powder would work? Thanks

    • QuantumChef

      You may have to experiment and adjust quantities as necessary.

  • Gp Tracey

    I found that the mixture kept clogging the Isi but it still worked by turning it bottom down, releasing the gas, shaking again and then pouring the mixture into cups. Very microwave dependent, I can only do one at a time or they don’t rise as much and become stodgy. Playing with the recipe I found substituting lemon curd for the praline and adding 10g more flour made a good dessert version.

    • QuantumChef

      Shouldn’t be clogging the whipper. Did you pass the mixture through a fine sieve before filling it?

  • personalchefdc

    I have a better technique for this cake. Instead of using a mortar after you toast your sesame just put it in a small blender (magic bullet) with some of the cake mix and blend it full speed. This way you won’t waste any of the sesame praline and and it’s a lot easier but make the sponge cake mix first !!!!

    • QuantumChef

      Thanks for the tip!

  • Michael Pedersen

    Will it be a problem if i extend the time in the fridge, to 8 hours ?

    • QuantumChef

      No problem at all. You can keep it in the fridge for a few days.

      • Michael Pedersen

        Thanks for the fast reply. Will be a part of my new year dessert then :)

  • Lily

    would an iSi cream profi whip work?

    • QuantumChef


  • PersonalChefCS

    Just a point of clarification regarding the number of chargers for the
    one(1) Liter iSi whipper. The instructions direct Four (4) chargers
    while iSi advises the working limit of the one (1) liter whipper as being 2
    chargers. Would you confirm pls.

    • QuantumChef

      The recipe is correct based on the original. We don’t know about the isi limit but we’ll check with them.

  • Aaron B

    is the isi whip necessary? I’d like to make this for a larger group that just 10 but don’t have access to multiple whippers

    • QuantumChef

      Yes, it is.