When we used to go to Klondike Days (K-Days) in Edmonton every summer, we would visit the main exhibition with all the vendors and make it a point get these deli manjoo custard cakes.
Hot, piping custard in a soft, cake-like exterior… kinda similar to these Mini Matcha Custard Buns.
Suddenly, one year, they disappeared. I was sad to not get my annual fix of deli manjoo cakes.
Then, we discovered a similar cake… a Korean walnut-shaped cake… hodugwaja.
WHAT IS HODUGWAJA?
Hodugwaja is a walnut-shaped Korean confectionary, also known as: walnut cake, walnut pastry or walnut cookies.
It is a soft, baked cake/cookie-like mixture with a sweetened red bean paste filling.
To attain the walnut-shape, the hodugwaja are baked in a walnut-shaped mold/pan, which can be difficult to find.
MY INSPIRED VERSION
Since I don’t have the walnut-shaped mold/pan, I decided to create the recipe using a waffle maker, which is more readily accessible.
The waffles are soft, cake-like and flavoured with black sesame. It’s filled with a chestnut filling, but you can definitely use red bean paste or any other filling you’d like (except custard).
The chestnut filling is simple to make.
I used the vacuum-sealed packages of chestnut, which are already cooked and peeled, which makes it easy to prepare.
You can find the packages of chestnut in Asian and major grocery stores, by the dried fruit and nuts section.
- chestnuts, already roasted and peeled (100g)
- milk (you can use any type of milk)
- honey (or any sweetener you like)
- vanilla extract
HOW TO MAKE THE CHESTNUT FILLING
- Mash the chestnut until it’s crumbly, and add in milk
- Continue to mash until the it becomes paste-like
- Stir in honey and vanilla extract and set aside
If you prefer the filling to be more smooth, run it through a food processor.
BLACK SESAME WAFFLE
To mimic the soft, cake-like texture of hodugwaja, I primarily use cake flour in the waffle batter, with a touch of all-purpose flour for structure.
The remaining ingredients are what you would regularly find in a waffle batter, with the addition of sesame powder.
- cake/pastry flour: makes the texture of the waffle softer and more cake-like
- all-purpose flour: adds a little structure to the waffle
- large egg
- vegetable oil: any type will do, or you can use melted butter
- baking powder: adds lift and lightness to the waffles
- granulated sugar
- sea salt: fine sea salt is recommended
- black sesame powder: you can grind black sesame seeds in a coffee grinder to create your own black sesame powder, or you can use a thick black sesame paste
HOW TO MAKE THE CHESTNUT BLACK SESAME WAFFLES
Preheat your waffle maker to medium high heat.
To a large bowl, add the egg and oil. Beat until lightly frothy.
Pour in the milk, and vanilla extract.
Stir in the granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
Whisk in the cake flour, all-purpose flour and black sesame powder until combined.
Ladle in about 2 Tbsp of batter in each quadrant of the preheated waffle iron.
Add about 1 Tbsp of chestnut filling and cover with another 1-2 Tbsp of batter.
Close the waffle iron and cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove the waffles and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
Repeat with the remaining batter/filling.
A SWEET TREAT
These Chestnut Black Sesame Waffles are soft and cake-like, with a strong nutty flavour from both the sesame and chestnut filling. They’re lightly sweet, and would be great as a snack or breakfast.
If you’re looking for more waffle inspiration, be sure to check out these recipes:
Let me know if you try out my recipe — tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment below!
Hodugwaja-Inspired Chestnut Black Sesame Waffles
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 1 pkg (100g) chestnuts roasted and peeled
- 1 Tbsp milk of your choice
- 1 Tbsp honey or any other sweetener
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
Black Sesame Waffles
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 C milk or non-dairy alternative
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 C cake/pastry flour
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- ¼ C black sesame powder
Make the chestnut filling:
- Place the roasted chestnuts into a bowl.
- Using a fork, mash the chestnuts until crumbly, and add in milk.
- Continue to mash until it becomes paste-like.
- Stir in honey and vanilla extract and set aside.
Make the black sesame waffles:
- Preheat the waffle maker to medium high heat.
- To a large bowl, add in the egg and oil. Beat until lightly frothy.
- Pour in the milk and vanilla extract.
- Stir in the granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Whisk in the cake flour, all-purpose flour and black sesame powder until combined.
- Ladle in about 2 Tbsp of batter in each quadrant of the preheated waffle iron.
- Add about 1 Tbsp of chestnut filling and cover with another 1-2 Tbsp of batter.
- Close the waffle iron and cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove the waffles and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
- Repeat with the remaining batter/filling.