This is version 2.0 of my black sesame banana mini-muffins, and they're even better than before! While last time I mixed the black sesame powder in with the banana bread mix, this time I kept them separate and made a sweet black sesame paste to use as a filling for the muffins. This way, the two flavors were kept distinct and you got a great interplay between the muffin and filling flavors. Awesome! Next time I'll know I can put the filling in lower to center it better.
As for how to make it, you can just use your favorite banana bread recipe (I just used the one I found online from last time and made slight modifications) and make the black sesame paste, which is the same as for black sesame tang yuan. Since it's a pain to mix materials for just one mini-muffin pan, I made enough for a loaf of banana bread and just spooned out what was necessary for the muffins before pouring the rest into a loaf pan.
As for the paste, it's just equal parts black sesame powder, sugar, and oil (or butter, which I clearly did not do). I used 2 TBS each, which was about right for my 12 mini-muffins. Heat the oil on low-medium heat in a small skillet, add the black sesame and sugar and stir until it turns into a paste. Other recipes you can find online will ask for whole black sesame, in which case you have to toast and grind the seeds first. I just have the powder on hand. Whatever, it's more convenient. I used brown sugar, but may try powdered sugar next time to see what I think of the texture difference.
How do you get the filling inside?? A syringe. I'm just kidding. That's what I used to wonder and think, though. I don't remember where I read this, but the way I did it was first to lay down a little of the muffin (or cupcake if you're making cupcakes) batter in the mold, then using a small spoon, insert the tip into the batter you've put in and tilting the spoon near vertically, spin the spoon around and let the filling slide into place. Once the filling's in place, spoon some more batter on top of it. Do this for the rest of the molds in the pan and it's ready to bake. Cool technique.