Black sesame seed ice cream

December 20, 2009 · 7 comments

in recipes

Trust me with this one. I know it sounds weird, right? As a typical East Coast girl, black sesame seed was never a flavor I came across anywhere, nevertheless in ice cream. But one day, I stumbled on Ice Cream Ireland and got the idea to try it out for myself.

I must have been craving something new and different, or maybe I just wanted an excuse to linger in Whole Food’s Asian food aisle. Or maybe I bought the black sesame seeds first?

The truth is, I don’t remember. I made this waaaay back when my ice cream machine was new and exciting. And, I don’t even remember when that was. Let’s say March, for fun.

And here you are, nine months later, finally hearing about my wonderful experience with this ice cream.

And I do sincerely apologize for the delay!

As far as ice cream-making goes, I wouldn’t say that this recipe is any more difficult than most.

The ingredients (via Ice Cream Ireland) are basic:
125g sugar
5 egg yolks
230 ml cream
200 ml milk
40 g black sesame seeds

The most important step is toasting the sesame seeds to really release their fragrance and flavor. I didn’t have a food processor at the time so I ran the little seeds through my trusty Magic Bullet. It didn’t really grind them into the fine consistency as intended, but it broke them up enough so that the final dish was pretty smooth.

As with most dishes, I reduced the sugar a bit. I’m always worried about sweet dishes ending up too cloying. But, however much sugar you decide on, beat it together with the egg yolks. I strayed from the original directions by whisking in the milk and putting that mixture over a double boiler. I’m too paranoid about scrambling the eggs, but use your favorite ice cream base method.

In the meantime, whip the cream to fold into the cooled custard base (which, if you’re using a double boiler, is slowly cooking until it has thickened). After carefully folding in the whipped cream, so as not to deflate all of that nice volume, gently stir in the sesame seeds. My custard took on a warm, beige shade after this step.

Next, the toughest part about making ice cream. Put the base in the fridge and wait…overnight is best. The base must be chilled before going into your ice cream machine! But it is well worth it. After that, follow your specific ice cream machine’s instructions to achieve cold, creamy goodness.

Okay…so after all of this effort, what does it actually taste like? The first word that came to mind was simply, “interesting.” I know, it’s really vague, but it’s a flavor that’s hard to describe. It straddles along the lines of savory and sweet, but meshes so well with the rich creamy base, and it has a nutty sort of fragrance that just floats on your tongue. (If you don’t toast the seeds, you will definitely miss out on that part)

You won’t be able to explain why, but it’s soooo good! You’ll want to keep eating it, I swear. It’s so new and different, but comforting at the same time. I can’t wait to get back to DC in the Spring. I’ll break out my ice cream maker and enjoy this recipe all over again.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amanda December 21, 2009 at 11:37 am

You are SOOOOO good at pictures!! Your blog is a feast for the eyes!



2 clumbsycookie December 28, 2009 at 5:40 am

Suddently I started craving this! I can imagining black sesame to be a wonderful ice cream flavour!


3 Carolyn Jung December 31, 2009 at 12:14 am

I bet this is awesome! There’s a dim sum restaurant near me that makes these exquisite green tea fried dumplings filled with black sesame paste. The color is striking and the taste pure sublime.


4 ivorypomegranate January 1, 2010 at 10:47 am

Green tea fried dumplings!? That sounds absolutely amazing, dim sum is definitely my guilty pleasure.


5 BitterSweet January 3, 2010 at 9:47 am

Oh I do so love black sesame- It’s a shame so few people think to make desserts with it! Those ice cream photos are positively drool-worthy.

Hope you have a very Happy New Year!


6 Michael @ January 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I’ve just learned recently that you can buy black sesame paste, slightly sweetened, in Japanese groceries. Absolutely delicious. Of course grinding your own will be more cost effective if you have a tool that will get them smooth enough. In any case, the ice cream sounds amazing.


7 peasepudding January 13, 2010 at 3:30 am

It looks great, I have only tried sesame ice cream once when in Singapore and it was divine. Thanks for the recipe


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