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Black Sesame Ice Cream

After tasting the most popular Japanese ice creams on our family trip to Japan this summer, our favourite choice was Black Sesame Ice Cream.

One or two spoonfuls of this light yet creamy dark nectar has the same kind of addictive reaction that you’d get from eating a spoonful of slightly salted peanut butter. Yet it’s not peanuts, of course – but who would have thought that black sesame seeds made into ice cream could be this good?

Black Sesame Ice Cream

Melting for Black Sesame ice cream

Japanese Ice Cream

You’ll love the Japanese word for ice cream. It looks complicated at first glance but just say this out loud:
AISUKURÏMU.

I’m not the biggest ice cream fan but when it’s hot, I adore homemade ice cream during a heatwave like it was this summer in Japan – and now, mid September, it’s back to ice cream weather in Paris this week with 29°C/84°F temperatures!

Such a dark grey colour of ice cream perhaps doesn’t look that aesthetic, does it? Neither does my black sesame version look particularly like ice cream as it melted pretty quickly in this heat while I eventually found my camera (I knew something was missing!). Although, personally, this is how I prefer it – do you? In this heat, I’m not going to take more photos.  I ate it all and have no regrets.

Matcha ice cream

Matcha Do About Green Tea Ice Cream

What I didn’t realise when I took this photo, is that the black sesame ice cream hidden underneath would be our favourite. With all the hype on the Matcha flavours, I almost felt embarrassed to prefer the Black Sesame! For more about our ice cream experiences and the sweeter side of Japan, read about it in my sweet treat post, Teatime in Japan.

Black Sesame Ice Cream: Powder or Paste?

Straight after tasting the black sesame ice cream, we headed to the nearest store to find black sesame.  Antoine and the girls were so inspired and determined we had to make this at home!

So I got to it straight away on return to develop a recipe. Here I used a 70g (2.5oz) packet of pre-prepared powdered black sesame seeds (Surigoma Black by Hokuya) which we found in the Matsuya store in Tokyo’s Asakusu district, next to the Senso-ji temple and near the popular gelateria. It worked well, and was even lovelier when toasting the black sesame in a pan first (see recipe below).

Happily, on return to Paris I discovered the most divine, intense black sesame paste (which is pre-roasted) at Nishikidôri, which makes this recipe even easier, but if you can’t find it, the powder is just as good. I also experimented using a little honey, but it overpowered the black sesame.  The family have now unanimously tasted and approved the recipe below: not too rich and lighter with milk rather than just made with cream. To top it all, black sesame seeds are so healthy too!

Black sesame ice cream

Black Sesame Ice Cream

5 from 6 votes
Black sesame ice cream
Black Sesame Ice Cream
Prep Time
13 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Chilling/Freezing Time
3 hrs
Total Time
23 mins
 

A light but creamy popular Japanese ice cream that would particularly appeal to fans of peanut butter, due to its addictive, roasted, nutty intensity of flavours.

Course: Dessert, Snack, teatime
Cuisine: French, Japanese
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 224 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 75 g (3oz) Japanese black sesame paste (or whole black sesame seeds) available from Japanese speciality stores
  • 500 ml (18 fl oz) whole milk full-fat
  • 5 egg yolks organic
  • 110 g (4oz) sugar
  • 100 ml (3.5 fl oz) cream whipping cream
  • pinch salt Fleur de sel
Instructions
  1. Open Sesame (sorry, couldn't resist). 

  2. If using whole seeds, dry roast them in a non-stick frying pan for 4-5 minutes then grind in a coffee grinder (optional step but recommend doing this to bring out extra flavour). If possible, use pre-packaged black sesame paste found in Japanese speciality stores. 

  3. Gently heat the milk in a heavy-based saucepan (do not boil).  Meanwhile, in a large bowl with a lid, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until creamy. Add the black sesame powder and salt, whisking until smooth.

  4. Pour about half of the hot milk on to the black sesame mixture, whisking until combined then transfer back to the saucepan.  Whisk constantly to keep the mixture smooth and heat over a medium heat just until thickened then remove from the heat to avoid curdling the eggs.  At this point, the mixture should smoothly coat a spoon to show that it's ready.

  5. Add the cold cream, set aside to cool, then cover and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.

  6. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions, then freeze for at least an hour before serving.

Recipe Notes

I recommend using pre-prepared Japanese black sesame paste, as it's already roasted. However, if you can't find it from speciality Japanese stores, it's also great using whole seeds: used a 70g packet of black sesame, but if you prefer your ice cream darker and more intense, use 85g (3oz). N.B. At my local Japanese store in Paris, I learned that black tahini paste is much lighter than the Japanese black sesame paste, which has more intensity.

Serve the ice cream on its own or with lemon or yuzu macarons (if using my recipes from either book, replace fresh lemon juice with yuzu juice, available in specialist Asian stores).

 

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

Yuzu’ll Love this with Yuzu Macarons

Sorry for the Scottish joke (can never resist – at least it’s not seedy!). Needless to say, the ice cream is delicious served with lemon macarons – better still, make yuzu macarons!  Just follow either of the lemon macaron recipes in either Mad About Macarons or Teatime in Paris, and replace the fresh lemon juice with yuzu juice, available from Japanese specialist stores.

Have you made any of the recipes from le blog, my books, or just fancy making this Black Sesame Ice Cream?  Please leave a comment below or take a picture and hashtag it #MadAboutMacarons on Instagram or Facebook.  – and if you like my books, then I’ll be daring and ask if you would be kind enough to leave a review on Amazon. You’ve no idea how that would help boost Teatime in Paris (my favourite of the two), as it has been in the first book’s shadow (which is being reprinted again!) and your comment could help make it visible. Thanks so much – I love to see you enjoying the recipes!

Black sesame ice cream

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Guest Recipe: Crème Caramel (Purin)

This has been a LONG week. I’m such a party-pooper since cancelled my trip to Provence this weekend en famille for my mother-in-law’s (belle maman) 70th Birthday Party. Just the thought of the TGV train and car trips back and forward is trop – too much.  The back/sacrum has played up so much that, if I sit longer than 30 minutes a stretch, I turn into a chair – just like that!

Just like that – my good friend, Nami (Namiko), author of her blog, Just One Cookbook, came to the rescue with the most perfect and best crème caramel recipe I’ve ever seen. I should say Purin recipe, as Nami is Japanese and lives with her husband (who is her blog assistant – what a team!) and gorgeous children in San Francisco.

For those of you who know Nami, I’m sure you will agree:  she not only has an amazing blog with perfect Japanese recipes and stunning presentations, but she is also one of the most genuine and sincere people I know. When you receive a comment from Nami, you can’t help feeling the need to leap out the screen and hug her for offering such encouragement.

I’m sure many of you know what I mean.  Blogging is fun but it’s also time-consuming: often when you post something into the great empty void of the w-w-web, there is nothing that can beat an adorable comment to prove that someone has not only read it, but actually liked it!  It’s what keeps the essential motivation going.

The other motivation is seeing a recipe like this to lure us into the kitchen. So let me hand you over to Nami with her gorgeous Purin recipe.  It uses up 4 lovely egg yolks…

Nami, Just One Cookbook

Hello everyone!  I’m Nami from Just One Cookbook.  I was so thrilled and delighted when Jill asked me to be her guest blogger.  I am a big fan of Jill’s beautiful macarons and love visiting her website to see what new macaron recipe she’s come up with.  Personally I don’t bake or make desserts too often but I definitely have a sweet tooth and I am also a recovering chocoholic.

As part of the “using up your egg yolk” series, I want to share a recipe for Crème Caramel and as you might have guessed it does not require an oven.  In Japan we call it Purin (it came from Pudding) and it’s definitely one of the most popular desserts.  We can buy very good-quality Crème Caramel from neighborhood convenient stores or fancy pastry shops.  My husband really loves Purin and today I’m sharing the recipe my husband said it’s the best ever.

Thank you Jill for having me over.  Cheers!

Crème Caramel (Purin)

Difficulty: Easy

Cooking Time: <45 minutes (excluding chill time)

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

10 g gelatin

4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup)* water

Caramel Sauce

140 g (2/3 cup) granulated sugar

4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup) water

8 Tbsp. (1/2 cup) boiling water

4 egg yolks

80 g (1/3 cup) sugar

400 ml (3/4 cup) milk

8 Tbsp. (1/2 cup) heavy whipping cream

2 tsp. vanilla

* I also added measurement in US measuring cup in parentheses, but I highly recommend using a food scale to follow this recipe precisely.

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, combine gelatin and water and set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water.  Caramelize the mixture on medium heat.  Shake the pan once in a while but you don’t need to stir with spoon.  Patiently wait until it turns into a nice caramelized color.

3. When you see nice (dark) golden caramelized color, immediately pour ½ cup of boiling water because it will quickly get darker and darker (resulting in bitter taste).  Make sure to wear a kitchen mitten so you won’t get burnt from the hot liquid splashing.  Remove from heat.

4. Quickly soak the ramekins under warm water so sugar doesn’t solidify right away.  Pour the caramel sauce in the ramekins.

5. In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar and whisk until it becomes creamy and smooth (That’s my husband mixing it up.  I asked my husband to be my assistant while I took pictures).

6. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, bring half of milk (200 ml) to a boil.  Remove from heat right before it starts to boil.

7. Slowly stir in a few drops of the hot milk at a time into the egg mixture and mix together.  Do not pour milk at once as the hot milk could cook the egg mixture and make it lumpy.  Whisk all together.

8. Pour the mixture back into the small saucepan.  Heat the mixture on low heat and whisk until it’s completely blended.

9. Once it gets warm again, add the gelatin and mix.  Make sure it melts completely. When the gelatin is completely mixed in, remove from the heat.

10. Pour the mixture over the sieve into the clean bowl.

11. Prepare iced water in a larger bowl and place the mixture bowl inside.

12. Add the rest of the milk (200 ml), heavy whipping cream, and vanilla.  Mix all together well.

13. Pour the mixture into the ramekins, and chill in the fridge for more than 1 hour.

14. After chilled, insert knife around the Crème Caramel and flip the ramekin on to the serving plate.  If it doesn’t come down, hold the ramekin like this (below) and shake once vigorously.  You should hear the Crème Caramel drop on the plate.

Enjoy!

My husband and my kids like lighter caramel sauce but I personally like dark and bitter caramel sauce like this…

 

Nami’s Crème Caramel (Purin)

When you caramelize, make sure not to make it really dark, because it will be too bitter.

Don’t you just love it? You can imagine what her savoury dishes are like if she doesn’t make desserts that often, my goodness. Nami is also a self confessed “recovering chocoholic”? Well, after Nami’s beautiful dessert I think I’ll have to admit that I’m not just a macaronivore but also a crème-carameloholic.  Thank you so much for sharing it with us and these beautiful photos.  Don’t forget to pop over to Nami’s blog, Just One Cookbook, and say cheers from me!  This week she has been making the most outstanding Japanese fish recipes.