If you love peanut butter ripple ice cream, you’ll love the nutty and complex flavor of this Black Sesame Ice Cream. I layered creamy vanilla ice cream with a ripple of exotic black sesame paste.
Looks like I’m still on my sesame streak. I told you it started with my Tahini Shortbread Cookies and then the streak took on a life of it’s own. A rediscovered jar of black sesame paste not only led to this Black Sesame Ripple Ice Cream recipe, but also a new recipe for Black Sesame Seed Brittle.
It’s been fun experimenting with sesame seeds and pastes. But, after this post, I think I’m ready to move on to other flavors for a while.
As always seems to happen with me, the recipes that I think are going to be a slam dunk and come out exactly as I imagined on the first try, are the recipes that need a couple of tries before I’m happy with the results.
As I mentioned, I found a jar of black sesame paste that I bought quite a while ago on a trip to my favorite Asian grocery in Philadelphia. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do with the black sesame paste when I bought it. I think in the back of my mind I remembered seeing Japanese dessert recipes using black sesame and that’s why I picked up a jar.
I’ve heard that Black Sesame Ice Cream is a popular dessert in Japan. Since I’ve never been to Japan I only know this to be true cause I read it on the internet. If I read it on the internet, it has to be true, right?
Anyway, all the recipes I saw seemed fairly straight forward; take a basic ice cream recipe, add black sesame paste and freeze. So that’s what I did. I assumed I’d make the ice cream, take a few photos, and I’d be done. Well, you know why they say to “never assume”…
The first time I made this recipe I just replaced some of the cream in the recipe with black sesame paste. Right away I could see that it wasn’t going to be the most appetizing color.
After I ran the ice cream in the machine I still thought the color wasn’t great. But I could live with a less than beautiful color if the texture and flavor of the ice cream were really good. The following is a photo I took of the first batch of ice cream.
Not only was the color kind of iffy, I wasn’t happy with the texture of the ice cream or, really, the flavor. I found that the sesame paste gave the ice cream a slightly pasty texture. Although I liked the nutty flavor of the black sesame in the ice cream, it was a little one-dimensional.
With the peanutty taste in mind I thought about making a “ripple” of sweetened black sesame paste running through vanilla ice cream. You know, like a peanut butter ripple ice cream, but with black sesame paste instead of peanut butter.
So I made a basic vanilla ice cream, and while it was running in the ice cream maker I set out to make a sweet black sesame paste for the ripple.
I planned to stir some powdered sugar into the paste for a smooth texture, but when I opened the pantry and saw the bag of brown sugar I knew those flavors would work well together. I use brown sugar in my peanut butter cookies because brown sugar and peanut butter are yummm.
I added brown sugar to the black sesame paste until I got a sweetness level that I liked. It turned out that equal portions of brown sugar and black sesame paste were perfect.
As soon as the ice cream was finished churning I layered it into a container with the black sesame paste and put it in the freezer overnight.
As you scoop the ice cream you’ll get “ripples” of sweet black sesame paste in the vanilla ice cream. The paste is a little crunchy. But, honestly, I like the texture contrast with the smooth ice cream and I love the flavor contrast between the sweet, nutty paste and the creamy vanilla ice cream.
In fact, I think that separating out the black sesame from the ice cream emphasized the flavor of the paste even better than flavoring the ice cream itself with the black sesame paste.
So if you’re looking for an exotic dessert, give Black Sesame Ripple Ice Cream a try and let me know what you think. Oh, and definitely serve a shard of Black Sesame Seed Brittle as a garnish.
- 1 1/2 cups (12 oz, 360 ml) whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups (12 oz, 360 ml) heavy cream
- 1 cup (8oz, 224g) granulated sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (4 oz, 112g) black sesame paste
- 1/2 cup (4 oz, 112g) brown sugar
- Combine the milk, cream, 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Heat the milk mixture over medium high heat until scalding hot.
- While the milk heats up, whisk together the yolks, remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, salt and vanilla in a small bowl.
- Once the milk mixture is scalding hot, pour it into the bowl with the yolks and whisk to combine
- Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and heat over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Cook the custard until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spatula or wooden spoon. Do not allow it to come to a boil. Remove from the heat and strain into a bowl. Cover the bowl and chill until very cold. At least 4-5 hours or over night.
- Freeze according to the directions for your ice cream machine. While the custard is churning, combine the black sesame paste and the brown sugar in a small bowl. It will look like wet sand.
- When the ice cream is ready, scoop 1/4 of it into a quart container and smooth to an even layer. Take 1/3 of the black sesame mixture and sprinkle it over the layer of ice cream. Continue layering the ice cream and sesame paste, ending with a layer of ice cream. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream, cover tightly and freeze until firm.
You might also like: