Black sesame ice cream









Black ice cream for Halloween! Schwarzes Eis zu Halloween (dt. Rezept unten)!

Last summer I had the most marvellous inky-black sesame ice cream and got hooked: delicately nutty, creamy & sweet with a hint of vanilla pudding (I am guessing cornstarch played a role). Roasted black sesame seeds give this ice a wonderful toasted aroma and deep nutty flavour while the egg custard base provides the creaminess. I used quite a lot of sesame for a concentrated taste and a darker colour, admittedly boosted by a few drops of black food colouring for Halloween.

Easy to go from here into complete scary or creepy-crawly mode and decorate your Halloween heart out. Or just hint with a simple pool of blood aka raspberry sauce & the odd severed finger sticking out at recently committed crimes. For every other day, I recommend restraint in presentation for an elegant minimalist black & white theme.

This Asian-Italian hybrid is not claiming to be the authentic Japanese Kuro goma aisu – I have not emerged myself into exploring the ultimate secrets of the Japanese cuisine – but a little bit experimenting with ingredients from both worlds resulted in a really delicious ice cream. The trick to get a really intense sesame note and keep a smooth consistency without the ice turning too gritty is to use a finely milled (instant) black sesame paste from the Asian grocery store which also accounts for the flowery vanilla pudding hint. Additional ground sesame seeds contribute a little bite and interesting texture.


Black sesame ice cream

Other ice cream recipes here so far (& definetely more to come): Pedro Ximénez Sherry raisin ice cream, Lemon verbena sorbet & the best salted caramel sauce to go with any ice cream – home made or bought.



Black sesame ice cream

Makes about 700ml (1½ US pint or 1.3 Imperial pints)

400ml (1 2/3 cups) milk
3 egg yolks
100g (1/2 cup) sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250ml (1 cup) cream
5 tablespoons black sesame seeds, ground (in a pestle & mortar or a give it a few pulses in a coffee grinder or kitchen machine)
2 x 50g (1.7 oz) sachets of instant sesame paste or powder (substitute by additional finely milled black sesame seeds & sweetener of your choice)
optional for Halloween: ¼ teaspoon black food colouring paste, mine was Wilton

Make the custard: bring the milk to a simmer, take off the heat and let it cool slightly. Whisk egg yolks together with the sugar, add a pinch of salt, vanilla extract and add a ladle of the warm milk, whisking, then adding another two ladles while still whisking. Return the mixture to the warm milk and stir continuously with a wooden spoon over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until the custard has slightly thickened and coats the back of your spoon. Make sure not to curdle the eggs. As a quick means of rescue keep a bowl with ice water next to the stove, ready to plunge the bottom of the pan into when curdling seems likely. Whisk vigorously and if you discover any little bits, strain the mixture and continue.

Add the cold cream, sesame paste & ground sesame (and the food colour) for a really black ice cream (Halloween!). Chill the mixture in the fridge to cool completely before freezing it in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturers instructions. Fill immediately into a resealable container, cover the surface with clingfilm (plastic wrap) to prevent the formation of ice crystals there and freeze. Take about 5 minutes before serving out of the freezer to soften.



Black sesame ice cream

Schwarzes Sesameis

Ergibt ca. 700ml.


400ml Milch
3 Eigelb
100g Zucker
1 Prise Salz
1 TL Vanilleextrakt
250ml Sahne
5 EL schwarze Sesamsamen, gemahlen (entweder mit dem Mörser, der Kaffeemühle oder Küchenmaschine)
2 Päckchen (50g) schwarze Sesampaste (Instantpulver oder bereits angerührte; gerne auch durch sehr fein gemahlenen Sesam & etwas mehr Zucker oder Sirup ersetzen)
(optional für Halloween: ¼ TL schwarze Lebensmittelfarbe, ich habe die schwarze Paste von Wilton benutzt)

Für die Eiercreme die Milch erhitzen, aber nicht zum Kochen bringen, anschließend von der Flamme nehmen und etwas abkühlen lassen. Eigelb und Zucker verquirlen, Salz, Vanilleextrakt und eine Schöpfkelle der warmen Milch hinzugeben, mit dem Schneebesen vermischen und zwei weitere Kellen Milch unterrühren. Die Mischung in den Topf mit der restlichen warmen Milch geben und über mittlerer bis kleiner Flamme unter ständigem Rühren mit einem Holzlöffel zu einer leicht dicklichen Eiercreme köcheln lassen, die den Rücken des Holzlöffels bedeckt. Nicht zu heiß werden lassen, das Eigelb kann leicht stocken. Als Absicherung kann man eine Schüssel mit Eiswasser neben dem Herd bereithalten um sofort den Topfboden bei den ersten Anzeichen eintauchen zu können. Kräftig mit dem Schneebesen die Mischung schlagen und anschließend die Creme durch ein Sieb passieren um kleine Klümpchen aufzufangen.

Anschließend die kalte Sahne, Sesampaste & gemahlene Sesamkörner (und Lebensmittelfarbe) unterheben und die Creme im Kühlschrank vollständig erkalten lassen bevor sie in der Eismaschine nach Herstelleranweisung zu Eiscreme verarbeitet wird. Sofort in einen verschließbaren Container füllen, die Oberfläche mit einem Stück Frischhaltefolie abdecken (damit sich dort keine Kristalle bilden können) und im Gefrierschrank hart gefrieren lassen. Ca. 5 Minuten vor dem Servieren aus dem Gefrierfach nehmen und weicher werden lassen.





8 thoughts on “Black sesame ice cream

  1. Nicole, I have never seen an ice cream like this. I’m curious, usually I use black sesame seeds in honey or when I make my bread but I would love to try this one. Have a wonderful week, xx

    • It is quite a revelation. I was puzzled as well since sesame is used in so many sweets in the Mediterranean & Levante that there is no sesame ice cream at every street corner. Black sesame is one of the three most revered flavours in Japan; Matcha, of course & red bean being the others. Sesame in honey sounds nice – do you eat them just mixed & with yoghurt or how is it prepared? Have a great start into the week, too. N xx

      • Hi Linda, I think the sesame-hones spread sounds wonderful for breakfast on bread or on porridge. Thanks for the link, I’ll give the Khobz Tajine a go this weekend for sure! I am a big fan of flat breads with Nigella seeds, there is a Middle Eastern bakery here who makes excellent ones in a wood fired oven and you’ll have to get them while searing hot otherwise they are gone quickly. Even better to bake them in a clay pot (great excuse to get one!). Seed breads are common here in Germany, too: most times a mixture of various seeds but also sunflower & pumpkin seed breads.

        Just to clarify: the ice cream is made from black sesame seeds (best to find at Asian grocery stores) and not Nigella seeds.

        Have a fine week with only nice things to happen. N xx

    • Thank you Amanda, that’s so nice. If this does not make you rectify that grave mistake, what can? But you are forgiven, precious space in NYC and ample opportunities to taste the world. Sigh.

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