By far the best (and possibly most expensive?) gelato place in Vancouver is Bella Gelateria. It was certainly a treat when we lived there but when we visit a couple times a year, we always try to go (as long as the line-up isn’t too long). On top of the amazing texture of the gelato, the flavours are unique and beyond delicious. Last time we went I finally had pandan, which is a leaf that is used in Southeast Asian cooking and has a completely unique flavour, I can’t really describe it. If I ever come across the leaves, I will definitely have to try out making it at home. In the meantime, my boyfriend got black sesame last time we were there and when I saw the black sesames in the store this week, I knew I had to give some ice cream a shot.
The reality is, I live with an ice cream addict. If there is no ice cream in our freezer, it’s a big problem and a quick trip to the corner store is in need. When I first got our ice cream maker, I thought I would replace all of the junky ice cream (I assume things are automatically junky when they have tons of ingredients you can’t pronounce on the side of the carton) with nice, homemade stuff, but I definitely haven’t been able to keep up with the demand. So, making ice cream at home is more about experimenting with different flavours, occasionally, then having it always in supply. Black sesame is definitely one of those flavours that I wanted to see if I could replicate at home.
(Is anyone else completely mesmerized when/if you watch ice cream being churned? I can literally stand there for the entire 25 minutes of churning and stare at it being pulled around and around.)
The first time we tasted black sesame ice cream was when we were in Japan. It has a nutty flavour to it but other than that, it’s hard to describe (other than saying it tastes like ‘sesame’, which I suppose is redundant?). This ice cream is creamy, sweet and full of sesame flavour and the colour is absolutely beautiful. If you’ve never tried it before, this would be a great recipe to try. I would guess that black sesame seeds are fairly common in the asian section of your grocery store or in an asian specialty grocery store. If you don’t feel like making the paste (it is really easy, however, if you have a food processor), you can look for that as well. I didn’t come across any, so I’ll be grinding my own black sesame for now- I have a feeling there will be other sesame treats like this in my future.
Base recipe from A Cozy Kitchen
Tip from the ice cream addict: garnish with sliced strawberries- yum!
In a small, dry pan roast sesame seeds over medium heat, until they start to pop (that the best way to tell if they are roasted since their already black and they don't release much scent).
Set aside to cool.
Once cool, grind in food processor until a paste begins to form. Add honey. Grind until the sesame seeds are in a paste-like consistency and hold together when the mixture is squeezed between your fingers.
In a small pot, heat up milk, sugar, sesame paste, and salt, stirring until sugar dissolves.
In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks until they start to turn light in colour.
Slowly add the warmed milk mixture to the eggs, whisking all the time (need to add a bit at a time so that the eggs don't curdle).
Once the milk is fully incorporated into the eggs, return the mixture to the pot and heat over medium heat, stirring, until thickened. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon and hold a line (see photo above).
Pour mixture into cold cream and add vanilla. Mix until combined.
Put in fridge to cool down for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. If you want to speed up the cooling process, you can place the bowl with the ice cream mixture into an ice bath and stir (it will still take a few hours to fully cool down though).
Make ice cream in ice cream machine, according to manufacturer's instructions.
Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for a couple of hours for it to completely firm up.
Garnish with sesame seeds.
Black Sesame Ice Cream Recipe was last modified: May 22, 2014 by
Hi, I bought a bottle of organic balck sesame seed paste. May I know how much paste should I add to the cream mixture? Thanks!
Can I replace milk and cream with coconut milk and coconut cream?
Hi I was wondering if I bought sesame seeds that are already roasted (package says black roasted sesame seeds) can I skip the step of roasting them in the pan before making the paste.
what is. a great pastry dessert that can be eaten with black sesame ice cream?
How many servings does this recipe make?
I have tried this recipe using the same amount of liquid ingredients in total, but instead used 2 cups of *whole* milk and 1 cup of cream – which is standard for an ice cream recipe. The thing would not expand into an iced cream. Any possible ideas as to why? The only thing that comes to me is that I used the whole milk – and since the seeds when ground into a paste exposes more of their fat, perhaps overall there was just too much fat in my version to make it crystallize, as opposed to your version which uses 1% which suggests more water content.
I’m so sorry Elly. That sounds extremely frustrating! I don’t really know why it wouldn’t work. I made this multiple time using the recipe as written, so maybe it was the fat content in the milk? Although, I can’t imagine why whole milk wouldn’t work as well!
I made black sesame ice cream using full fat milk and heavy cream. 2 cups of each. 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of sugar. 1/4 cup of ground toasted black sesame. Didn’t cook anything because I never do.
Was a big hit and I loved it.
I had some black sesame seed gelato in a Japanese restaurant this evening (Aki, in Honolulu, which I recommend.). The ice cream is delicious, but I haven’t been able to sleep at all! Hence, I am sitting here at 3:00 am looking at ice cream recipes! I wonder if black sesame seeds are a source of caffeine?
Thank you for the inspiration! I took your recipe and tweaked it a little bit to make this Game of Thrones ice cream 🙂 http://www.letseatcake.com/game-of-thrones-ice-cream-whitewalker/
Cool! Gotta love Game of Thrones.
Hi, can you please tell me how much a cup is? Cups are so confusing… And there is no standard equivalent.
1.5 cups is 350 ml. I hope that helps Helena.
Can this be made with white sesame seeds or does the flavour change too much? Thanks 🙂
Hi Lil, unfortunately, that would change the flavor completely!
I used 1/4 cup of black tahini instead of making the paste – I found on line and it worked pretty well.
I tried making this with a ice cream maker but it did not come out as I expected. After all the mixing, my ice cream never got as thick as I wanted. I thought maybe I was suppose to mix the whipping cream but it wasn’t specified. After it was cooled to room temp I put it in the ice cream maker to churn but it didn’t look like it did much to the ice cream so I just left it in the freezer. In the morning it was finally ice cream but it was not creamy as I expected. Also it was way too sweet for me. I’m not sure if it’s human error or ice cream maker malfunction. Any advice for me?
Hi Lola. It sounds like you only cooled the ice cream mixture to room temperature before putting it in the ice cream machine. You actually have a refrigerate it for 4+ hours to make sure the mixture it quite cold when it goes into the ice cream machine or it won’t freeze properly. You aren’t supposed to whip the whipping cream, just stir it in to the egg/milk mixture right before you refrigerate it (I will try to make that clearer in the instruction).
In terms of the sweetness level, I also don’t like things too sweet. I didn’t find the ice cream too sweet, but also, the trick with ice cream is changing the sugar levels will change the texture (not in a nice direction!).
I made this recipe, but I used my own base recipe. I found the black sesame paste made the ice cream base to thick and gluggy, but had a fantastic grey colour. So I made it a second time with a bit under half the black sesame paste and it turned out much better. (still nowhere nearly as creamy as my Yuzu Curd ice cream) Also the second time it didn’t have that strong grey colour unfortunately.
Julian…yuzu curd ice cream?! sounds amazing! Would you mind sharing the recipe?
I have had Black Sesame Ice Cream many, many times but somehow never thought of making some. Whole making some Sesame cookies scattered with Black and White Sesame seeds, it occured to me that I should try making ice Cream, and found eyour recipe. I have all the ingredients, now to make it! Looking forward to tasty treat, thank you.
Hi Munira, hope you enjoy! It’s one of my favourite ice cream flavours (:
Do you make whipped cream before then fold it in?
Making right now
Hi Alleb, sorry for the confusion. You don’t make whipped cream, you just use what is called here “Whipping Cream” which is just 35% fat cream.
But do you have to whip the cream or pour it as it is..?
You do not have to whip the cream
Thanks,but what if I dont use an ice cream machine? Would I not be better whipping it to stiff pick? Thanks again
I always have to buy something I’ve never bought before when I go to an Asian grocery. I have a beautiful Italian gelato machine and it’s been resting far too long! Thanks !!!
Hope you enjoy!
I can’t wait to try this! It’s gorgeous to look at too.
Thanks Anna! I hope you give it a shot.