Along with green tea, red bean, and ginger flavored ice creams, black sesame ice cream is yet another popular flavor of ice cream in Japanese cuisine. While these flavors may seem untraditional per Western culture, they are quite mainstream in Japanese cuisine.
Sesame seeds have a long history in Japanese cuisine and is especially popular as an ingredient in salad dressings and sauces. The entrance of sesame seeds, particularly black sesame, is not surprising as a dessert ingredient.
Nuri goma, or black sesame paste, is a sweetened paste made of black sesame and honey. It can be used similarly to jam, and tastes great when spread on a slice of plain toast. Nuri goma can also be incorporated into various baked goods, desserts, or foods to add earthy, nutty and roasted flavors of sesame to any dish. It is readily available for purchase at Japanese grocery stores, but it can also be made at home. A recipe for black sesame paste is available here.
The recipe for this ice cream is based upon a basic vanilla ice cream that uses cream, milk, sugar and vanilla extract with the addition of ground roasted black sesame seeds. The addition of the ground black sesame seeds to the vanilla ice cream will make this appear almost like a Cookies and Cream or Chocolate Chip flavored ice cream. The optional addition of nuri goma will not only enhance the nutty and roasted sesame flavors to the ice cream, but it will also change the color of the black sesame ice cream to a light grey color.
Note, if you choose to add more nuri goma (black sesame paste) than what is listed in the recipe below to enhance the dark color of the ice cream or add more sesame flavor, the added sugar, or in the case of the paste, honey, will tend to soften the ice cream. Additionally, if you increase the amount of ground sesame seeds in the recipe below, the texture will become grittier.
Some ice cream recipes are made with the addition of egg yolks which makes them frozen custard, not traditional ice cream which is made of cream and does not include the use of egg yolks. This black sesame ice cream is a traditional ice cream recipe, not frozen custard.
Special Equipment: This recipe requires the use of an ice cream maker.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoons vanilla extract (pure)
- 2 tablespoon black sesame paste (nuri goma)
- 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds (kurogoma, roasted and finely ground)
- Garnish: Black sesame seeds
- In a large bowl, mix whole milk and sugar using a hand blender until the sugar is dissolved (about 2 -3 minutes).
- Next, add heavy cream, vanilla extract, black sesame paste (nuri goma) and roasted and finely groung black sesame seeds. Mix for 1 to 2 minutes until fully incorporated. Pour the mixture into the bowl of your ice cream maker and let it whirl for about 25 or per your ice cream maker’s instructions.
- Transfer the ice cream, which will be slightly soft, to a freezer safe sealable container and free for approximately two hours until the ice cream is firm.