Black Sesame Ice Cream

The nutty toasty Japanese ice cream is perfect to accompany with some other sweets like I did with some green tea biscuits. The Black in “Black Sesame Ice Cream” refers to the main ingredient “black sesame paste” rather than the colour of the ice cream itself. To make the pictures of Black Sesame Ice Cream Insta-worthy, or to make the dessert in restaurant look super-stunning, the makers add some form of black colouring to the ice cream. If you don’t use additional colouring, like me, you get a greyish looking ice cream, but with a fantastic taste.

Makes: 3/4 litre | Preparation: 20 min | Cooling and Freezing time: depending on your ice cream machine

Who connected us?!  Once a month we get together for our “cooking club” and usually we pick a theme. This time we challenged each other to cook Chinese and I was in charge of dessert. I choose to make 2 Ice Cream variations, Green Tea and Black Sesame. Yes, I missed the challenge by almost 2,000 miles as both Ice Cream variations have their origin in Japan.


  • 3 tbsp Black Sesame Paste
  • 3 Large Egg Yolks
  • 400 ml Full Cream Milk
  • 200 ml Pouring Cream
  • 70 g Caster Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Toasted Sesame Seed, black or white
  • 1 tbsp Toasted and grounded Sesame Seed, black or white
  • Pinch of Salt

Preparation of the custard base

  1. Prepare all your ingredients first. Because you work fairly quickly with making the ice cream base you do not have time in between to get your ingredients. Toast and grind your sesame seeds, split your eggs and weight all your ingredients.
  2. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale.
  3. Add the sesame paste, the grounded sesame seeds, vanilla extract and honey, whisk to combine.
  4. In a heavy based sauce pan, warm up the milk until almost boiling.
  5. Slowly poor the hot milk into the bowl while continuously whisking. This is preferably a job you get an extra pair of hands involved. Don’t stop whisking, otherwise you might get lumps.
  6. Pour the mixture back into the sauce pan over a medium heat. Start whisking while the mixture warms up and PLEASE do not stop whisking or you might get scrambled eggs. Basically you want to reach a temperature between 75ºC/167ºF – 80ºC/176ºF. Stir until the custard thickens. Don’t exceed 83ºC/181ºF since egg yolk will get cooked. That is why you whisk hard to keep the temperature steady.
  7. You can test if the custard base is ready by putting in a wooden spoon. When the back of the spoon is coated, your base is ready.
  8. Poor the ice cream base back in the bowl and let it cool down. You can put the bowl in cold water with ice cubes to speed-up the process.

Making the Ice Cream

  1. Once the Ice Cream base is fully cooled down, you continue with the last few steps of your ice cream making process.
  2. Whip the cream in a mixer with a pinch of salt, until soft peaks start to form.
  3. Add the whipped cream to the ice cream base and gently fold it together. Do not over stir because you want the air from the whipped cream to lighten your ice cream.
  4. Leave the mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours to completely cool down. This ensures a better consistency for your ice cream.
  5. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturers instructions.
  6. Once finished, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container, put some plastic foil on top of the ice cream, close the lid and put in your freezer for a couple of hours.
  7. If you do not use an ice cream machine, put the mixture in a container, in the freezer and stir every couple of hours to brake up the ice crystals.


  • Salmonella; To avoid salmonella, the eggs must be cooked for at least 1 minute over 75ºC/167ºF.
  • Scrambled eggs ; To avoid getting scrambled eggs instead of a custard, don’t exceed a temperature of 83ºC/181ºF. To keep the temperature under 83ºC/181ºF, turn the heat to low-medium and whisk vigorously.
  • Neri Goma; Black Sesame Paste is a paste that is made from toasted black sesame seeds. It has a deeper flavour than the black sesame past that they use in the middle eastern cuisine.
  • Pouring cream or thickened cream; in some countries they sell thickened cream or double cream. You can use double or thickened cream, but whipping your own pouring cream gives you the best result.
  • What does Black Sesame Ice Cream taste like? It is a Sweet and Nutty flavour. Personally I think it is best if you use it as part of a dessert. It combines well with stone fruit like nectarines and peaches, or make a little green tea cake to accompany a scoop of your fresh creation.

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