The sound of some new foods intrigues and entices. Exciting combinations or new ingredients leap at you off a menu. The anticipation dances in your mind and flavour hits you before taste touches you tongue and fills your mouth with wonders unknown.
The sounds of other new foods don’t always have the same effect. The name doesn’t appeal, the colour looks bizarre and the known is far more appealing.
Sometimes I think it is lack of anticipation that allows new flavours to sing loudest. Allows the tastes to hit you unguarded and strongest. Allows the textures to intrigue and excite.
When I told my mother the ice cream I was in the process of making was black sesame she definitely fell into the second camp- I can’t say she was excited. But after one spoonful, then another and another and finally scrapping her bowl she can’t claim not to have at least been intrigued! I’m actually pretty sure she liked it!
I first tried black sesame ice cream at Sticks’n’Sushi. I was sharing a selection of little puds and the black sesame ice cream had to be rationed, left unguarded for even a second and it would have been devoured by which ever one of us was paying attention. It was just delicious.
The flavour is hard to put a finger on. It’s mellow and nutty. Not overly sweet and elevated by the sprinkling of salt. The sort of hard to place flavour that you have spoonful after spoonful of each more entrancing than the last.
Hard to put a finger on but definitely delicious. Definitely worth a try.
The recipe I have used comes from Sous Chef and a basic custard mixed with a toasted black sesame paste. It produces a wonderfully creamy ice cream which melts into pure heaven in the mouth.
Adapted from Sous Chef
4 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
375ml whole milk
125ml double cream
75g black sesame seeds
1tsp toasted sesame oil
0.5 – 1tsp sea salt flakes
- Make the custard: Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until very pale and fluffy. As these are whisking heat the milk until just below boiling point. Drizzle a little of the hot cream onto the moving egg/sugar mixture, once combined add a little more and so on until all the milk has been added. (You add the milk slowly to ‘temper’ the chocolate- too fast and you risk scrambling them)
- Pour this custard into a bowl and place over a pan of simmering water to heat up and thicken, stirring constantly to avoid over heating parts and scrambling the eggs. It is ready when it coats the back of a spoon (approximately 70-75°C)
- Pour the cream into a separate bowl, mix the cooked custard in and allow to cool, stirring regularly to stop a skin forming. When it is cool enough put a sheet to cling film on to the top of the custard, again to stop a skin forming and pop in the fridge until very cold (I leave it over night)
- Make the sesame paste: Whilst the custard is cooling make the sesame paste. Toast the seeds in a dry pan for 5 or so minutes to help release the oils, being careful not to burn them. Blitz the seeds into an oily powder (in my magimix they took 5mins) then add the oil and continue blitzing for a similar time until it becomes a pourable paste. Make sure it is cool before adding to the custard
- Mix the cooled custard and sesame paste together and churn in your ice cream machine according to manufactures instructions
- Enjoy straight away or pop in the freezer to firm up a little more.