Black sesame ice cream is a Japanese dessert in a strikingly stunning hue. Despite being made from coconut milk (and hence vegan), it has the texture of soft serve ice cream but with a beguilingly different taste.
Black sesame ice cream is something you sorta have to experience to understand. It boasts an intense and satisfying creaminess and a lovely earthiness from the black sesame seeds that may not appeal to the mint chocolate chip crowd but definitely appeals to us. And despite being vegan and dairy-free (it’s made with coconut milk) it’s still exceptionally creamy. Tasting is believing.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Black Sesame Ice Cream Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 40 M
- 4 H
- Makes about 1 quart
- 6 tablespoons black sesame seeds (53 g)
- 1/3 cup light agave syrup (80 ml)
- Two 13 1/2-ounce (400-ml) cans full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup unrefined sugar or coconut palm sugar (99 g)
- Pinch sea salt
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch (21 g)
- 1. Put the black sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat and wait until they begin to pop and release their aroma, 4 to 6 minutes. Use your judgement on the fine line between toasting and burning. The moment they are toasted, dump them from the skillet onto a plate and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
- 2. Blitz the cooled black sesame seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor until finely ground, then place them in a bowl and combine them with the agave syrup to form a paste.
- 3. Heat 1 can coconut milk, the sugar, and the salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 10 minutes.
- 4. In a bowl, slowly whisk the remaining can of coconut milk into the cornstarch until there are no lumps. Add this mixture to the saucepan. Whisk to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 4 to 6 minutes, until the mixture becomes thick. Use a spatula to frequently stir the mixture so the mixture doesn’t scorch or become lumpy. When the mixture has thickened, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
- 5. Stir the sesame seed paste into the coconut milk mixture until well combined. If you have parchment paper, place a piece directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming and let cool completely to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled, 2 to 3 hours. (You can speed this process up by placing the bowl in a large bowl filled halfway with ice water or, for a set-it-and-forget-it approach, simply leave the mixture in the fridge overnight to chill.)
- 6. If you have an ice cream maker, churn the black sesame ice cream mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions and serve immediately or transfer to a container and freezer until the desired consistency. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a wide, flat, preferably metal pan and place it in the freezer. After 40 minutes, use a fork to mix and break down the ice crystals. Repeat this process twice more, at 40-minute intervals. You can blitz it all in a food processor at the final stage to make it really smooth. Return it to the pan and leave in the freezer to set fully.
- 7. Remove the black sesame ice cream from the freezer about 15 minutes before serving to give the ice cream a chance to soften. Do not skip this thawing step as it allows the ice cream to melt only slightly, giving it that delightfully chewy texture.
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