It has been a very warm few days in Melbourne. I have really missed and loved the feeling of the hot air on my face as I opened the car door and then being able to roll up my sleeves and roll down the windows while driving. Temperatures at around 27-28C is my favourite, it means not being overly hot that would make me sweat like a pig but also warm enough to wear dresses and eat ice cream.
I have 3 favourite flavours – chocolate, green tea and black sesame. yes I know, there shouldn’t be 3 since that wouldn’t be a favourite anymore but I choose the flavour based on my mood and the weather…and it’s just really hard to pick between them.
The first time I had black sesame ice cream I think was many years ago at Shiranui in Glen Waverley. The flavours really surprised and excited me. The wonderful aromas of roasted sesame seeds traveled through my whole body and touched every part of my taste buds. It’s a flavour I grew up with, just not in ice cream form.
When I felt a bit under the weather or in need of a nutrition booster, mum would feed me this thing called ‘zhi ma hu 芝麻糊’, its literal translation is sesame paste but it was so much more than that. Reading the packet carefully, it had ground roasted black sesame seeds, ground peanuts and rice. Rice?! Yes, that’s what holds the paste together and makes it gooey. It’s oh so delicious and has a wonderfully smooth texture.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve had it and the texture totally slipped my mind. So when I decided to make black sesame ice cream without actually having any black sesames at home, I thought that it would be a fantastic idea to use this paste.
The recipe I used was based off Nami’s black sesame ice cream recipe but with a twist. The cool thing was, since I didn’t know what it would turn out like, I had a surprise. It was like black sesame mochi ice cream! If you’ve never had mochi before, it’s a sticky rice cake made with glutinous rice, but of course the ice cream wasn’t as sticky as that although it definitely had some of those qualities.
When I was scraping the stuck bits from the ice cream maker, I found the dense portion of the ice cream actually tasted better since it was quite chewy. If you have large asian grocery stores near you, you will probably be able to find this type of paste. It should have small packets inside, each containing powder that can be used just by dissolving it in a little bit of hot water.
It’s a shame if you’re unable to get your hands on some, although the regular black sesame ice cream is just as good if not better so don’t worry. Just go to Nami’s blog at Just One Cookbook for the yummy black sesame ice cream recipe using ground sesame seeds.
In hindsight, I may not have needed the egg yolks since it was already quite a thick mixture. I have left it in since it tasted fine.
Question time: What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?
Black sesame mochi ice cream
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
Makes about 1 litres of ice cream
• 6 small packets black sesame paste ‘zhi ma hu 芝麻糊’
• 80g caster/superfine sugar (this is an approximate since I added sugar on many occasions, please taste the mixture before churning and adjust)
• 400ml whole milk
• 200ml thickened cream
• 3 egg yolks (optional)
1. Heat milk and cream in a small to medium saucepan until heated through. Set aside.
2. Whisk sugar and egg yolks together until pale and smooth.
3. Dissolve the black sesame paste in some hot water (just enough water to cover the powder) and mix well until all lumps are gone and the mixture is thick.
4. Add black sesame mixture to whisked eggs yolks and fold through.
5. Add in heated milk and cream slowly, stirring as you pour it.
6. Pour mixture into a small to medium pot and heat until custard thickens (although it’s slightly harder to tell since it’s already quite thick), don’t overheat as egg can get cooked.
7. Cool until at least room temperature.
8. Churn in an ice cream maker until frozen. Transfer ice cream to a container and freeze until ready to be consumed.
I suggest consuming this ice cream quickly, since I left mine for a few weeks and the texture of the ice cream was not nearly as good as when I first made it.