Homemade Black Sesame Ice Cream is creamy, dreamy and made using toasted black sesame seeds and cardamom. This no churn recipe has an amazing taste and velvety texture. A must try recipe!
Black Sesame Ice Cream
Hot Summers need a scoop of icy cold frozen dessert! Have you tried this flavor combo before? I tasted my first scoop during our trip to Vancouver and was hooked. It was gray in color, not too sweet and had a nutty toasted flavor. Not your everyday ice cream!
Sesame seeds might sound as an unusual flavor in desserts, but it is hugely popular in Japanese and Chinese cuisine. It adds a unique flavor profile that is hard to beat. The black color makes it stand out. Check out these Black Sesame Seed Cookies or Sesame Breadsticks.
Traditional recipes use black sesame paste (aka nergoma), which requires a special trip to a well stocked Asian market. We made it using seeds that are commonly available in all grocery stores and using the no-churn method, making it very easy to make at home.
There are several different brands available, but none compare to this homemade treat. The flavor is fresh and unique, yet very easily made from scratch without an ice cream maker.
WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS RECIPE?
- No Churn method: This recipe allows you to skip all that time and labor of churning, and instead, you just have to whip everything together before freezing it for about 6 hours.
- Unique flavor : The bold, smoky, nutty and slightly bitter taste of black sesame is amazing with the sweet condensed milk and cream.
- Cardamom and not vanilla - We dug into our Asian roots and flavored it ground cardamom instead of the classic vanilla extract. It makes it taste out of the world.
- Only 4 ingredients : Easy to find pantry ingredients that does not require special trips to Asian markets.
WHAT IS BLACK SESAME or KUROGAMA?
Kurogoma means black sesame in Japanese, which is traditionally used to making the ice cream.
Black sesame are "Unhulled" seeds with the outer layer still intact that are toasted and then often made into a sweet paste. They are crunchier and stronger in flavor, when compared to the white variety.
You've probably more familiar with white seeds, which are commonly found sprinkled on dishes in Chinese restaurants or even on hamburger buns. They are used to make oil, since it contains more healthy fats.
Sesame is often an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine. There are often used whole or in a ground paste form, known as "nergoma" which is similar to tahini. They can add texture or a nutty flavor to dishes.
People around the world use sesame to make cookies, sweets, tahini, halva and also savory dishes.
What is Black Sesame AKA Kurogama Ice Cream?
It is made from a basic ice cream base mixed with black sesame paste (also known an neri goma) to give a nutty, toasted flavor and dark grey/black color. This Asian flavored dessert is more common in Japanese cuisine - A refreshing treat on a hot summer day!
WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
It's not very sweet, and you can really taste the earthy, nutty notes from the ground seeds. Also having a robust flavor with a hint of bitterness, it is smooth and creamy.
The seeds are rich in nutrients, including protein, fiber, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous.
WHY DO I HAVE TO TOAST?
One of the first step in making this recipe is to toast the seeds. This helps extract the flavor, enhances the fragrance, makes them crunchy and gives them an earthy and more intense nutty flavor, that gives an additional boost of rich sesame flavor.
You don't need any special tools to toast. All you need is a small frying pan placed on medium heat and they will be perfectly toasted and flavorful.
As they are black, it can be difficult to tell whether you are burning or not. We recommend stirring them constantly and take them off the heat when you hear a few seeds begin to pop. Transfer them to a plate and let cool completely. They can be stored in a sealed container or zip lock bag for several weeks.
What Does No-Churn Mean?
It means there’s no need for an ice cream maker to make a smooth, velvety frozen dessert in just a few hours. Most traditional homemade ice creams start with an egg custard base that is cooked and carefully churned using a the special machine.
This method is made with a base of sweetened condensed milk and heavy whipping cream. It involves no cooking and is easily whipped up using a hand held electric beater allowing us to skip those tedious steps yet make an easy, creamy textured frozen cream that will rival any store bought treat.
What kind of container to use?
Any freezer safe container will work! However, we like to use a wide metal container, since it gets extra cold. This not only has a higher surface area but the bottom and edges begin to freeze faster and the cream will freeze in just a few hours when compared to a tall, narrow container which might take overnight.
There are four simple ingredients in this delicious dessert recipe. Here is a bit more information about what we used.
- Black sesame seeds – The star of the show - Toasted seeds adds an earthy, nutty, robust flavor.
- Heavy cream – Use the heavy whipping cream to make whipped cream and make sure that it's very cold.
- Condensed milk – Condensed milk has low water and high fat content, so it helps to reach creamier, softer texture without becoming "icy".
- Cardamom – It compliment the Asian flavor!
- Salt – A tiny sprinkle of salt is all you need to make the flavors pop.
PRO TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- Buy fresh - Make sure that the black sesame is fresh and not old.
- Toast the seeds to bring out the nuttiness and toasted flavor.
- Don't burn sesame. As they are black, it can be difficult to say whether you are burning or not. We recommend stirring them constantly, over medium heat and take them off the heat when you hear a few seeds begin to pop. Transfer to a plate and let cool completely.
- Store cooled toasted sesame for several weeks in a sealed bag or container.
- Make sure the cream is very cold before whipping.
- Use some cream to help grinding smooth. If you have a hard time grinding the seeds and condensed milk into a smooth paste in the processor, then add about ¼ cup of the reserved heavy cream to help the machine run smooth.
- Feel free to use vanilla extract instead of cardamom.
We love to sprinkle a few extra toasted black sesame seeds on my scoops. However, there are plenty of other toppings you can go for as well. Here are a few ideas:
- Toasted , chopped nuts such as almonds or cashew nuts.
- Fresh cut or shredded coconut.
- Mini white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate.
- An extra drizzle of condensed milk, just like how you might find in an Asian creamery.
HOW TO MAKE?
This is an "almost" no-cook recipe!
- Toast - Toast the black sesame in a small frying pan, over medium heat, stirring constantly until you begin to hear a few pop. Transfer to a plate to stop cooking and let cool completely.
- Grind - Grind toasted seeds and cardamom pods in any grinder or food processor, until it becomes a powder. Add sweetened condensed milk and continue grinding until it becomes a smooth paste.
- Whip - Beat heavy cream with a hand held electric beater, until stiff peaks form.
- Fold - Gently fold the ground paste in three additions, until thoroughly combined.
- Freeze - Transfer mixture into a pan or container and freeze for at least 6 hours.
HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?
Here are a few tips to keep it tasting fresh for up to 6 weeks. Cover the ice cream with plastic wrap before you cover with the lid. This prevents ice crystals from forming on the top and store towards the back of the freezer, where the temperature won't fluctuate as much.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
It helps as a kick starter for getting your dessert to begin the freezing process, which helps in absolutely no ice crystal formation. However, the convenience of a no-churn recipe is that it stays a smooth, creamy consistency even if you forget to freeze your container.
The seeds are commonly found in all major US grocery stores, Asian super markets, Indian, Middle Eastern stores or Amazon.
More Delicious Asian Ice Creams to try:
Black Sesame Ice Cream - 4 ingredients
- Place a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add sesame seeds and stir constantly, until toasted (you will hear few seeds beginning to pop, about 5 minutes). Transfer seeds to a plate and cool completely.
- Add toasted sesame seeds, cardamom pods (or ground cardamom) and salt into a food processor or any grinder. Process until it makes a powder, add sweetened condensed milk and process until finely ground. (If you have difficulty blending, then add about ¼ cup of the heavy cream, to help the machine run smooth).
- Add heavy cream into a large bowl, beat with a hand held electric beater, until it forms stiff peaks.
- Add about a third of the ground paste and gently fold using a rubber spatula. Fold remaining ground paste in two additions, until thoroughly combined.
- Transfer mixture into a standard loaf pan (or ant freezer safe container), cover and freeze at least 6 hours.
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.
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