Black Sesame Coconut Milk Ice Cream
I made ice cream! And just in time for the end of the summer.
(Labor Day still counts as summer, right?)
Anyway, I would eat this stuff all year round.
I used Nami’s Black Sesame Ice Cream recipe from one of my favorite food blogs: Just One Cookbook, but I swapped out the milk and cream for coconut milk and coconut cream! (So this is a lactose-free ice cream, though it still contains eggs.)
My original plan was only to substitute coconut milk for milk, since I thought the rich coconut flavor would pair nicely with the sweet, nutty flavor of roasted black sesame seeds. (Spoiler alert: I was right!) This also had the added bonus (in my opinion) of significantly reducing the dairy content, though I was still planning to use real cream.
When it came time to whip the cream to stiff peaks, however, that whole plan went right out the window.
Now that I’ve recovered from what I can only describe as a frustrating kitchen
meltdown experience (and now that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the successful– creamy sesame coconut ice cream– fruits of my labor), it’s kind of a funny story after all…
What happened was this: I accidentally made butter.
Did you know that if you whip “organic heavy whipping cream” a little too much, the buttermilk will start to separate from the fat solids and you’ll end up with butter? Neither did I!
(Though I had read Joy the Baker’s post on How to Make Butter* a while back, I guess without paying proper attention. So then I referred to it again for tips on the finishing stages, e.g., rinsing the butter in ice water before shaping and storing it.)
Maybe those of you with a little more expertise in the realm of Desserts can help me out here with why this happened.
Nami’s recipe for Black Sesame Ice Cream called for “heavy cream,” and I used “organic heavy whipping cream,” when possibly I should have specifically looked for something that was either called “heavy cream” or simply “whipping cream.”
So either the cream (milk fat content) was too heavy, or I whipped it too much. (But given that I’ve made whipped cream just fine before– for chocolate mousse!– and that I was using my electric mixer on the LOW setting, I have to suspect it was the former; not the latter.)
Here’s how I salvaged it, though– and all without making another trip to the store! (Because I REALLY did not want to make another trip to the store). I made coconut milk whipped cream!
Let me clarify that I am not the genius who invented this. It’s all over Pinterest, not to mention vegan cooking blogs. It requires some advance planning, because you need to refrigerate a can of coconut milk (or two, in this case) overnight. Then the next day, without tipping or shaking the can, you can open it and remove the thick cream that will have risen to the top, separated from the milky coconut water below. Use this as whipping cream, and you’re in lactose-free business!
The resulting coconut milk ice cream was rich and creamy, but with a slightly lighter nearly sorbet-like feel to it. And the roasted black sesame flavor was oh so good!
If you’ve never tried any Japanese (or Chinese, or Korean…) black sesame-flavored desserts before, then you’re missing out. Roasted black sesame is so tasty with a touch of sugar. I’ve had everything from black sesame-filled mochi to black sesame-flavored donuts in Japan, and it’s always a treat.
So bookmark this recipe for next year’s ice cream season. Or make it regardless of the temperature outside, as I plan to do. My lactose-free coconut version turned out wonderfully, but definitely check out Nami’s original recipe for full-on dairy deliciousness, too.
* Accidental Butter-related Footnote:
My butter-making was even easier than Joy the Baker’s for several reasons:
- I used an electric hand mixer and a bowl instead of a stand-mixer with whisk attachment (since I don’t own one, and since I wasn’t trying to make butter).
- It took me far less time than the 9 minutes that she says it might take– I swear, it all happened so fast!
- I didn’t even make the butter myself; my girlfriend did. (Having failed to make whipped cream, and REALLY not wanting to go back to the store, I got so frustrated that I made her take over.)
Print this recipe. (PDF)
Black Sesame Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Adapted from Black Sesame Ice Cream by Nami of the blog Just One Cookbook.
(Makes 1 quart, or 4-6 servings)
~ 5 Tbsp. roasted black sesame seeds
~ 5 Tbsp. honey
~ 1⅔ cup coconut milk (or whole milk, or almond milk)
~ ⅓ cup sugar
~ 3 egg yolks
~ 1 tsp. vanilla
~ coconut cream from 2 cans of coconut milk– or ⅔ of 1 can of Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream– (chilled in fridge overnight!), or slightly less than 1 cup whipping cream
~ pinch of salt (optional)
Special equipment needed:
~ food thermometer
~ ice cream maker (optional)
How to make it:
(Note: If your black sesame seeds are not already roasted, lightly toast them in a non-stick pan until fragrant.)
1. Finely grind the roasted black sesame seeds using a food processor or a mortar and pestle. Remove 2 Tbsp. of the finely ground sesame seeds and set aside. (You’ll use the remaining 3 Tbsp.-or-so of ground seeds to make black sesame paste.)
2. Make black sesame paste: Continue to grind the remaining sesame seeds until they start to release their natural oil. Then add about 3 Tbsp. of the honey and mix it together with the ground sesame seeds.
3. In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a simmer, then remove from the heat and set aside. Next, use a medium bowl and an electric mixer, or a stand mixer, to whisk the sugar into the egg yolks until smooth. Add in the reserved 2 Tbsp. of ground black sesame seeds, 2 Tbsp. of honey, and 3 Tbsp. of the black sesame paste and mix well. Then continue to whisk as you slowly pour the milk into this mixture.
4. Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan, and heat over medium-low heat. Stir until it starts to thicken a bit and reaches 176 degrees F (80C). (Nami notes that the eggs are only safe to consume once it’s reached this temperature, but you shouldn’t let it get above 181 degrees F (83C) since the egg yolks will cook.)
5. Once the mixture has cooked, remove from the heat and place the whole saucepan in a large bowl of ice water to start cooling it down. Stir in the vanilla.
6. Make whipped cream, or make coconut whipped cream: Open the 2 cans of coconut milk that have been chilled in the fridge overnight, and scoop out the thick creamy part that has separated out on top (or use ⅔ of 1 can of Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream that’s been chilled overnight). Use a mixer (or stand mixer) to whisk the cream (with an optional pinch of salt) until it’s the texture of sturdy whipped cream.
7. Once the saucepan mixture has cooled, gently fold the whipped cream into it. Then chill the entire mixture in the fridge for several hours (or overnight) until completely cold.
8. Process in your ice cream maker for 20-25 minutes, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze for several hours before enjoying. (If you don’t have an ice cream maker, freeze in an airtight container, or in a shallow metal pan covered with plastic wrap, and stir it every few hours to break up the ice crystals, until it has reached a nice ice cream texture.)
Print this recipe! (PDF)