My friend Kumi (from Japan!) called this authentic (holy smokes!). She said, “I feel this is what stores buy in Japan, then they dilute it with milk and resell to the customer to make money. Now it’s like I get to eat the stock.” Yep, it’s that intense. Real deal or bust.
There’s one whole cup of toasted black sesame seeds in here. Which, incidentally, is terrific for your hair.
I’ve also discovered that whipped cream makes home-churned ice cream and gelato freeze just a little less rock-hard and soften better after a night in the freezer. If we can’t all afford industrial ice cream makers that aerate the ice cream as it churns, why not just do it by hand? (By hand, I mean a hand mixer.)
[column type=”1/2″][/column] [column type=”1/2″ last=”true”][/column][column type=”1/2″][/column] [column type=”1/2″ last=”true”][/column]
There’s another secret. Almost all black sesame flavored things in China have a spoonful of peanut powder in them. It’s the espresso + chocolate combo of Asian desserts. Just as espresso powder enhances the chocolatey-ness of chocolate cake, peanut powder enhances the sesamey-ness of anything made with sesame paste, cutting the bitterness and increasing the toastiness. We add peanut powder or peanut butter to everything from sweet tangyuan filling to sesame noodles. Sometimes, in tangyuan filling, you can even see specks of ground peanuts.
To this black sesame ice cream, I’ve added an invisible but potent tablespoon of PBfit Peanut Butter Powder. Peanut butter in powdered form is the latest craze, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it in grocery stores. You can also find “ground peanut powder” in Asian groceries, and it’ll probably be a whole lot cheaper.
- Freeze your ice cream bowl for at least 24 hours. Sometimes I just leave it in the freezer for a week.
- Grind the black sesame seeds. I prefer a spice/coffee grinder and do it in 3 batches, but you can also use a food processor or powerful blender.
- Put the ground sesame seeds in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-low heat and toast, stirring frequently, until you begin to smell a nutty aroma (5-10 minutes). Transfer to a bowl.
- Blend the whole milk with the peanut butter powder and Thai white rice flour, then pour into a medium pot and add the black sesame powder. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Use a spoon to scape and press the mixture through the strainer. You should only have a little bit of coarse sesame grounds left in the strainer at the end of this process, no more than a few tablespoons.
- Stir the salt and sugar into the mixture. Cover the bowl and let the mixture cool, then chill it overnight in the fridge.
- When you are ready to churn your gelato, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. If the weather is hot, it helps to refrigerate the bowl until it's cold before doing this.
- Fold a little whipped cream into the black sesame paste to loosen it up, then fold in the rest in a few batches.
- Churn the gelato in your ice cream maker, then eat immediately and freeze the rest.
- Once frozen for longer than 4 hours, let the gelato soften at room temperature for 10 minutes before scooping. Sometimes mixing in a dash of milk makes it creamier.