Black Sesame Ice Cream, one of the most popular ice cream flavors in Japan, is deliciously nutty and sweet, with an enjoyable bitterness that’s reminiscent of dark chocolate. This recipe comes together with just a few ingredients that combine to create an unforgettable dessert.
I’m telling you, you’ll be a star when you serve this Black Sesame Ice Cream at your next dinner party.
The nut-like flavor with sweet and bitter overtones is unexpected and absolutely heavenly.
Also called Kurogoma Ice Cream, this recipe is especially unique with the addition of small bits of chocolate in every bite. (Kurogoma means black sesame in Japanese).
Ingredients for Black Sesame Ice Cream
- granulated sugar
- large egg yolks - Save the whites for something like this recipe.
- whole milk
- black sesame paste - I like this one. (Make sure you get black sesame paste and not black tahini - the seeds are roasted for the paste and therefore offer a more intense, deeper flavor.) You can likely find this in Japanese grocery stores.
- mini semisweet chocolate chips - The tinier bites of chocolate are best in an ice cream, rather than the larger chips. (In my humble opinion. 😉 )
How to Make it
(More detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.)
- In a medium-sized pot, combine the sugar with the salt and egg yolks.
- Whisk in the milk.- Cook over medium heat, stirring almost constantly with a wooden spoon, until it’s very hot, but not bubbling, about 8 minutes.- Turn the heat off and then whisk in the black sesame paste.- Strain over a large bowl and let it cool to room temperature.- Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (and up to a couple of days).
- Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.- Fold in the chocolate chips and then freeze for overnight.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- Black sesame seeds are nuttier and more bitter than white sesame seeds. This is because the hulls are left on. So do not try substituting the black sesame paste with regular tahini which is made from white raw (usually hulled) seeds. The flavor will be completely different.
- I find that this ice cream is the perfect consistency right out of the freezer — however, if it’s more firm than you’d like, let it sit at room temperature to soften a bit.
When to Serve Black Sesame Ice Cream
- This ice cream is lovely after an Asian-style meal, or any subtly spicy dish.
- Of course, like most ice creams, it’s the perfect snack or treat on a warm or hot summer day.
- I love serving cookies and ice cream for dessert for casual entertaining, and if you really want to embrace the deliciousness of sesame, serve the ice cream with these Toasted Sesame Chocolate Chip Cookies. (You can even make ice cream sandwiches with the two.)
- And since Black Sesame Ice Cream is wildly unique and so interesting aesthetically, it’s fun for a fancier dinner party too.
Storing the Ice Cream
- These airtight containers are generally the best option for storing ice cream.
- You can also reuse plastic pint gelato containers with lids that screw on.
- Cake and loaf pans are also a great option. If you go this route, press a piece of plastic wrap, wax paper or parchment paper directly on the surface of the ice cream, then wrap the whole thing with plastic wrap.
I hope you love every last scoop!
More unique ice Cream flavors:
- Sweet Corn Ice Cream
- Cinnamon Ice Cream
- Pineapple Guava Ice Cream
- Lychee Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- Roasted Plum Ice Cream
Black Sesame Ice Cream with Chocolate Recipe
- ¾ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 6 large egg yolks (about 6-ounces)
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup black sesame paste
- Make custard. In a medium-sized pot, combine the sugar with the salt and egg yolks, and then whisk in the milk. Place over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly with a wooden spoon or heat-proof rubber spatula, cook until it’s very hot, but not bubbling, about 8 minutes. It should be slightly thick and coat the spoon without immediately dripping off.
- Add the sesame paste and strain. Remove the pot from the stove and whisk in the black paste until it's smooth. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the mixture into it. Let it come to room temperature, whisking from time to time. (This should take about 30 minutes.)
- Refrigerate. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (and up to a couple of days).
- Churn, add chocolate and freeze. Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions, and then fold in the chocolate chips. Use a rubber spatula to scoop the ice cream into a container with tight fitting lid and freeze for overnight. (If it’s too firm to scoop easily, let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.)
What a luscious, creamy and nutty treat! I love the extra chocolate 🙂
I'm all about extra chocolate. 😉 Thanks, Angie. ~Valentina
Wow! This fascinates me — like a halva ice cream. I have to check to see if the sesame paste I have is black or not. It is dark, but all that dark! Thanks for this Valentina!
I think you'll like it, David. Super interesting and oddly like dark chocolate. Enjoy and thank you. 🙂 ~Valentina
Beautiful! I've only used black sesame seeds for sprinkling. But I also quit using them because they look like fleas! Such a pretty color.
Hahah! Mimi, so funny. I always think the same. That's way the paste is a good option 😉 ~Valentina
It's been way too long since I've used my ice cream maker, and this black sesame ice cream looks like the perfect excuse to break it out!! I really enjoy the toasty flavour of black sesame seeds so I can only imagine just how delicious it is in a creamy, cold ice cream. Definitely gonna need at least two scoops!!
Yes, pull out the machine! It's so fun making ice cream. Enjoy and thanks, Dawn. 🙂 ~Valentina
John / Kitchen Riffs
This looks terrific! And rather unusual and (thus) fun. Really neat -- thanks.
Thanks! I'm with you, John -- unusual is fun in the kitchen. 🙂 ~Valentina
Ben | Havocinthekitchen
This looks stunning! I don't think I've ever tasted black sesame ice cream, but I'm saying "YES!" to this. Can slso be turned into a Halloween recipe 🙂
I love the Halloween idea, Ben. I didn't even think of that. Thanks! 🙂 ~Valentina
Jeff the Chef @ Make It Like a Man!
Wow, that's amazing. It looks so intense! I can only imagine how it tastes.
Thanks, Jeff. Intense is a good word for it. In a delicious way. Enjoy! 🙂 ~Valentina
Wow! Wow! It must be heaven!!!!
It is. Enjoy! Thanks, Davorka. 🙂 ~Valentina