Ice-cream Weather is Here At Last...

5 September 2007

I enjoy making and eating ice-cream all year round, but the cold and wet summer we had this year really put me off. Our ice-cream machine, which has been working hard for more than 7 years, didn’t see much action this summer. So when we had some brief sunshine and warmth last month, I opted for an intensive ice-cream making session.

Until fairly recently my main source for ice-cream was this book – it’s a great and comprehensive book, but I’m now happier with these new titles. I know I’m a bit late in the game, but I finally got my hands on David’s new book – which is full of great recipes and just like his blog, there is an interesting story behind each one.

It took me a while to choose which ones to try, but to start with I decided to go for the toasted coconut ice-cream with mango sorbet swirl. After making the mango sorbet (make sure not to eat it all at this point!), lightly toast (dried shredded) coconut, then infuse it in (normal dairy) milk with vanilla. When I tasted the strained milk mixture I thought the coconut flavour might be too subtle, but the churned custard was just perfect – I especially loved the fragrant toasted flavour. The rich, creamy ice-cream and the refreshing, boozy (I put more dark rum than it says in the recipe, I couldn’t help it) sorbet were both delicious on their own, but together it was definitely more than the sum of its parts.

The next I tried was gianduja gelato – hazelnuts & milk chocolate combination is my favourite and I just knew I had to make this too. Again, toast the nuts in the oven and finely chop them in a food processor, then infuse in milk. David suggests adding Stracciatella to it, but I had some hazelnut paste left that needed to be used up so I made praline chocolate ripple instead. It was very chocolatey, nutty and satisfying :)

Oh and as someone who can’t live without strong coffee, I couldn’t help making espresso granita also – I love making sorbet but never actually made granita before. Brewing 1 litre of espresso in one go wasn’t something I’m used to do, but it was fun (and incredibly easy) and the finished result was lovely too.

You can find all the recipes in his book.

I wanted to make something with a Japanese twist too – David has some recipes using matcha and kinako in the book, but I decided to make something else as I’ve been making matcha ice-cream for a long time and I’m not a big fan of kinako unfortunately!

When I was in New York a few months ago, Kelli and Karen took me a Japanese tea place called Cha-An (means tea house) in the East Village. I had a rich, distinctive creme brulee and ice-cream both using black sesame seeds. Since then, I’ve wanted to make something similar, but I always find black sesame flavour a bit too strong so used white sesame instead.

Most of the recipes for sesame ice-cream I’ve found on Japanese sites suggest using shop-bought sesame paste, which is commonly used in South East Asia (very similar to tahini). I could have used those, but I wanted to try making it with things you can easily get here.

Again, lightly toasted sesame seeds are ground to a paste in a food processor before infusing in hot milk. I suspect that using shop-bought paste might give a smoother texture (with possibly a richer flavour), but I was quite happy with how it turned out. It was rich, but not overly rich – if you like sesame seeds I think you would like this :)

I made syrup with molasses which is often paired with many sesame desserts in Japan. I rippled it into the ice-cream, but of course you can serve the syrup separately. I rustled up some white sesame tuile biscuits too – the crunchy texture enhances the nutty flavour of the ice-cream. Great with any type of green tea, but particularly good with hoji-cha.

So I enjoyed this intensive custard session, and now if you excuse me I need to go back to the kitchen to use up all the egg whites sitting in our fridge…

White sesame ice-cream with molasses swirl, white sesame tuile biscuits

Serves about 4

For the sesame ice-cream

80g white sesame seeds
250ml full fat milk
250ml double cream
4 egg yolks
90g caster sugar

For the molasses syrup

50g molasses
50g light brown sugar
30ml water

For the white sesame tuile

15g plain flour
70g caster sugar
20g unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
1 egg white (about 40g)
90g white sesame seeds

For the ice-cream, lightly toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat, shaking constantly. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Place the seeds in a food processor and whiz until they become wet paste.

Place the milk in a saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from the heat, add the sesame paste, mix well, cover and let steep for at about an hour. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar. Rewarm the milk mixture and strain into the yolk, constantly stirring, using a spatula to extract as much as possible. Discard the solids.

Place the mixture in a clean saucepan and put on a medium heat, constantly stirring until the custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Strain the mixture once again, and cool over ice-cold water. Chill in the fridge, add the double cream and churn it in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

For the molasses syrup, place all the ingredients in a saucepan and gently heat until the sugar melts and thickens a little. Set aside and cool.

For the tuile biscuits, preheat the oven to 180ºC. Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a frying pan over medium heat. Mix the egg white and sugar in a bowl, add the flour, seeds and the butter – in that order mixing between each. Spoon the mixture over the baking sheet, then bake in the oven for about 10 minutes (or until golden brown).

To serve, you can swirl in the syrup when the ice-cream is soft from the machine or you can serve them separately. Make the tuile biscuits at the last minute to enjoy the crunchy texture with the ice-cream.

Food - Sweet        41 comments    Permalink

  • hi Keiko

    I just started on my own ice cream journey! Soon I will be in London but so briefly I am not sure how I can see everyone. I may just pick a spot and see who can come – foodie and non foodie friends alike. We only have a window of a few hours on the 16th September. I will email you separately


    Posted by sam | 5 September 2007 #
  • This recipe is going straight to my to-try list.

    Posted by Danielle | 5 September 2007 #
  • They all sound delicious Keiko. So will you be making a pavlova with all those eggwhites?

    Posted by Barbara | 5 September 2007 #
  • I,m he first dear friend!!!! ;)
    How are you? Maya fine???
    I love your photos…. forever!
    A greta kiss for you and the beautiful cat! o

    Posted by Gourmet | 6 September 2007 #
  • i look for inspiration and tips from other food photographers’ websites. looking at your site makes me want to quit. you are top, #1, without a doubt, best food shooter in the world. no contest. i love love love your work.

    Posted by jess | 6 September 2007 #
  • Ah, nice timing! I was just lamenting the lack of sesame ice cream here in the USA.

    Japan gave me such a desire for this lovely concoction!

    I shall try this with my tahini paste!

    Posted by McAuliflower | 6 September 2007 #
  • Keiko: Your ice creams looks so beautiful…and worth waiting for! Glad you enjoyed the recipes so much and it’s a thrill to see what you’ve done with them.

    A great recipe for using up all those egg whites are my Coconut-Chocolate Macaroons (I tried to link here to the recipe but wasn’t able to.) You can easily double the recipe too and freeze half of the batter for another time. I should know-I’ve got quite a few batches in my freezer as we speak!

    Posted by David | 6 September 2007 #
  • This is like making basic vanilla ice but with sesame instead …. I will try as I never ate sesame with ice before.

    Posted by Francesco | 6 September 2007 #
  • oh such wonderful selection of ice cream that you’ve made! they look absolutely delicious, and i wish i was there to steal a taste.. ;)

    Posted by Lil | 6 September 2007 #
  • Hello Keiko,
    What you have done with David recipes is just wonderful. You turned ice cream into poetry. Fabulous pictures as always. Enjoy the warm weather.

    Posted by Rose | 7 September 2007 #
  • Yum, sesame ice cream is so good but I so rarely find any. Thanks for putting up this lovely recipe with your usual gorgeous photos.

    Posted by Hilda | 7 September 2007 #
  • Hi Keiko, your icecreams are so utterly gorgeous.
    Sadly the weather is not to icecream friendly here in paris ;(

    Love xxx – fanny

    Posted by fanny | 7 September 2007 #
  • dearest keiko, i’ve always thought of you as the queen of ice-cream (hmm, that has a nice ring to it ;-)); and coincidentally enough, was just wondering when you’d put up your “summer edition” ice-cream post as you have in past summers – and here it is, so beautifully photographed and described. the white sesame icecream sounds and looks especially innovative and delicious…what a stroke of genius and refreshing change from black sesame! hope you are well; take care

    Posted by Joycelyn | 7 September 2007 #
  • It all looks so good! I am jealous, I wish I had an ice-cream machine. It’s definitely on my Christmas list this year…

    Posted by Robyn VIckers | 7 September 2007 #
  • I, too, have fallen for David’s book, and I’ve made many of his recipes, and even a few of my own. When you first said sesame ice cream, I thought of those Asian black sesame ice creams, which I’ve just been itching to try.

    I’ve spent a lot of time in the Middle East, where they use tahini in everything, so I can certainly believe this sesame ice cream is delicious. The sesame tuiles remind me of Damascene sesame wafers called barazik.

    Posted by Mercedes Suarez | 8 September 2007 #
  • Hi Keiko-san,
    How have you been? I have also been to Cha-an the other day and had sesami creme bluree. It was excellent. Unfortunately I can’t reproduce your recipe due to lack of ice-cream maker :) but I might go there again for it…
    Hope you are well!

    Posted by yuki | 8 September 2007 #
  • Hello~ I only had success one time with my kitchen aid ice cream maker, and that was making a chocolate malt ice cream. Your pics are great! I would like to try that black sesame creme brulee someday…

    Posted by Kim | 8 September 2007 #
  • Beautiful sounding suite of ice creams! I hope you had friends to help you consume your experiments, or else, you could just send you scale to David (I thought of doing that!)

    Posted by Deborah Dowd | 9 September 2007 #
  • keiko, you are always bringing great new creations. So refreshing!!

    Posted by valentina | 9 September 2007 #
  • What beautiful photos and delicious sounding ice cream. I’m envious. My husband and I registered for an ice cream maker we never received, and somehow we never got around to buying one for ourselves either. you make me want to run out for one.

    Posted by Erin | 10 September 2007 #
  • Keiko, hello
    your Gelati are so irresistible, how not to succumb ? And your pics are true temptations !

    Posted by Camille | 10 September 2007 #
  • Hi there, sorry to refer to a really old blog entry, but I am wondering if your recipe for “Green Tea Opera Cake” is available. Thank you.

    Posted by Khadijah | 11 September 2007 #
  • amazing pictures and gorgeous recipes !!!!

    Posted by christell | 11 September 2007 #
  • You make me want to buy an ice cream maker even more than I already do! All your creations look lovely and sound delicious! The sesame flavored one sounds particularly fabulous!

    Posted by joey | 11 September 2007 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    I bought matcha when i went to Japan last year. I love it so much but cannot find where to buy it. Where do you buy it from? I really want to try some ice crean recipes.


    Posted by JoJo | 12 September 2007 #
  • your blog has inspired me how can I truly claim to be a kitchen goddess and have never made icecream!! I am going to buy this seemingly great book nad try some out this weekend! love your photography by the way !

    Posted by catriona | 12 September 2007 #
  • Your photos evoke delicious yearnings. My ice cream maker has seen me through many a summer and I especially love it during the ‘berry’ season. Last winter I tried to make a savoury ice cream. The smoked salmon, dill and creme fraiche was a delight, but the gazpacho was rather a disappointment. Is there anyone else who has some savoury ice cream recipes I can try?

    Posted by Tamsin wimhurst | 14 September 2007 #
  • You are amazing!!!!
    Your blog is the most beautiful I have ever seen.
    I suppose that you are used to that kind of comments.
    I had to tell you, I’m a new “groupie”!!
    A french groupie, and maybe that point will be more original!!!
    Thank you for making me spend sooo nice moments!
    By the way, your cat is WONDERFUL! I love “chartreux”... (sorry for my english!)

    Posted by Claire P. | 14 September 2007 #
  • wooawww!!!!! your blog is very cool… i like u’re pictures. i’m a french groupie too. but mine is as beautiful as yours….!!!! no i’m kidding..
    u can go on my french blog if u want…. there’s something on london

    Posted by kiki | 15 September 2007 #
  • funny that you should be speaking on the subject of sesame seeds.

    I have only a skeleton for a new dessert. here it is:
    caramel, rose, sesame, chocolate, crunchy.

    maybe I will have to try the tuile, no?

    Posted by shuna fish lydon | 17 September 2007 #
  • That must have been a really sinful session. Gorgeous pics as usual.

    Posted by Gini | 18 September 2007 #
  • Hi Keiko,
    What a happy stumble across your website. I truely love your food images. They are all beautifully composed, and propped. I especially like the lighting, which creates a soft and refreshing mood to the images. What is your usual light source? Is it natural or controlled light? Love you blog! keep up with the good work.

    Posted by Mag@SF | 21 September 2007 #
  • Wow that’s a LOT of ice cream! I still remember the recipe you gave me for lemongrass, lime and coconut milk ice cream. it was sooo nice!

    btw, heard from Aun that you’ll be back in Tokyo in Nov. Am also thinking of going. When will you be there?

    Posted by Lynn | 24 September 2007 #
  • What a wonderful blog! I am glad I found you!
    Best regards from São Paulo, Brazil.

    Posted by Sonia | 26 September 2007 #
  • I wish we’d had just a few more ice cream worthy days here, I’ve been deprived over summer! These all look absolutely delish though :)

    Posted by Kate | 27 September 2007 #
  • Looks yummy!!

    Posted by Lemongrass | 28 September 2007 #
  • What a wonderful blog – I’m sitting here with my 10-year-old daughter who’s almost licking the screen (even though she’s just polished off a bowl of Haagen Dazs for tea…).

    This year’s best ice cream for me was a quince and praline-ed almond ice cream that was (I think) from a Tamasin Day-Lewis book – you fry blanched almonds in sugar until they become brittle butterscotch, mix membrillo with lemon juice and a sloosh of good sherry, mix the whole lot with double cream and freeze. It’s subtle and crunchy. Yum…

    Posted by Jane | 29 September 2007 #
  • Hi all, sincere apologies for taking so long to get back to you, thank you so much for your kind notes.

    JoJo – I’m not sure where you are based, but there are quite a few people selling online, try googling it :)

    Mag@SF – I always use natural light for food shots, it’s always the best.

    Posted by keiko | 22 January 2008 #
  • Hello Keiko,

    I’ve linked to your ice-cream article from my blogsite and thought your picture of the ice-cream was fantastic!

    Best regards,

    Posted by Cheryl Marie Cordeiro | 8 July 2008 #
  • Hi Keiko ,im really loved this blog,the photos and yours recipes.thanks for share all with us.
    kisses from spain/brasil

    p.s.Sorry for my terrible english :)

    Posted by kelly | 18 July 2008 #
  • Hi Cheryl – thank you so much for your kind note, hope you’re enjoying making ice-creams too!

    Hi Kelly – your English is great, I’m curious/jealous if you have two places to live in Spain AND Brazil… both are my favourite countries :)

    Posted by keiko | 28 October 2008 #

Commenting is closed for this article.