Saturday, April 3, 2010

Black and White?

Actually, I like sepia more.

Is this photo in black and white?

It was actually taken in colour! This, my friends - is the glory of goma ice cream, or black sesame ice cream. I had lunch with a friend recently and we shared a serving of goma ice cream with kinako (toasted soy bean flour) sprinkled on top. Amazing. Actually, it was a revelation. Clearly, it affected me because I could not stop thinking about it until I could replicate it at home. The flavour, is a bit more pronounced than the restaurant original, but the colour is no where close. The restaurant ice cream was black. Inky, dark, opaque black. Even with food colouring, I couldn't get close. Well, I suppose if I had emptied the entire container of food colouring, maybe, but that's a little too artificial for me. But I am very happy with the results, even though the colour isn't exactly what I had hoped it would be.

There are a lot of goma recipes out there, but none of them have pictures of the dark ice cream I sampled last week. Oh well - it must be food colouring, then. In contrast to some of the recipes out there, I used a 'black sesame drink' powder as well as ground black sesame. The 'black sesame drink' powder definitely thickened the custard quite a bit and was a good base to work from. Maybe I like my goma ice cream strong, but I added a LOT more ground goma than what is 'recommended'. I put in a good...1/4 to 1/3 cup - but it's really to taste, I suppose.

If you're a fan of black sesame like myself, give this recipe a try!

Goma Ice Cream
(makes a approximately 1L)

2 cups light cream (18%)
1 cup half&half (10%)
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 packet black sesame drink powder
1/2 cup black sesame powder (ground black sesame)

Heat up creams and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan until thoroughly 'scalded' - or until it reaches about 165-170F on an instant-read thermometer. Basically, heat it until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is RIGHT BEFORE boiling point. Turn off heat.

Take about 1/2 cup of the mixture and dissolve the drink powder. Let stand for about 1 minute before adding this back into the saucepan, whisk the mixture well to incorporate the drink powder mixture.

While the cream is heating up, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar (1/4 cup) until the yolks have thickened and lightened (about 1 minute by hand). Add in about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture to temper the eggs. Add in the yolk mixture to the cream.

Heat the cream back up to about 180-185F, also just under boiling. While the cream is heating up, add in the ground sesame powder until the desired flavour has been reached. When the mixture has reached the optimal temperature, strain the custard into a bowl set in an ice bath.
Alternatively, let the mixture cool a bit (about an hour or so) and let chill.

In order for the ice cream to 'form' properly, the mixture MUST BE completely chilled! Either work with the ice bath until it has been chilled, or let it hang out in the fridge overnight. Once it has been chilled, follow the ice cream maker's instructions to prepare.

Kinako topping optional ;P


  1. This looks delicious! I never would have thought of eating black ice cream (I thought most were black licorice and I do not like black licorice) but maybe I'll try this recipe

  2. Goma ice cream is one of my absolute favorites! Yours looks wonderful.

  3. Thanks! (to you too Fuji Mama)

    Black sesame's got a really interesting taste - not 'bad' interesting - definitely very subtle! I kept adding more powder because I LOVE the flavour!

  4. Thanks so much for an interesting post. I made it last night and found it wonderful. I tried it out on my test panel of friends and most thought it was either Cookies & Cream or Peanut Butter Ice Cream. It is delicious and definitely a conversation starter!

  5. Hi there, stumbled upon ur site.. actually, to get a black, dark sesame ice cream, try using black sesame paste!