Humphry Slocombe is one of my favorite ice cream shops in San Francisco. The menu changes daily to incorporate inventive, seasonal flavors. A few of my favorites include Candy Cap (winter), White Miso Peach (summer) and Black Sesame (ongoing). The latter is one of the best versions of sesame I’ve ever had. It has a strong flavor and the flecks of sesame add a nice texture. The flavor is available on and off throughout the year. So, the next best thing when I’m craving it, is to make it.
The Humphry Slocombe team has a great cookbook, and I’ve tested quite a few recipes that are spot on with what you can find at the shop, but sadly Black Sesame is not included. When searching for a comparable recipe, I wanted one that incorporated ground seeds to achieve Humphry Slocombe’s speckled look. With sesame paste, the ice cream turns a gray color. I ended up using a recipe from Sweet Paul Magazine that is very close. Not too sweet. I amped up the nuttiness by toasting the seeds first. Loved it. Hope you enjoy it, too.
Toasted Black Sesame Ice Cream
Adapted from Sweet Paul Magazine
Makes 1 quart
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1⁄2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
Pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
In a fry pan, over medium-low heat, toast the black sesame seeds, stirring frequently to prevent burning, for 3-4 minutes or until they smell fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Then place into a spice grinder and pulse until finely ground. You can also use a mortar and pestle, which is what I used. It won’t be as finely ground, but I still found the texture of the ice cream to be pleasant.
Set up an ice bath by filling a large bowl partially with ice and water. Place a strainer in a medium bowl and place both over the larger bowl.
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, cream, 1⁄2 cup sugar and salt, over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves completely. Be careful not to let it boil over.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk the egg yolks with 2 tablespoons sugar until pale and well combined, about 1–2 minutes.
Temper the yolks by slowly whisking in about 1⁄4–1⁄2 cup of the hot cream mixture, and then add this back to the saucepan.
Cook over low-medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until the custard has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, holding its shape when you drag your finger across it. This will take about 3 minutes.
Strain into a medium metal or glass bowl to catch any overcooked bits. Whisk in the black sesame seed mixture and set over an ice bath to chill. Once it has completely cooled, place into a fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, overnight preferred. Churn in your ice cream maker according to your manufacturer’s instructions.