I’m a sucker for all things sweet and naturally, rarely one to turn down dessert so when I had the opportunity to visit Passiontree, a dessert cafe, to trial some of their desserts I couldn’t say no!
I’ve come across Turkish Ice Cream a couple of times during my holidays in Asia, where the bright ice cream stand stood out like a sore thumb alongside endless numbers of Asian snack vendors. Although it would be the last place you’d expect to find Turkish Ice Cream, it always seems to draw quite a crowd with their fun tricks.
Having never tried it myself, I was excited when a Hakiki Ice Cream popped up last year in Enmore- although minus the crowd drawing show.
First week back at uni is never fun, starting from the waking up 5 hours earlier than normal to getting into bed at night and realising that you’ve barely done anything you’ve enjoyed the whole day. Working 9-5 hours 5 days a week this semester, I’ve been unexpectedly plunged into adult working life, and I’ve gotta say- it’s not fun!
With the current hot weather, I decided to take out the ice cream machine to make some ice cream the weekend before uni started. Billions of flavour ideas went through my head, but I ended up sticking with strawberry as they’re not always in season. As I’d made it before, I stuck to my old recipe with a little bit of tweaking but alas, the ice cream machine died on me some 20 minutes into churning.
Another week. Another ice-cream recipe. Yep- I’m in an ice cream stage at the moment!
Winter is my type of ice cream weather- I like snuggle up in layers of thick clothing before slowly making my way through ice cream, unlike in summer where you have to sorta race your way through before the whole thing melts into a puddle of custard. There’s the downside of having your body freezing from inside to out, but I guess that’s also part of the fun!
I’ve been wanting to make ice cream throughout my exam period, as I took a food science subject this semester (yay!) and though it was much less interesting than I’d anticipated, there was one lecture which I did enjoy in which we learnt all about ice cream! Well not exactly, but we did learn about the roles of different components in ice cream on the textures and flavours of the finished product, and if there was one thing I actually bothered learning this whole semester, it was that!
Although I usually like to try many different recipes before deciding on one that I really like, I’ve been rather unadventurous when it comes to ice creams- infact, I’ve been only using the one recipe for all my ice creams thus far, only making minor modifications for the flavours. This was because most recipes I’d read had pretty much the same ingredients list as the one I was using anyway, and I figured more or less, that the method for making ice cream is pretty much standard if it’s made with a custard base, so why bother looking at anything more than the ingredients list if I already know what to do with all the ingredients?
It was only until I came across this black sesame ice cream recipe, and actually bothered reading it that I realised that my recipe was quite different from most others as I usually whip the cream and fold it into the custard before churning rather than incorporating the cream into the custard before cooking! This makes for a less airy and voluminous but much smoother ice cream, which I actually like better!
This black sesame ice cream recipe is pretty amazing, but then again black sesame is one of my favourite flavours! The sesame doesn’t add much of a sandy texture (unlike the nestle ones which have the texture of cement) and the roasted sesame paste adds a really nice sesame flavour 🙂
Black Sesame Ice Cream Recipe
1 1/4 cups heavy cream (I used thickened cream)
¾ cups milk
¼ cup +2 Tbsp sugar
4 egg yolks
½ cup + 2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
1. Combine cream, milk and half the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Stir often to prevent any scalding until mixture is warm, about 5 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, beat together the yolks and half of the sugar until thoroughly smooth and creamy. Slowly add a ladle of the warm cream mixture to the egg to temper them. Repeat with one or two more ladles of cream.
3. Stirring continuously, slowly pour the tempered eggs into the saucepan with the rest of the cream. Increase the heat to medium. Continue stirring the mixture frequently until it has thickened and coats the back of the spoon (10-12 minutes).
4. Pour the ice cream base into airtight containers and cover the surface of the cream with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
5. The next day, pour the ice cream base into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer instructions. As the ice cream is churning, toast the black sesame seeds in a medium skillet over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until very fragrant, stirring often to prevent burning.
6. Reserve two tablespoons of the toasted seeds (to add texture), and process the rest in a food processor or spice grinder until it forms a paste. Once the ice cream is nearly frozen, add the sesame paste and whole seeds. Continue churning until evenly incorporated. (I added the paste into the mixture before churning)
7. The ice cream will be soft, so transfer into airtight containers and freeze until desired texture is reached.
Another torturous two weeks of exams are over, and there’s not much to report back from my months of absence, in terms of food anyway (as I haven’t been venturing into the kitchen much). The most exciting thing that’s happened is that I bought sheet gelatin for the first time (yay!)- something I’ve wanted to buy for a while but have never known where to get it from.
It turns out that if I’d been looking hard enough, it wasn’t actually that hard to find as Harris Farms stocks it…..Not that I knew of it’s existence near my uni (and it’s literally a 5 minute walk) until my friend, who’s only been in Sydney for a couple of months, notified me of it and the fact that they have gelatin leaves 🙂 I really ought to explore my own city more!
Interestingly enough, the week after I bought them, Aldi started stocking gelatin leaves too…..
Another new ingredient to my pantry is green tea powder- something I know I definitely did not look hard enough for. I’ve been sort of wanting to buy green tea powder ever since I started this blog (some 4ish years ago!), specifically to make green tea ice cream, and have never really ‘found’ it despite the fact that probably every Asian supermarket stocks it. That, and the fact that I’ve been told plenty of times which specific Asian supermarket you can get green tea powder from and I still didn’t manage to find it.
I’ll have to explain though- I keep looking for it in the tea section, but they put it in the Japanese section!!
So once I finally got my hands on a packet of this stuff, the first thing I made was green tea ice cream (surprise surprise)!! I used my usual ice cream recipe, substituting the fruit for green tea powder mixed with water, and the results were quite good, though I found the ice cream to be a bit too bitter for my tastes. But I really dislike tea (yes-even green tea) so it might be a personal thing- most other recipes I’ve looked at so far have roughly the same amount of green tea powder.
I’ll definitely be tweaking the recipe soon-ish to make it more suited to my tastes so look out for matcha ice cream part 2 in the near future 😉
Matcha (Green Tea) Ice Cream
3 tsp green tea powder
3 egg yolks
1.Mix the green tea powder with about 3 tablespoons of water to make a thick paste (you might need to add a little more hot water if it’s not making a paste).
2. Put the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk together until pale and mixture leaves a trail when the whisk is lifted. Slowly add the milk into the egg mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon. Transfer to a saucepan or a double boiler and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring all the time, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil or it will curdle. Remove the custard from the heat, mix in the green tea paste (from step 1) and leave to cool for at least 1 hour, stirring from time to time to prevent a skin from forming.
3. Whip the cream until it holds its shape.
4. If using an ice cream machine, fold the whipped cream into the cold custard, then churn the mixture in the machine following the manufacturers instructions. Alternatively, freeze the custard in a freezer container, uncovered, for 1-2 hours, or until it begins to set around the edges. Turn the custard into a bowl and stir with a fork or beat in a food processor until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Return to the freezer and freeze for a further 2-3 hours, or until firm or required. Cover the container with a lid for storing.
Note: I’ve only made this recipe using an ice cream machine- if making manually without a machine, you might want to have a look at some other instructions on making ice cream without a machine as I get the feeling that mixing the frozen mixture once will not result in a very creamy ice cream! 😉