Low Carb Black Sesame Ice Cream

This is my favourite flavour of ice cream. This sums up the sweetest endings of all Japanese meals and I’ve always chosen goma (black sesame) ice cream over other flavours like matcha or red bean. Like other kinds of dark-coloured foods, there is a tendency for your mouth to be coated with a layer of unappealing grey smears while eating it, but the flavour blows the mind, way beyond its rather unappealing appearance.

Why black sesame? Black sesame seeds seem to have a more earthy and nutty flavour than white sesame seeds, and is much more common in Japanese than Chinese cuisine. Black sesame, because of the slightly bitter overtone, works wonderfully in a sweet ice cream recipe. When buying the black sesame paste, do choose a Japanese grocer or supermarket. There is a sort of black sesame jam that is being sold online from China which does not really suit as it is already sweetened.

This recipe requires the making of a custard as the base of the ice cream. When making ice cream there are just a few must-haves – a bain marie and a thermometer. These will ensure that the custard does not turn into scrambled eggs and is also heated enough for hygiene purposes. Stirring the custard over the stove is a slightly hot activity which is why I’ve been avoided making custard-based ice creams for a while. Still, making the custard is really worth it for the gelato-like texture. In low carb ice creams, however, the sugar substitutes like erythritol tend to crystallize and make the ice cream rather hard and icy when frozen. To temper this effect, I usually use both alcohol as well as vegetable glycerine to give a smoother texture. Vodka is a fairly neutral spirit that works well in ice cream.

The family trial of the ice cream did well. Kid #2 said it was my best ice cream to date, and my old dad was licking the ice cream out of the bowl. A definite win!

Low Carb Black Sesame Ice Cream

  • Servings: 500 ml tub
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup and 2 tbsp of sugar substitute
  • 3 tbsp sesame paste
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vodka
  • 1/2 tsp glycerine


  1. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet until the seeds are fragrant (about 2 – 3 minutes). Grind finely with a spice grinder or in a mortar.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and egg yolks together till the mixture becomes a little paler
  3. Heat up a bowl in a bain marie. Mix the egg and sugar together with the milk, whipping cream, ground sesame seeds, sesame paste. Gently heat and stir well at the same time until the mixture comes up to 70 deg C or 160 deg F. The mixture should coat the spatula with a coat of thickened creamy mixture (custard).
  4. Take off the heat and add the salt, vanilla extract, vodka and glycerine. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 hours, then churn in the ice cream maker according to its instructions. When churned, keep in a freezer-safe container and serve cold.


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