Black sesame (mochi) ice cream

It has been a very warm few days in Melbourne. I have really missed and loved the feeling of the hot air on my face as I opened the car door and then being able to roll up my sleeves and roll down the windows while driving. Temperatures at around 27-28C is my favourite, it means not being overly hot that would make me sweat like a pig but also warm enough to wear dresses and eat ice cream.

I have 3 favourite flavours – chocolate, green tea and black sesame. yes I know, there shouldn’t be 3 since that wouldn’t be a favourite anymore but I choose the flavour based on my mood and the weather…and it’s just really hard to pick between them.

The first time I had black sesame ice cream I think was many years ago at Shiranui in Glen Waverley. The flavours really surprised and excited me. The wonderful aromas of roasted sesame seeds traveled through my whole body and touched every part of my taste buds. It’s a flavour I grew up with, just not in ice cream form.

When I felt a bit under the weather or in need of a nutrition booster, mum would feed me this thing called ‘zhi ma hu 芝麻糊’, its literal translation is sesame paste but it was so much more than that. Reading the packet carefully, it had ground roasted black sesame seeds, ground peanuts and rice. Rice?! Yes, that’s what holds the paste together and makes it gooey. It’s oh so delicious and has a wonderfully smooth texture.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve had it and the texture totally slipped my mind. So when I decided to make black sesame ice cream without actually having any black sesames at home, I thought that it would be a fantastic idea to use this paste.

The recipe I used was based off Nami’s black sesame ice cream recipe but with a twist. The cool thing was, since I didn’t know what it would turn out like, I had a surprise. It was like black sesame mochi ice cream! If you’ve never had mochi before, it’s a sticky rice cake made with glutinous rice, but of course the ice cream wasn’t as sticky as that although it definitely had some of those qualities.

When I was scraping the stuck bits from the ice cream maker, I found the dense portion of the ice cream actually tasted better since it was quite chewy. If you have large asian grocery stores near you, you will probably be able to find this type of paste. It should have small packets inside, each containing powder that can be used just by dissolving it in a little bit of hot water.

It’s a shame if you’re unable to get your hands on some, although the regular black sesame ice cream is just as good if not better so don’t worry. πŸ™‚ Just go to Nami’s blog at Just One Cookbook for the yummy black sesame ice cream recipe using ground sesame seeds.

In hindsight, I may not have needed the egg yolks since it was already quite a thick mixture. I have left it in since it tasted fine.

Question time: What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?

Black sesame mochi ice cream
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
Makes about 1 litres of ice cream


β€’ 6 small packets black sesame paste ‘zhi ma hu 芝麻糊’
β€’ 80g caster/superfine sugar (this is an approximate since I added sugar on many occasions, please taste the mixture before churning and adjust)
β€’ 400ml whole milk
β€’ 200ml thickened cream
β€’ 3 egg yolks (optional)


1. Heat milk and cream in a small to medium saucepan until heated through. Set aside.
2. Whisk sugar and egg yolks together until pale and smooth.
3. Dissolve the black sesame paste in some hot water (just enough water to cover the powder) and mix well until all lumps are gone and the mixture is thick.
4. Add black sesame mixture to whisked eggs yolks and fold through.
5. Add in heated milk and cream slowly, stirring as you pour it.
6. Pour mixture into a small to medium pot and heat until custard thickens (although it’s slightly harder to tell since it’s already quite thick), don’t overheat as egg can get cooked.
7. Cool until at least room temperature.
8. Churn in an ice cream maker until frozen. Transfer ice cream to a container and freeze until ready to be consumed.

I suggest consuming this ice cream quickly, since I left mine for a few weeks and the texture of the ice cream was not nearly as good as when I first made it.

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21 comments… add one
  • Parsley Sage October 21, 2012, 5:41 am

    This is a fascinating ice cream! I’ve never had black sesame flavored anything before but I have had mochi and loved every bite. Not only does this dessert sound delicious…it looks super cool!

  • Rosa Mayland October 21, 2012, 8:46 am

    What a beautiful color! This ice cream must taste so great.



  • yummychunklet October 21, 2012, 10:57 am

    I love mochi. And I love that purple spoon!

  • choux choux October 21, 2012, 5:21 pm

    YUM! My favourite is pandan and coconut from Il Dolce Fredo. It’s so good πŸ™‚

  • Girlnpurpledres October 21, 2012, 7:49 pm

    You have absolutely beautiful photos! The ice cream sounds yummy too πŸ™‚

  • kitchenriffs October 22, 2012, 4:10 am

    That ice cream has such gorgeous color! The photos are great. I’ve never had black sesame ice cream – I’ve been missing out. Really nice – thanks.

  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today October 22, 2012, 5:19 am

    i so envy this temperature and ice creams in a hot day. It’s getting cold over here and I’m rather drinking hot tea πŸ™‚ I love the blue cups as well.

  • Yy October 22, 2012, 1:34 pm


  • Christine @ Cooking Crusade October 24, 2012, 10:20 am

    This looks amazing! I absolutely fell in love (or obsession?) with mochi on my trips to Japan. I’ve heard about mochi ice cream in America before but never in Aus, so I can’t wait to give this a try!!! I hope I’ll be able to find the sesame paste. Yum!!

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook October 29, 2012, 7:08 pm

    Hi Jenny! Thank you so much for making this ice cream and linking back to my site (somehow WP didn’t send notification, so I found out by accident!!! :O). I’m sorry I’ve been MIA lately but I’m glad I noticed your post! You take beautiful pictures & presentation of the ice cream Jenny! Now I have a craving for this ice cream again. So happy to hear you enjoyed this! πŸ™‚

  • Adam @ Inspired Taste October 30, 2012, 3:21 am

    Simply gorgeous. Stunning photography. Nice flavor combo too.

  • Cami Lopez December 14, 2012, 1:56 pm

    Awesome. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I am Japanese and I really appreciate this kind of cooking even though I am not back there at my hometown. This make me miss KYOTO so much.

  • Vicki December 18, 2012, 1:35 pm

    This looks great! But t’s not ‘mochi’ unless it has a glutinous rice paste coating πŸ™‚

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake January 3, 2013, 6:22 pm

      Yes you are right, I only called it mochi, and in brackets too, because the texture of the ice cream was very sticky, sort of like mochi texture. This can only be achieved if you used the packet ground sesame paste I specified, since it has rice in it.

  • Hannah January 30, 2013, 4:17 pm

    How big were your packets of zhi ma hu? & can I use heavy cream instead of thickened cream?

  • Ching February 11, 2013, 11:47 pm

    Hi Jenny,
    Thank you for the recipe. What should i do to the 200 ml of thicken cream?
    Best, Ching

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake February 13, 2013, 7:48 pm

      I’m so sorry! I seem to have forgotten to include it in the recipe. You just mix it together with the milk, we don’t have half and half here in Australia, that’s why I’ve used part milk and part thickened cream to thin it out a bit.

  • Huimin September 26, 2013, 9:13 pm

    Same as hannah’s question, how many gram/oz is ur each packet of sesame paste?

  • Esther April 23, 2014, 3:13 pm

    Hi, where do you get your serving cups from? Thanks!

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 11, 2014, 11:17 am

      I actually bought them from a market in China! Unfortunately you might not be able to find exactly the same ones, but it’s literally just a painted tin cup so you might be able to create one quite easily yourself but of course make sure the paint isn’t toxic. πŸ™‚


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