Sunday, 29 October 2017

Black Sesame Seeds Ice~Cream (Rose Scented) ~ Happy Halloween

The door bell buzzes and buzzes again and again. That's not usual who could it be. I literally rush down the stairs and just manage to prevent a trip over while missing a stair. As is common in these occasions, the heart pounds and thumps as if there is no tomorrow. Oh dear, I almost feel my heart in my throat. I open the door to a dozen giggly kids who in unison shout out "Happy Halloween", trying their best to make spooky faces at me. I did forget it is Halloween and unlike the times when I was growing up, kids these days, no matter in which part of the world they are celebrate Halloween. I look adorably at their sweet faces, some smeared with charcoal paste, some having scary eyes as an after effect of smudged kohl and some have made good use of their Mum's lipstick to give the impression of blood. Those fangs which the dear little boy dressed as a vampire is wearing is overtly cute. It's such a happy feeling to see these little darlings, trying to look scary. I send them off after filling their jack o lantern printed buckets or small hollow crafted pumpkins with chocolates and toffees.

Taking about Jack O' Lantern there is a popular Irish folktale which charts the nemesis of now the famous Jack O'Lantern. Hundreds of years ago there lived Stingy Jack in Ireland who was wretched hoary trickster who played pranks on anybody and everybody he came across. Such was his ability to pull a fast one that once he even deceived the Devil, then extracted a promise out of the devil that when he died the devil would not take his soul. So when Stingy Jack finally died, he was refused a place in heaven because of his mean deeds and the devil kept his promise by not allowing him into hell. The only place for Stingy Jack to go now was Netherworld, the place between Heaven and Hell which was pitch dark and meant for the doomed. Stingy Jack requested the devil to help him with a light as he was scared to traverse the gloomy dingy Netherworld. The devil tossed a burning ember from hell and Stingy Jack who always carried with him a turnip, carved a hallow into the turnip and placed the burning ember.

Thus from that day onward Stingy Jack roamed through the Netherworld without stopping, carrying his 'Jack O'Lantern' to light his way. Now this folklore resulted in the ritual of carving out turnips, gourds, potatoes and beets and placing a light in the cavity. This was then placed outside the homes on the eve of Halloween to ward off the evil spirits and Stingy Jack. Now when the Irish migrated to the United States Of America in large numbers, they brought this unique tradition of carving a vegetable and placing a light in it's cavity with them. Pumpkins which were native to America turned a better,bigger and easier to carve alternative to turnips and thus the tradition of Pumpkin carving which commenced in the 1800's with the introduction of Jack O'Lantern to America is prevalent even to this day.

Since the two most important colors that are synonymous with Halloween are black and orange, I wanted to prepare a dish which would have either of these colors, at the same time both Children and Adults would love the dish. Though the weather has got better here in Dubai, but we are still missing the chill. So I thought it would be a great idea to come up with an ice~cream a black colored ice~cream. As many artificial things do not make their way into my kitchen, I had to come up with an ice ~ cream which would take a black color from a natural ingredient. I had eaten black sesame seeds ice-cream on a trip to Hong Kong many moons ago. I remember how intrigued I was when they had placed the ice-cream in front of me. It is unusual to see a black colored ice-cream but the taste was very nice and creamy with subtle notes of sesame seeds and the aroma of fresh vanilla extract. So I too decided to go ahead. Did not have a recipe so I concocted my very own Black Sesame Seeds Ice~Cream, gave it the fragrance of a rose by using pure rose extract and here we are. Honestly this was the fourth time I have prepared the ice-cream in the last few days, as before I can shoot pictures for the Blog we have had guests who loved this so much that nothing would remain of the tub of ice-cream that I would have prepared. Finally today I got around to taking pictures. As you can see this is not jet black, but this ratio of ingredients is just perfect for the ice-cream to taste yummy. So I didn't increase the quantity of sesame seeds just for the sake of the color as that would have altered the taste. We all know that sesame seeds taste lightly bitter. So we need to be very careful and get the correct ratio of each ingredient or else we will end up with a bitter tasting I ever.

This is an egg-less ice-cream which was made without an ice-cream machine. Since it is meant for the Halloween party dessert, while serving you can splash some red colored topping to make it look perfect of the occasion. Don't forget to place some spiders (artificial), on the serving tray. This ice-cream tastes very creamy and there is a light hint of sesame seeds and is fragrant with the Rose essence. By the way you can use vanilla extract instead of rose essence, the choice is totally yours. The idea is to serve a very soft and creamy textured ice-cream which is not overpowered by either the taste or aroma of sesame seeds. You should have only a slight hint and not be overwhelmed and have a bitter taste in your mouth. So let's take a look at the ingredients.

Black Sesame Seeds Ice~Cream (Rose Scented)~



2 Ltr Full Cream Milk
200 Gm Heavy Cream
400 Ml Condensed Milk
1/2 Cup Black Sesame Seeds
1 Tsp Rose Extract
Sugar to taste ( I didn't add any)

Let's Make Black Sesame Seeds Ice ~ Cream (Rose Scented) in easy steps~

1) Take a frying pan. Add the Black Sesame Seeds. 

** On a very low flame toast the black sesame seeds till they become crisp.
NOTE ~ Be very patient while doing this. If you burn the sesame seeds your ice~cream will be ruined 

2) Transfer the toasted black sesame seeds into a coffee grinder or simple Indian style grinder. 

** Whizz till you get a smooth oily paste. Transfer to a bowl.
NOTE ~ If your paste is too dry, you may add a 1/2 Tsp of Sesame seed oil or a small cube of butter.

3) Take a large deep sauce pan. Pour the milk, add the cream and add the condensed milk. Stir and mix everything together. Bring to a rolling boil. Simmer.

4) Take out 4 Tbsp approximately of the hot milk and pour it into the bowl with the sesame seed paste. Using a spoon mix the paste with the milk so that you now get a lump free runny paste. Use more milk if required.

5) Pour this into the simmering milk. 

** Mix well.

6) Continue simmering till the milk reduces and becomes thick.
NOTE ~ You will know that your mixture is ready when if you dip the ladle and bring it out you will be able to draw a distinct line at the back of the milk smeared ladle.

** Once the milk is reduced to its required consistency, you may add sugar if you want. After adding sugar or any sweetener of your choice, simmer for 2 more minutes for it to dissolve in the milk.

7) Switch off the flame. Add the rose extract. Mix. Bring to room temperature. Transfer into the Ice ~ Cream Tub or anything that you will freeze your Ice ~ Cream in. 

** If you are using an ice~cream maker then follow the instructions written there. 
** Otherwise freeze in any container of choice, covered with cling wrap for at least 6 hours. At the end of six hours break the frozen ice~cream and transfer it into a food processor. Whizz till you get back the thick creamy liquid. Pour this liquid back into the container used for freezing. Again cover with a cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

The Black Sesame Seed Ice ~Cream makes for a brilliant Halloween Dessert. Serve it with a raspberry, strawberry or any sauce dripped on top.

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