When I find an ingredient I like, I use it over and over again. Black sesame is my current obsession. I love the subtle flavor it adds to a dish. Last week, I created a bark with matcha and black sesame. I was so inspired by that recipe that I wanted to see if I could add it to one my favorite desserts (my favorite to make and eat) – creme brulee. This black sesame creme brulee is seriously to die for.
When I first approached this recipe, I thought it would be similar to my Matcha Creme Brulee recipe. I could just add in a tablespoon of the black sesame seeds and I would be done. But nope! It didn’t work out. I failed to understand the difference between black sesame and matcha. Matcha powder dissolves in any hot liquid, but black sesame sort of just floats in liquid. So I needed to rethink my approach.
I started doing research online for various black sesame recipes from creme brulee to ice creams. There was maybe 1 creme brulee recipe that said something about black sesame paste. Now there was a lead I could work with! I then googled black sesame paste recipe and found a ton! There were many variations but it seemed as if the 2 core ingredients were toasted black sesame and honey. So in my second trial, I used 2 tablespoons of black sesame seeds and 2 tablespoons of honey to create a paste that could incorporate better into the cream. I toasted the black sesame for 5 minutes or until I could smell the toasted black sesame flavor.
First off, black sesame paste itself is SO YUMMY. I tried a bit and I was blown away with how amazing it tasted. It was a great balance between the sweetness of the honey and the subtle earthiness of the black sesame. I started to imagine all the dishes I could make with it like black sesame toast (future recipe post!).
I’m happy to report that my second attempt was successful. The honey helped incorporate the black sesame seeds into the creme brulee, so you get an even amount of sesame seeds throughout the creme brulee. And omg was it good! I am definitely going to be making this black sesame creme brulee for future friend gatherings!
Black Sesame Creme Brulee
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
- Toast black sesame seeds for 10-20 seconds. Add them to a spice grinder and pulse until it is in a powdered form. Combine the black sesame seed powder with the honey in a small bowl. Mix until a thick paste forms. Set aside
- Separate your egg yolks from the egg whites into a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
- Add the cream and black sesame paste to a small sauce pan over low medium heat. Whisk the paste and the cream until the paste melts into the cream. Be careful not to overheat the cream. Once the cream starts emitting a little smoke, it's done. Turn off your heat.
- Use a whisk to break down your egg yolks. Pour in the sugar and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add 1/4 cup of the heated cream to your egg and sugar mixture to temper it. Stir a few times and pour it into the cream. Mix until everything is well incorporated and there are no lumps.
- Ladle the creme brulee mixture into 4 ramekins and place them in a 9x9 baking dish. Pour the hot water into the baking dish.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes.
- Take the creme brulee out at 30 minutes to check if it's done. It should jiggle a little bit in the middle. If it jiggles a lot, leave it in for 1-2 more minutes before checking again.
- Cool for 2 hours at room temperature and at least another 2 hours in the refrigerator. You can refrigerate up to several days.
- Add a thin layer of sugar over the top. Shake off any excess. Use a torch to melt the sugar and create a solid layer over the top. You can also put it in broiler to achieve the same result.