Black Sesame Pudding with Strawberries, Sesame Seed Brittle and Cherry Sauce

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Ingredients

Black Sesame Pudding

  • 1000ml Half and Half
  • 3 Whole Eggs
  • 9 Egg Yolks
  • 150ml Maple Syrup
  • 25ml Mirin
  • 40g Black Sesame Seeds (toasted)
  • 10g Gelatin Powder
  • 2g Salt

Cherry Sauce

  • 500g Frozen Cherries (stems removed, deseeded)
  • 200g Sugar
  • 1 Lemon (zest finely grated and juiced)
  • 1g salt
  • 75ml Whisky

Macerated Strawberries

  • 250g Strawberries (washed, trimmed and sliced)
  • 50g Sugar
  • 1 Lemon (zest finely grated and juiced)
  • 2g Salt

Sesame Seed Brittle 

  • 40g White Sesame Seeds (toasted)
  • 40g Black Sesame Seeds (toasted)
  • 175g Sugar
  • 25ml Mirin
  • 50g Butter
  • 2g Salt

Instructions

Black Sesame Pudding

  1. Add a splash of water to the powdered gelatin to re-hydrate it and allow it to bloom.
  2. Place half the sugar into a pan with the half and half and heat over medium high heat until it reaches a simmer.
  3. Whisk the remaining sugar with the whole eggs, egg yolks and salt.
  4. Place your sesame seeds into a blender along with the warm half and half mixture and puree until smooth.
  5. Pour your black sesame cream into your egg and sugar mixture in batches while constantly whisky to fully emulsify the two together.
  6. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over medium high heat while constantly stirring the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula until it reaches 165°F and turns into a light custard.  Add your gelatin mix and mirin and whisk till fully incorporated.
  7. Pass the custard mix through a strainer into a large bowl, container or mold and refrigerate for 4-6hrs or preferably over night till set and firm.

Cherry Sauce

  1. Place your cherries, sugar, lemon zest and juice and salt into a pan and cook over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a boil.  After it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15mins until the mixture thickens slightly.
  2. Pour the contents into a blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Add your whisky to your cherry sauce and stir until combined.
  4. Set aside and allow to cool.

Macerated Strawberries

  1. Place your strawberries, sugar, salt and lemon juice and zest into a bowl.  Stir until the strawberries are well coated and allow to sit for 30mins to macerate in it’s own juices.
  2. Set aside and reserve for later.

Sesame Seed Brittle

  1. Place your sugar into a pan with a splash of water and mirin.  Cook over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves and turns into a caramel.
  2. When your caramel has turned dark amber brown, turn off the heat and add your butter.
  3. When your butter has fully dissolved into the caramel, stir in your toasted sesame seeds.
  4. Pour your sesame seed brittle mixture onto a pan lined with non-stick parchment paper and allow to cool and harden.
  5. Set aside and reserve for later.

Assembly

  1. Remove your pudding cups from the fridge, checking to see that they’ve settled and firmed.
  2. Pour a drizzle of cherry sauce on top of your puddings, and garnish with your macerated strawberries, sesame brittle and a sprig of mint.

Notes

  • You can choose to either leave the pudding in the bowl, cup or mold or unmold them by dipping your bowl, cup or mold in hot water for 10-20secs and inverting them onto a plate or dish.
  • The addition of the mirin to the caramel is to help prevent the sugar from crystallizing in the pan.  
  • It’s important to constantly stir the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula when cooking the custard, as this will allow you to redistribute the heat throughout the custard mix cooking it more evenly.  Otherwise you run the risk of having a portion of your custard turning into scrambled eggs.
  • Invariably you’ll have some cooked protein from the eggs, which is why it’s important to pass the custard through a strainer.  It’ll also help catch any bits of undissolved gelatin you might have mixed.
  • Since the pudding has a lot of bittersweet notes from the black sesame seeds and maple syrup, the fruity and sour cherry sauce acts a counterbalance to the rich pudding.  As it helps to act as a palette cleanser.  So the dish itself doesn’t feel too heavy and you can eat more of it.  
  • The whisky added at the end of the cherry sauce is to help knock back some of the sweetness from the cherries and add another layer of complexity to the sauce.
  • I’d like to think this dessert is a good marriage between Japanese and Canadian influences incorporating ideas, concepts and ingredients popular in both countries.  Here I’ve employed a popular Japanese dessert (pudding) and added my own little twists to combine the two countries together harmoniously.  Using ingredients such as black and white sesame seeds, mirin, cherries, etc to represent Japan, along with maple syrup, whisky, etc to help represent Canada. 

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