For black sesame paste, dry-roast sesame seeds until aromatic (1-2 minutes). Cool, pound in a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Bring sugar and 60ml water to the simmer in a small saucepan, remove from heat, stir in black sesame seeds, chocolate, ginger and a pinch of salt, stir until chocolate has melted. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until cool.
Whisk egg yolks, sugar and vanilla seeds on high speed in an electric mixer until pale (3 minutes). Meanwhile, bring cream and 750ml milk to the simmer. Pour milk mixture over yolk mixture, whisking on low speed, then return to pan and stir continuously over low-medium heat until mixture begins to thicken (7-10 minutes). Stir occasionally until cool, then churn in an ice-cream machine. Spoon ice-cream into 12 x 6cm-diameter hemisphere moulds (see note), then freeze until firm but not hard (1-2 hours).
Scoop 1 tsp ice-cream from the middle of each hemisphere with a melon baller. Fill cavity with 1 tsp black sesame paste, freeze until firm (3-4 hours), then unmould ice-cream and join hemispheres in pairs to make balls, rubbing to close gaps. Freeze until required.
Whisk remaining milk and egg in a bowl to combine. Take one ice-cream ball at a time from the freezer, roll in flour, dip in eggwash, roll in crumbs, then return to freezer. Repeat until all ice-cream balls are coated, then repeat process so each ball has two layers of crumbs. Freeze until very firm (overnight).
Meanwhile, for ginger syrup, combine ingredients and 100ml water in a small saucepan, bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, cook for 30 seconds, cool, then strain into a small jug.
Heat oil in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 200C. Deep-fry 1 ball at a time (be careful as hot oil will spit), gently turning until golden (30 seconds-1 minute). Remove from heat, drain on absorbent paper, serve immediately with ginger syrup. Repeat with remaining balls, skimming oil to remove excess crumbs.
Note Hemisphere silicone moulds are available from specialist kitchenware suppliers such as Chefs’ Warehouse. Chill them in the freezer before using them.
This recipe is from the April 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.