During a trip to Paris, my husband and I visited an exotic patisserie specializing in Japanese-inspired French pastries called Sadaharu Aoki. I had a black sesame eclair there which was a perfect mix of sweet and umami, and upon returning home I came up with this simple homage to the flavors. No trip to Paris (or even toasting sesame seeds) needed! —Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus
light brown sugar
pinch of salt
half and half
egg yolks, beaten
vanilla bean paste, or 2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
Whisk together dry ingredients (corn starch, brown sugar, and salt) until well combined in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. You may need to get your clean hands in there to break up any lumps of brown sugar. Add the half and half and milk and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly.
When the mixture begins to thicken just slightly, use a small ladle-full (about 1/3 C) to temper the egg yolks before adding the yolk mixture back to the saucepan. Continue to simmer until thick and large bubbles burst at the top, continuing to whisk constantly, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and add vanilla and sesame oil and whisk to combine. Chill in the refridgerator at least one hour before serving, with a layer of plastic wrap protecting the surface from film formation.