misugaru ice cream with candied cacao nibs


have you ever felt that feeling where you’ve tried something, failed, tried again, failed, almost gave up, tried again and failed, tried again while squeezing every ounce of hope out of you and finally got it right? this is perseverance, and i haven’t felt this feeling since that one time in college where i had to retake a statistics course after failing miserably. that bell curve grading system definitely did not work in my favor.

during the process of trying to remediate repeated failure, you’ll ask yourself if you’re really stupid and if you'll be able to move forward with thinning self-confidence. it really is paralyzing, but i’ve learned that a clear vision helps you press on. visions have evolved for me since my college years, and rather than digging myself out of statistics purgatory, i now was stuck with trying to make my misugaru ice cream dreamz come true.

what is misugaru? it’s what a korean kid’s childhood memories taste like. it’s a powdered blend of roasted korean grains, beans, nuts, and seeds that’s oh so go-su-hae. imagine capturing the essence of that nutty toasty flavor of biting into special k cereal and roasting that essence on medium heat for 10 minutes. if you have a better description, please halp.

imagine being taught to mix that flavor into ice water and honey and chugging it down to cool down during the hot summers. or having it with warm milk and sipping it out of a thermos on the car ride to school on a frigid winter morning. i’m crying.

it really did mean a lot for me to get this misugaru ice cream right. like i was servicing my childhood memories with misugaru. i needed to learn how to get this right, but goodness gracious...round one: overcooked the custard and it froze like caramel. round two, texture was no longer caramely, but the misugaru blend made the ice cream chalky. round four, the sugar and cream were just too much. midway between round three and four, i slumped myself on my kitchen floor asking myself if i was too dumb to make a decent ice cream.

round four, nerves were high but to my delight, it came out just right! it was creamy but not fatty, the misugaru chunks and candied cacao nibs added sweetness and texture, and that hint of sea salt and vanilla was perfection. and lastly, the true test: the scoop test. it wasn't too light where it’s like scooping fluff and melted easily, and it wasn't too dense to the point where you have to break a couple spoons to get a decent bite. it was juuusttt right, i finally passed!

xo, christine


misugaru ice cream with candied cacao nibs


ice cream custard

5 egg yolks

¾ cup sugar

1 ¼ cup heavy cream

1 ¾ cup whole milk

2 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

candied cacao nibs

½ cup sugar

3 tablespoon water

¼ cup cacao nibs

misugaru nibs

½ cup sugar

¼ cup water

½ cup misgaru powder



prep: place ice cream freezer bowl in freezer

ice cream custard

  1. in a heat proof mixing bowl, whisk together 5 egg yolks and sugar until you get a pale yellow color

  2. in a sauce pan, combine heavy cream and milk. set on stove on medium heat, whisk together, and remove when small milk bubbles appear on the side of the pan. remove from head

  3. using a ladle, pour 1 ladle of cream/milk into the egg/sugar mixture. quickly whisk to combine evenly, pour another 2 ladles and whisk together. pour remainder of cream/milk into the bowl and whisk together until evenly combined.

  4. fill a pot halfway with water, set on stove with medium high heat, bring water to a slow rolling boil. set heatproof bowl (double boiler) with custard and stir with a wood spoon for 2-3 minutes. run your finger on the wooden spoon, if the custard liquid doesn’t form back to cover the wooden spoon, it’s good to go and can be removed from the heat.

  5. add salt and vanilla immediately after, and give the custard one last mix

  6. bring custard to room temperature and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

candied cacao nibs

  1. line a baking sheet with a silpat or wax paper

  2. whisk together sugar and water in a small sauce pan. set on stove for high heat and bring up to a boil. add candied cacao nibs, mix, evenly and pour mixture onto baking sheet and smooth out into the thinnest layer possible

  3. place baking sheet in freezer

misugaru nibs

  1. place sugar and water in a small sauce pan, whisk together and bring up to a high heat

  2. pour in misugaru powder, whisk quickly and remove from heat

  3. the mixture should be doughy and pliable. break up into pea sized pieces and place in fridge for at least 1 hour

ice cream assembly

  1. take ice cream custard, misugaru, cacao nibs, and freezer bowl out of fridge/freezer

  2. pour chilled custard into frozen ice cream maker freezer bowl. turn ice cream maker on.

  3. drop in pea sized misugaru into maker

  4. add cacao nibs

  5. churn for 20-25 minutes

  6. ENJOY AS SOFT SERVE!!!! or place in freezer for a 3-4 hours to have true ice cream!