Amasi ice-cream sandwiches

Amasi ice-cream sandwiches

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  • 700 ml ice cream and 48 biscuits
  • Medium
  • 10 minutes, plus overnight chilling time
  • 30 minutes


  • For the ice cream:
  • 1½ cups amasi
  • ½ cup full-cream milk
  • ½ cup heavy or double cream
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 8 large free-range egg yolks
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • For the double-chocolate amasi biscuits:
  • 185 g soft butter
  • 300 g sugar
  • 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 cup amasi
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t bicarbonate of soda
  • 375 g cake flour
  • 50 g dark chocolate chips
  • 150 g milk chocolate, melted, for dipping

Cooking Instructions

1. To make the ice cream, pour the amasi into a bowl and whisk until lump free. Set aside.

2. In a saucepan bring the milk, cream and vanilla to a simmer over a medium heat. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low.

3 Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a separate bowl.

4. Slowly pour the milk-and-cream mixture into the yolk-and-sugar mixture while whisking.

5. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, and continue stirring it gently with a wooden spoon or spatula until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon or spatula, this takes about 3–5 minutes.

6. Remove from the heat and stir in the amasi.

7. Transfer to a clean bowl and cover (place clingwrap or wax paper directly onto the surface of the liquid to prevent a skin from forming) and chill overnight.

8. If you have an ice-cream machine, churn the mixture and freeze it until set. If you don’t have an ice-cream machine, pour the mixture into a freezerproof dish and place it in the freezer. Whisk the mixture every 20 minutes over a 3-hour period, then allow to freeze and set completely.

9. To make the biscuits, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

10. Add the amasi and mix well. Add the salt, bicarbonate of soda, flour and chocolate chips and mix until well combined.

11. Scoop spoonfuls of the dough onto a greased or lined baking tray and bake at 180°C for 12–15 minutes.

12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Dip each biscuit into the melted chocolate so that half of the biscuit is coated.

13. Scoop the ice cream into balls and sandwich between two cookies.

Cook's note: 

I'm a food nerd. At culinary school, I loved learning the stories of foods from different continents, like how cheese was discovered by nomadic tribes carrying raw milk in bags made from camel and goat stomachs.

The rennet in the stomach lining would cause the milk to split into curds and whey … and cheese was born. Amasi is also a culinary wonder that’s stood the test of time.

The craft of letting milk ferment in the sun with the help of naturally occurring bacteria is centuries old. Growing up, my mom would serve us amasi with coarse pap or brown bread. Now, I channel my memories by playing around with it, including in this dessert.

Find more ice-cream recipes here.

Photographs: Sadiqah Assur-Ismail
Production: Hannah Lewry
Food assistants: Emma Nkunzana, Kate Ferreira

Lesego Semenya Recipe by: Lesego Semenya
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The late, great Lesego Semenya aka Les da Chef was famous for his braai skills, devotion to heritage recipes and ingredients, and as a television host. He was the author of "Dijo: My food, my journey", a regular columnist for the TASTE magazine and host of TASTETube videos.

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