Back-to-back ice cream champ | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

DIAMOND Ice Cream: Genmaicha, Black Sesame and Adzuki Bean

Just when I figured out how to quench the summer heat, it started to rain. On the brighter side, no rain can ruin chef Daniel Back’s ice cream parade!

I recently had a coffee-and-dessert get-together at the Capricorn function room of the Diamond Hotel, a personal favorite even back when it was the Bellevue Restaurant. It is where the view of glorious Manila bay is finest.

I was pleased to meet the hotel’s new pastry chef who started his career at the Mirabelle Restaurant in Mayfair, London. He then became pastry chef of Jean-Georges V Restaurant, a three-star Michelin place, the highest-ranking in London.

He further honed his skills in William Curley Patissier and Chocolatier. While working there he was voted as Best British Chocolatier twice.

He also was pastry chef at Nobu Berkeley Restaurant in London. He trained the staff for Hong Kong when Nobu opened there. Back was also part of the opening team of Nobu Dubai.

After traveling the world, Daniel Back found himself a new home at the Manila Diamond Hotel.

Since he arrived, Back has raised the hotel dining standards for all things sweet; his specialties include chocolates, pralines and, of course, homemade ice cream.

When I tried his black sesame seed and his green tea, I was deeply impressed.

This is what superior ice cream tastes like—very creamy, super smooth, silky, so fine… Simply sublime!

They have 10 flavors: Black Sesame, Mont Blanc (Chestnut and Rum), Azuki Bean, Melon, Genmaicha (Green Tea), Apple Pie, Coconut Vanilla and Palm Sugar, Taro and Jackfruit, Super Moist Chocolate, and Baked Cheesecake. But when I visited, only four were available.

The Azuki Red Bean was very good, too; so was the Super Moist Chocolate.

Said chef Back, “Our president Ms Ang wanted original flavors with an emphasis on fresh natural produce. She also wanted a few flavors with a Japanese simplicity, hence the Genmaicha (Toasted Rice and Green Tea) and the popular Black Sesame.”

“Our ice cream is in the European style,” added Back. “Most of our ice creams use creme anglaise as the base. This makes it creamier and a richer feeling in the mouth.”


I asked the chef to share his knowledge on perfecting the art of ice cream-making: “Probably the best tip I can offer is to buy the best produce to flavor your ice cream, be it fruit, chocolate or cream cheese.”

“You should always get the best ingredients for your ice cream, as this will shine through in the finished product,” he explained. “The milk should be full fat and whipping cream when possible; these make the ‘body’ of the ice cream. The egg yolks give the ice cream a richer feel.

“When making your ice cream, it is important to cook your creme anglaise to 82 degrees (while stirring with a spatula to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan), as this will sterilize the yolks and make it safe for consumption.

“When the temperature has been reached, you have to pour it into an ice bath to cool very quickly, otherwise you risk curdling the eggs. This will result in a grainy product.”

On ice cream machines: “We use a US-made ice cream machine. I think most home ice cream makers are of good quality. Just remember not to overfill them as the freezing power reduces dramatically.”

Speaking of his ice creams: “The ice creams we are most proud of are Black Sesame because it’s different from everything else. The coconut vanilla and palm sugar, too, because it’s only 6-percent sugar, so people watching their sugar intake can enjoy, and Taro and Jackfruit, because we use the beautiful natural fruit grown here in the Philippines.”

Next flavor he plans to experiment with?

“Queso de Bola. I think Pinoys will like this.”

The most unique flavor you’ve ever concocted?

“Banana and Caramel ice cream infused with tobacco using cigars from Cuba. It had a beautiful flavor, the banana and caramel working naturally together and the tobacco providing a kick in the back of the throat. No one could guess what this unique flavor was!”

Vanilla recipe

Chef Back shares a simple vanilla ice cream recipe for you to try at home. But really, why not give just them a call?

1000 g whole milk

300 g whipping cream

220 g egg yolks

300 g refined sugar

135 g liquid glucose

2-4 vanilla pods or vanilla essence

  1. Heat your milk, cream and liquid glucose in a pan.
  2. Whisk your egg yolks and refined sugar together.
  3. When the liquid is boiling, slowly add to the yolk sugar mix while whisking briskly to prevent the eggs from curdling.
  4. Place back in the pan and cook the anglaise to 82 degrees using a spatula or wooden spoon.
  5. When the temperature is reached, strain through a mesh into an ice bath to cool quickly.
  6. Rest this mix overnight then churn it in your ice cream machine.
  7. Place in the freezer.
PASTRY chef Daniel Back

Chef Daniel’s ice creams are part of summer 2012’s must-try list.

Call the Diamond Hotel, tel. 5283000 loc. 1118; The Cake Shop at Bonifacio High Street, mobile 0917-7486426; or The Cake Club Rockwell, tel. 5836127, to order and reserve. Ice creams available in pint and half-gallon sizes.

My book, “Kitchen Rescue 3 The Directory—My Lifeline to Eating, Cooking and Living,” is now available at all leading bookstores. Call 6474744.

E-mail the author at [email protected]