Fruity Bissap (Hibiscus) Ice Cream Recipe

Updated on January 1, 2020
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I'm particularly interested in travel, reading, history, and cooking.

What a struggle to make such a recipe! It seems simple in hindsight, but making ice cream from bissap powder was a difficult and hard endeavor. Bissap powder, also known as hibiscus powder, has the capability to make some truly excellent juice. I can attest that it makes splendid popsicles. So why not try to make ice cream? The result turned out fine in the end, but it took attempt after attempt before I was successful! The problem was two-fold: how do I simultaneously provide for sufficient flavor, while also preventing excessive grit from building up in the ice cream (which would prevent it from being smooth). Previous attempts I had tried had relied extensively on boiling and on sieves to attempt to filter the bissap powder, but it either resulted in a mixture that was too grainy or that had removed too much of the flavor. Months passed before I tried it again, until a professor of mine who himself is Senegalese had recommended leaving the powder to soak overnight with its water to produce the juice. This proved to be the advice that put me on the path to success, and I had used it to make a final, successful attempt. The end result that I managed to achieve left me reasonably satisfied. It produced a smooth, soft, vibrant, strongly flavored, and fruity tropical-type ice cream.

It also has the advantage of producing an absurd amount of juice in the way I had done it, so in addition to having ice cream, one can also have bissap juice as an accompaniment! In fact, I had made two batches of this, one which was used for ice cream, and the other for bissap juice. I would actually say that the bissap juice is even better, and I recommend it heavily. It's remarkably easy to make large quantities of it and it is delicious, as well as being very easy to modify to suit one's tastes.

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  • 200 g / 3.5 oz bissap powder
  • 2 cups cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 egg yolks


  1. In a large pitcher, jar, or other container capable of holding a mixture of water and bissap powder, combine 100 grams/3.5 oz of bissap powder and 8 cups of water. Stir until well mixed. Place into a refrigerator, and stir occasionally, while allowing to combine for around a day.
  2. Drain the juice through a sieve, to prevent any powder from leaking through. There will be a very large amount of powder remaining behind as grains at the bottom. This is not good for further consumption as the flavor has already been leaked out of it, and thus it should be discarded.
  3. Place the juice into a large pot, and add 2 cups of sugar. Bring to a boil and keep boiling until the juice has reduced significantly.
  4. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then add in 2 cups of heavy cream, 1 cup of milk. 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 3 egg yolks. Mix together and bring back to a boil, stirring appropriately.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until it is chilled.
  6. Churn in an ice cream maker for the appropriate amount of time, then freeze for a period of time not less than 8 to 12 hours.

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