I think we can all agree tahini is having a bit of a moment. Well, it’s Middle Eastern cooking that’s truly having its moment, but the result is ingredients like tahini, rose water, zatar, and sumac are hitting the mainstream. There are premium tahini companies, like Soom Foods (in Philadelphia) popping up, and a new tahini and halva shop in Chelsea Market in NYC. I can even find three different varieties of tahini alongside the peanut butter and almond butter at my local C-Town, a decidedly un-fancy grocery store.
I grew up in a household that always had tahini around (medjool dates dipped in tahini is one of my dad's favorite snacks), and I am so happy to see it get some love because it is incredibly delicious and versatile - tahini's bitter toasty flavor can play a role in both sweet and savory cooking. In sweet preparations, like this super easy, eggless ice cream, it pairs exceptionally well with bold, bitter chocolate.
More chocolate and tahini goodness:
Danielle Oron’s Salted Chocolate and Tahini Cookies via Molly Yeh
Marbled Chocolate Tahini Cups from A Cozy Kitchen
Tahini Chocolate Cakes from the NY Times
Tahini Hot Chocolate from Bon Appetit
Tahini Stracciatella Ice Cream
This ice cream combines chocolate and tahini to great effect. I made it with an eggless base, considering how oily tahini is, I figured I didn’t need the extra richness from egg yolks. It is rich and super creamy, punctuated by chocolate bits that melt as soon as they hit your tongue (thanks to a bit of coconut oil.)
Ice Cream Base
1 cup (245g) tahini
1 cup (240ml) whole milk
2/3 cup (135g) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (75g) chopped bittersweet chocolate or chips
1 (15g) tablespoon coconut oil
Whisk the tahini, milk, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan. Warm gently while whisking constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is emulsified. Whisk in the vanilla extract and heavy cream until well combined. Chill thoroughly then churn the mixture in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.
While the mixture is churning melt the chocolate and coconut oil together over a double boiler or in the microwave. Whisk until smooth.
In the last minute of churning stream in the chocolate mixture and continue to churn until the chocolate is evenly distributed. Transfer to a freezer safe container, cover and freeze until firm.