Chocolate-Tahini Budino

Serves 6-8
  • 3 cups sesame milk, plus ¼ cup, divided (substitute almond milk if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, divided
  • ½ tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (dairy-free or regular)
  • 1 package store-bought halva, crumbled for garnish

  1. Set out 6 jars or serving glasses and fill each with 2 tbsp of crumbled halva. Set out your medium saucepan, large bowl, two whisks and all listed ingredients except the heavy whipping cream.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, whole egg, cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the remaining sugar. Whisk until thick and pale yellow in color.
  3. In a medium saucepan, whisk together 3 cups of milk, cocoa powder, vanilla paste, salt and ¼ cup of the sugar. Place over medium-low heat and bring just to a simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. When the milk mixture comes to a simmer, temper the eggs by slowly ladling half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture while continuously whisking. Pour the combined mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 6 to 7 minutes. Be careful not to boil the custard mixture.
  5. Shut the heat off and add chopped chocolate and tahini to the pan. Continue whisking until all of the chocolate has melted into the mixture. Add the remaining ¼ cup of milk and whisk to combine.
  6. Evenly divide the budino among the jars or glasses. Wrap the glasses with cling film and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to overnight.
  7. Before serving, set a medium metal bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes. During this time, get out an electric hand mixer, heavy whipping cream, vanilla bean paste and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  8. Remove the bowl from the freezer and add the cream to the bowl. Mix on medium speed until it just begins to thicken. Add 2 tsp vanilla bean paste and sugar and continue to whip until soft peaks form. The whipped cream should not be stiff, but fairly loose and easy to dollop.

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