Sticky Date and Halva Puddings with Tahini Caramel

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Sticky Date and Halva Puddings with Tahini Caramel

These little puddings—our take on sticky toffee pudding—are a knockout, best eaten warm with a spoon of crème fraîche, yogurt, or sour cream alongside.

Makes8 or 12 puddings

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Credit: Jenny Zarins

These little puddings — our take on sticky toffee pudding — are a knockout, best eaten warm with a spoon of crème fraîche, yogurt, or sour cream alongside.

Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley‘s Falastin is Kitchn’s January pick for our Cookbook Club. See how you can participate here.

Sticky Date and Halva Puddings with Tahini Caramel

These little puddings—our take on sticky toffee pudding—are a knockout, best eaten warm with a spoon of crème fraîche, yogurt, or sour cream alongside.

Makes 8 or 12 puddings

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

Tahini caramel:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons

    tahini

  • 2 tablespoons

    rose water or water

  • 2 tablespoons

    water

  • 3/4 cup

    sugar

  • 1/2 cup

    heavy cream, at room temperature

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon

    flaky sea salt

Date puddings:

  • 6 1/3 ounces

    Medjool (or other good-quality) dates, pitted and roughly chopped (5 3/4 oz)

  • 1/2 cup

    plus 1 tablespoon boiling water

  • 2 tablespoons

    strong brewed coffee

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 5 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 3/4 cup

    sugar

  • 2

    eggs

  • 1 1/3 cups

    plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, sifted

  • 2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 2 tablespoons

    white sesame seeds

  • 3 ounces

    halva, roughly crumbled

Garnish:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    white sesame seeds

  • About 1/2 cup

    crème fraîche or yogurt or sour cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Liberally grease and line the base of eight 3-inch mini cake pans with parchment paper and set aside. If using a muffin tin, line a standard 12-well muffin tin with a paper liner.

  2. To make the caramel, put the tahini, rose water, and water into a small bowl. Whisk until smooth and set aside.

  3. Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and, once hot, add a third of the sugar; it will begin to melt when it hits the pan. Give it a stir once or twice and, once the sugar has completely melted, add another third of the sugar. Continue in this way for 3–4 minutes, until all the sugar has been incorporated and has turned into an amber-colored caramel. Remove from the heat, add the cream and butter, and slowly whisk them in—the sauce will splutter, but this is normal. Return the pan to medium-low heat, whisking to smooth out any lumps, then add the tahini-rose mixture, along with the salt. Whisk until smooth and set aside.

  4. To make the date puddings, place the dates in a bowl along with the boiling water, coffee, vanilla, and baking soda. Mix to combine and set aside.

  5. Put the butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or alternatively use an electric hand mixer) and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate. Using a spatula, fold in the flour, baking powder, and sesame seeds. Last, stir in the date mixture, along with all its liquid, as well as the halva. The mixture will be quite wet.

  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pans, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes—depending on what size mold or muffin tin you are using—or a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes, then, using a cloth to hold the pans so that you don’t burn your hand, slide a small knife around the outsides to loosen them. Transfer them onto a baking sheet, then loosely cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

  7. Just before serving, return the tahini caramel to medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Place one pudding on each plate and pour on the caramel. Sprinkle with the 1 1/2 tsp of sesame seeds and serve, with a spoonful of crème fraiche alongside.

Recipe Notes

Playing around: We love the tahini-rose caramel drizzled on top, but the puddings work well alone if you want to serve them with just the crème fraîche or yogurt. The rose water can also be replaced by water, if you don’t like the flavor or don’t have a bottle open.

Getting ahead: The puddings can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container for up to two days. Reheat in a microwave as they are or in a hot oven, wrapped in aluminum foil. They can also be frozen for up to two months.

Equipment note: Mini cake pans are widely available and useful to have, but, if you don’t have them, a deep muffin tin with 8 molds or a regular 12-well muffin tin also work.

Reprinted with permission from Falastin: A Cookbook by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley, copyright © 2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.” Photography credit: Jenny Zarins © 2020