Recipe Review

Tahini Magic Shells Are an Elevated Take on a Fun Childhood Treat

published May 24, 2022
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Credit: Emily Han

Many of my childhood dessert memories involved shells of chocolate or caramel over scoops of my favorite ice cream flavors. While those sundaes were delicious, they were also very rich and sweet for my taste.  

These sweet and tasty shells would start out as a liquid, often chocolate syrup, that would harden after being poured the ice cream. The shell would work as a sort of gift wrap I could crack into and enjoy the ice cream treat within. And thanks to cookbook author Adeena Sussman, you can relive these moments right at home.

Recreating these nostalgic magic shell sundae toppers of my youth, Sussman gives it a more savory-leaning update using tahini and just a few other common pantry ingredients.

Tahini is a versatile ingredient, enjoyed for its nutty and creamy taste that works well in everything from desserts to dressings. As this vegan ingredient has a natural richness and creaminess, it works well in both sweet and savory dishes.

This recipe is as simple as it is inviting, involving tahini, coconut oil, and a sprinkle of salt.  “Just like the nostalgic version, it hardens on contact, creating an irresistibly crackable coating. Unlike that version, it’s made simple, with natural ingredients,” Sussman writes in her Instagram post.

Sussman begins by pouring room-temperature tahini in a cup, which she then mixes with liquid coconut oil and a pinch of salt. And that’s it! It’s now ready to be the shell on ice cream pops or to be poured over a bowl of ice cream. Whatever you like, it’s there for your pleasure.

A little goes a long way for this too; once you make it, you can just keep it in the fridge until the next time a dessert craving hits. “Store in the fridge indefinitely; to rewarm, microwave for 30 seconds at a time until just liquidy,” says Sussman.

I wonder how well it’ll top this no-churn blueberry cheesecake ice cream. Looks like I’ve got some things to test out this summer!