Chocolate Tahini Mousse Pie
As much as I love trying new recipes and challenging myself with desserts I've never made before, this is one of those recipes that I always come back to at least once a year. Especially when I'm tasked with bringing a dessert to a gathering or hosting people in my home, this is a dessert that is not only decadent and jaw-droppingly delicious, but also a flavor most people haven't experienced in dessert form yet (my Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies are also show-stoppers). Tahini is most frequently found in the US in the eggplant dip babaganoush, or in "goddess" salad dressing. In middle eastern cultures, however, it's all over the place!
Most notably, especially in Israel and Jewish cultures, "Halvah" is a tahini-based flaky candy. You can get it in some large grocery stores in the "Ethnic" section, and most certainly in any local Jewish foods market. On a recent trip to Paris, I actually came upon a store entirely devoted to different types of halvah! SumSum & Co. was an amazing sight to behold, with blocks of every type of halvah I could imagine. I tasted a few types and they were all super interesting. Though while I do love the sweet side of tahini, halvah is always a little too sweet for me (gasp!) and the texture isn't my favorite.
So, when I came upon the Food52 recipe for Tahini Mousse Pie, I had an inkling that this was going to be a new favorite. It reminds me a bit of one of my other favorite standby recipes - Peanut Butter Mousse Pie, but it didn't have a chocolate layer and it also included crushed up halvah candy. When I made it the first time I decided that I definitely missed the chocolate layer and that the halvah candy didn't add much, so I made a few adjustments into the recipe you find below.
I'm not kidding when I say that every time I make this people freak out, and that it's not a particularly difficult recipe. Follow the instructions and you'll have some very happy and impressed pie-eaters on your hands.
CHOCOLATE TAHINI MOUSSE PIE
Adapted from Food52
9-ounce package of Nabisco Chocolate Wafers*
7 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 + 1/3 cups semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips (8oz)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup sesame paste (raw tahini)
1.5 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 pinches salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
optional: chocolate shavings, cookie crumbs,, melted chocolate, or whatever you want to use to decorate
9” or 10" springform pan
microwave safe mixing bowl
hand or stand mixer w. whisk and beater attachments
*If you can't find these (though you should try), you can use 9 ounces of oreo cookies without the filling instead. If you make this substitution, use 6TB of melted butter instead of 7.
The pie will keep in the fridge for 48 hours, or in the freezer for up to a week.
Decorate however you like! I used sprinkles here, but I’ve also drizzled melted chocolate across, and sprinkled with chocolate covered peanuts or crushed cookies.
Spread the tahini mousse evenly over the chocolate in the pie plate, and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Fold in the final third of the whipped cream, taking care not to over mix (a few streaks of white are fine).
Add another third of the whipped cream, and this time fold it in gently (here's how).
By hand, fold in a third of the whipped cream into the tahini mixture. You'll want to fold more thoroughly and intensely this time around in order to lighten the mixture.
While the mixer is running, slowly drizzle in 1/4c heavy cream. If you do this too quickly, or if the mixer is on too high, the mixture will separate and will be difficult to bring it back together.
Mix the 2/3c tahini, 1.5c powdered sugar, 2 tsp vanilla, and 2 pinches of salt on low until it starts to combine.
Transfer the whipped cream into a different bowl (no need to clean it) or use a second mixer bowl, and switch to the paddle attachment.
In the stand mixer, whisk 2c heavy cream and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar. Start on medium, then increase to high until you've got soft peaks (here's what that means). Don't overmix to stiff peaks!
Once the crust is out of the oven, let it cool at least 5 minutes, then spread your chocolate mix evenly over the bottom and chill in the freezer for at least 15 minutes (longer is fine).
Mix 8oz chocolate chips, 2/3c heavy cream, 2TB corn syrup, and 1 tsp vanilla in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 2 minutes. Whisk or stir until fully combined, then microwave to melt the rest of the way 30-60 seconds. Stir to fully combine. If it’s not totally melted at this point let it sit for a couple of minutes and then stir again.
Freeze the crust for 10 minutes, then bake on a sheet pan (in case the butter leaks!) for 10 minutes.
Press the mixture evenly with your hands onto the bottom and up the sides of your pan (it’s okay if it doesn’t reach all the way up the sides, but get at least halfway up).
Pulse in 7TB melted butter, 1 tsp espresso powder, and 1/2 tsp salt, until fully combined.
In your food processor, pulse your 9oz chocolate wafers until finely ground.
Heat oven to 350F.