If you find yourself with more special occasions than you have food prep time to invest in, check out this killer dessert idea.
Most of my creativity springs from problematic situations. You probably know too well what I mean. Take for instance last month. Jennifer was coming to visit for a few days. The night before her arrival I realized that she was arriving on her birthday. Normally birthdays mean cake or pie or some other wonderful sweet that Frederick and I put together. We look forward to such times: licking the bowl and the beaters, enjoying the kitchen fill with tantalizing aromas.
The problem: I was booked up until the moment Jennifer was to arrive.
Solution: Put together a frozen dessert with foods already on hand. Admittedly, I have some unusual foods on hand. Being addicted to shopping in ethnic groceries leaves me supplied with items my mother never heard of.
In this case I decided to break into a can of halvah I had squirreled away for making halvah ice cream — it is a sesame seed confection available in Middle Eastern groceries. I had not gotten around to the ice cream and so just changed the plan for than can of halvah.
What might complement the halvah flavor? Pomegranate or rose! In my stash of delectable exotics I have pomegranate molasses and rose syrup. It pays to keep such foods handy for quick dishes like this ice cream sundae. Oh yes, what a hit!
The vanilla ice cream was not homemade, but a very fine quality. Naturally, the quality of the ice cream can make or break your dessert. Go for the gold!
We were in the final stages of dessert assembly when we tested the pomegranate and rose flavors. Both were lovely, but the rose tended to overpower the halvah flavor, especially when I put on enough of the rose syrup to produce the visual impact we were looking for. Pomegranate molasses won the day.
When I do get around to making my halvah ice cream I will add a tablespoon to the ice cream mix. A touch of rose would be magical. Just a touch! Well, that’s for another day and another post, but I did get quite inspired by this present dessert to do some experimenting. You’ll be inspired too!
Halvah Ice Cream Ingredients
- 1 quart good quality vanilla ice cream
- 2 cups prepared halvah
- Pomegranate molasses
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar of choice
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- Mint for garnish
Halvah Ice Cream Steps
- The night before serving dessert, soften the ice cream enough to be able to spread it in across the bottom of a large baking dish. The larger, the better. Spread the ice cream as evenly as possible using something like a spatula. Work quickly since the ice cream is thinking about melting.
- Sprinkle crumbled halvah evenly over the surface of the ice cream and press it in using the spatula.
- Cover the baking dish and place it carefully in the freezer. Be certain the baking dish sits flat in the freezer to keep the ice cream from sliding to one side of the dish. Remember, it’s soft and on the melted side.
- Remove the ice cream from the freezer to soften before serving. Softening time will depend on your room temperature. You may need as much as 30 minutes. (Not in Hawaii.)
- While the ice cream softens, whip the cream with sugar and orange zest. Yum!
- Pick a few sprigs of mint for garnish. I have some growing right outside the door for this purpose. So much fun!
- Splurge and use your finest dessert dishes. An extra nice touch is to have the dishes in the freezer for a couple of hours before dinner. The visual effect is stunning and the dessert stays in its frozen state a bit longer.
- Using an ice cream scoop or a very large serving spoon, dig in at one end of the baking dish. Run the scoop to the opposite end of the dish. The ice cream will roll up on the scoop causing the halvah to be swirled in the process. Will this ever impress your family!
- Place the swirled ice cream in serving bowls. Drizzle with about a teaspoon of pomegranate molasses on each. Top with a good dollop of whipped cream and garnish with mint.