Yes, yes I know it’s winter. But ice cream just makes those hard days feel easier. So dispute the frequenting rain and extreme cold in Tel Aviv (well cold by my, and Israel standards, which in actuality means like 45F) I decided to make ice cream to cure some winter day blues. Which kind of ice cream you ask… HALVAH CHUNK ICE CREAM!
Halvah as a flavor is extremely popular and widespread in Israeli food. Along with the standard chocolate, vanilla, halvah is bound to be found in any ice creamery in Israel. Halvah flavored, halvah topping, halva chunks, or even tahini flavor with halvah pieces, halvah with seasame candy…..think of it as the Israeli version of peanut butter, and in the world of ice cream, it is just as prevalent.
I had a lot of leftover halvah from a slightly botched halvah experiment, something went wrong in the mixing process and it turned out much too crumbly. It was very tasty but not solid enough to cut and eat, I figured it would be much better put to use in a fresh batch of vanilla ice cream. So this is my representation of the halvah/ice cream combination, and I must say it was a huge hit.
I used the vanilla ice cream recipe from David Lebovitz’s blog, recipe here. I won’t put up the halvah recipe I used since it wasn’t very successful, plus you can find Marc’s version right here. Or you can use store bought if you choose.
Click to see brief instructions on how I blended the halvah into my ice cream…. and pictures! (although they aren’t the best quality.)
For more specific directions click to the original recipe, just add the halvah pieces in after you take it out of the freezer the first time. Or if you’re using an ice cream maker, throw it in just before you put it into process. Either way you make it just be sure to save some halvah for the top of your ice cream after it’s done!
One year ago: Bagel Dogs
Vanilla Halvah Chunk Ice Cream (made without an ice cream machine)
adapted from david lebovitz’s recipe
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Halvah cut into chunks- amount up to you depending on how you want your vanilla ice cream to halva ratio.
1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. First add in the seeds from vanilla bean into the milk mixture, then throw the whole pod into the pot. Cover and remove from heat for about an hour to let the vanilla infuse into the milk.
2. Fill a large bowl half way with ice and water, then pour the cream into a medium bowl and set it in the ice bath. Set a strainer on top of that.
3. In a completely new bowl stir the egg yolks.
4. Reheat the now vanilla-y milk mixture on a low flame.
5. Pour a little of the milk into the yolks whisking the eggs as you pour. Then scrape the yolks/milk into the pot.
6. On a low heat, stir and scrape the bottom of the pot with a spatula until it becomes thick to coat. It should look like a custard.
7. Pour the custard into the strainer and into the cream (remember the strainer… it’s on the bowl with the cream in it already!) and work the custard through.
8. Remove the strainer and stir the mixture over the ice until it becomes cold. Add vanilla extract.
9. Put this into a freezer-sturdy container- glass, plastic, steel. I used a loaf pan, but I wouldn’t recommend it as it was much too small. Place uncovered into the freezer
10. After 45 minutes check your cream mixture. Remove it from the freezer, when it starts to harden around the edges you can stir vigorously or mix with an electric mixture to break up the frozen parts. It will still be rather soft after you mix it. This is the perfect time to toss in your halva chunks… or crumbles in my case.
11. Continue to mix your almost ice cream every half hour making sure to really stir it. It will take about 3 hours to harden to an ice cream consistency.
12. When it appears to resemble delicious ice cream, scrape it into a coverable container and sprinkle move halvah chunks on top. Freeze until you’re ready to devour it.
Sorry about missing pictures in the making process, I was minus one photographer.