This easy, egg-free mousse is a favorite in Israel, where the beloved pairing of tahini and silan, or date honey, stars in many desserts. It's extra good with feathered halva on top, but regular halva, crumbled, works well too for a textural contrast with the creamy mousse.Yum
Though halva is a term used throughout the Middle East and India and can mean different kinds of sweets, in Israel halva is always sweetened tahini. It's usually sweetened with silan, also called date honey, date syrup, or date molasses. Halva is sold in bricks, which you can nibble at or crumble, or in small pieces that can be eaten like candies. It's also sold feathered into thin strands, where the airy texture adds to the whole halva experience.
Silan has a unique, earthy flavor profile, deeper than honey. It's sweet, but its sweetness is tempered by pungency. Silan and tahini are both used extensively in the Israeli kitchen, with silan often playing the role of honey in savory applications like meat marinades and salad dressings. Silan is starting to be more widely available, but it varies signficantly in quality and unfortunately several quality brands are not kosher certified. Look for silan made with 100% dates. It shouldn't have added sweetener. My absolute favorite that's available in the States in Soom. Their tahini is also far and away the best I've ever tasted outside of Israel. They're a staple in my kitchen.
A cheater mousse
A classic French mousse is made with eggs, but this halva mousse is a cheater version, just freshly mixed tahini and silan folded into whipped cream. It's simple but seriously delicious. The added textures of the silan drizzled on top followed by crumbled halva make this a complete dessert.
Assembling the mousse
If you don't want to bother with piping, you can simply spoon the mousse into serving dishes. Even though it's a bit of extra work, I actually find piping less frustrating because it makes it easy to fill the cups neatly. I piped the containers about ¾ full, and then drizzled about a tablespoon of silan over the top. The halva gets crumbled on top, and that's it.
You can use dessert ramekins or any other small container. (If you like serving individual-serving desserts, I highly recommend the set I have, which comes with lids.) If you want more like a two-bite portion as part of a dessert spread, you can also serve them in shot or dessert glasses (I have this set which I also really like for smaller portions, and it comes with the cute little spoons you see in the photos).
Looking for more Israeli desserts?
Halva Mousse Cups with Silan Drizzle and Feathered Halva (dairy)
- 2 cups whipping cream - 500 ml
- ½ cup tahini - 115 g
- ½ cup silan - 120 ml
- ½ cup silan - 120 ml
- 1 cup feathered or crumbled halva - 120 g
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream until it holds firm peaks.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the tahini and silan. Whisk until smoothly combined.
- Ladle a generous spoonful of the tahini-silan mixture into the whipped cream. Fold in. Repeat until all of the tahini-silan mixture has been folded into the cream.
- Pipe or spoon the mousse into dessert cups or ramekins.
- Drizzle about 1 tableslpoon of silan on top of the mousse. Crumble feathered or regular halva on top of the silan.