Make Ahead

Tahini Mousse Pie

March 15, 2016
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Lauren LaPenna.
  • Makes 9-inch pie
Author Notes

I made this pie for a dinner I cooked and hosted at The General Muir in Atlanta for my cookbook. It's insanely good. Think of peanut butter mousse pie but on crack. Smooth, nutty, with tons of halva and drizzled with silan, a date syrup. —Danielle Oron

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Danielle Oron is the tahini-obsessed food blogger behind I Will Not Eat Oysters.
WHAT: A fluffy tahini-swirled mousse piled into a chocolate cookie-crumb crust. Plus halva!
HOW: Fold a sweetened tahini mixture into whipped cream to make the mousse, then pour that mousse over crumbled pieces of halva inside a tart shell made of crushed chocolate wafers.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Things we love: Tahini. Tahini in desserts. Mousse. Chocolate. Cookies. Halva. It's all here—with the added benefit of a bit of espresso, which balances the sweetness of the mousse and the nuttiness of the tahini. Make sure to really pack the crust in tightly and build up the sides well. And if you don't looove super-sweet things, cut back on the powdered sugar just a hair. —CK1

What You'll Need
  • For the crust:
  • 1 9-ounce package of Nabisco Chocolate Wafers
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground Turkish coffee (or espresso powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the filling:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup sesame paste (raw tahini)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 10.5-ounce package plain or vanilla halva
  • Black sesame seeds for garnish
  • Maldon salt, for garnish
  • Silan (date syrup), to serve
  1. For the crust:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C).
  3. In a food processor, pulse the chocolate wafers until finely ground. Make sure there aren’t any large pieces.
  4. Combine with the melted butter, Turkish coffee, and salt.
  5. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie/tart pan with removable bottom. Pack it tightly! I use a measuring cup to press it into the sides. It helps create a nice shell.
  6. Place the shell in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  7. Bake on a sheet pan for 10 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature and place it in the fridge until you’re ready to fill it.
  1. For the filling:
  2. Place the 2 cups of heavy cream and the cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment.
  3. Whisk the cream on medium at first and then up to high until medium peaks form. Don’t over-whip the cream!
  4. Transfer the whipped cream into a different bowl. Change to a paddle attachment on the mixer—no need to clean the bowl!
  5. Place the sesame paste, powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste, and salt in the mixer bowl. On low, mix until it starts to come together.
  6. While the mixer is running, SLOWLY drizzle in the heavy cream (1/4 cup). If you do this too quickly, or if the mixer is on too high, the mixture will separate! It will be pretty difficult to bring it back together, so make sure you do this slowly!
  7. Fold in, by hand, 1/3 of the whipped cream mixture into the sesame mixture. Be a bit aggressive with this first addition to lighten the sesame mixture.
  8. Once almost combined, add an additional 1/3 of whipped cream to the mixture and continue folding, gently this time.
  9. Add the remaining 1/3 and fold until JUST COMBINED. Streaks of white are okay!
  10. Take the shell out of the fridge and carefully pop it out of its pan, setting it on your serving plate.
  11. Break up half of the halva with a fork and scatter evenly along the bottom. Top with the mousse mixture and spread it over the halva.
  12. Set the pie in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set.
  13. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and Maldon salt. Slice, garnish with more halva, drizzle some silan over the top, and enjoy! This pie will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • epicharis
  • Zozo
  • Jona @AssortedBites
    Jona @AssortedBites
  • coffeefoodwrite
  • healthierkitchen

31 Reviews

anoush00 June 8, 2023
I’ve heard that Nabisco is no longer making chocolate wafer cookies. I don’t want to use a filled (Oreo-like) cookie instead. Any suggestions from the recipe developer on what to use as a good substitute? I can’t stand the thought of being unable to make this again!
anoush00 October 4, 2022
I’ve made this 3 times already, and am making it for a special Armenian-themed dinner party soon. It’s absolutely luscious and everyone who’s had it has exclaimed over it. What’s not to like? Definitely a crowd-pleaser for an occasion: rich, cream filling on a thick, satisfying chocolate crust. If you can get the silan (date syrup), I highly recommend it. I get mine either online from or else at my local Middle Eastern market.
Judy B. April 6, 2021
Sounds super yummy! Want to try it soon!
epicharis May 6, 2017
I made this for a party and it was out of this world. It won over everyone, from the "I don't like sweets" folks to the "Middle Eastern food is weird" partisans. Most importantly, our hosts couldn't get enough. The tahini mousse is divine. Congratulations on a well-deserved win and thank you for this killer contribution to our repertoire.
Jenna K. October 29, 2016
Is the coffee and espresso powders supposed to be the instant kind? Or the real grounds?
Zozo June 6, 2016
Oh man this was freakin awesome. Had this on my to-make list for ages and FINALLY did it! My filling didn't quite cut like in the picture but that might be because I used lemon juice instead of cream of tartar (my local supermarket sucks), and vanilla extract instead of paste.
wkfld April 14, 2016
This looks sooo good. I want to make it NOW. 2 questions. Can I sub vanilla extract for the bean paste? What in the world is halva and where can I find it???
Esther E. December 7, 2016
Jewish sesame candy! Whole foods carries it and I have found it in health food stores occasionally.
Jona @. April 14, 2016
A good win :) Looks really fascinating, and I have the same cake stand from Ikea :D
Desiree D. April 14, 2016
Does anyone have any suggestions for swaps for the chocolate wafers? I'm in Australia and I've not seen anything like those here, and I need this in my face.
Danielle O. April 14, 2016
I've heard that they're called chocolate ripple biscuits in Australia. Does that sound familiar? If not, you can scrap the cream out of some oreos and use just the cookies. Hope that helps!
LeBec F. April 14, 2016
search for recipes for cocoa pie crust
Zozo June 6, 2016
Yep made this with chocolate ripple + some extra cocoa, but next time I'd reduce the butter quantity as those bikkies seem to have a much higher fat content. Or you could use tiny teddies, but I always feel like it's such a waste blitzing them...
coffeefoodwrite April 13, 2016
Congrats! Looks delicious! Can't wait to try....
Danielle O. April 14, 2016
THANK YOU! And congrats to you too! Can't wait to try yours too. We have salmon every other week and this is right up our alley.
coffeefoodwrite April 16, 2016
coffeefoodwrite April 16, 2016
The salted tahini chocolate chip cookies look delicious too :-)
healthierkitchen April 12, 2016
Btw Danielle, your salted tahina chocolate chip cookies are amazing! I made them for a DC food52 cookie exchange right before Christmas.
Catherine R. April 11, 2016
nycnomad...I Imagine that you could use coconut flour or almond meal for the crust...or even corn flakes (check to make sure they're GF) could try coconut cream to replace the heavy cream. Shoot, that sounds so yummy I might try that!
nycnomad April 9, 2016
My only regret is that I will never be able to eat this, it sounds phenomenal! Damn coeliac disease...if you ever manage a gluten/dairy free version let me know.
Anita April 13, 2016
Hey nycnomad! I going to attempt a GF and dairy free version! I'm coeliac too! I'm thinking I'm going to do the old full-fat coconut milk trick for the heavy cream (do you know this trick?), buying some GF/Dairy free chocolate cookie, and using coconut oil in place of butter!!! Hopefully it works! I will report back!!!
Melissa B. August 27, 2017
Try subbing kinnikinnick "Oreos" in the crust?
healthierkitchen April 9, 2016
This is amazing!! Saving for the right occasion!
LeBec F. April 8, 2016
ha ha!! I TOLD YOU!! congrats again, d. You certainly got MY vote!!
Danielle O. April 14, 2016
Posie (. April 8, 2016
oh my god, can i move in with you
meganvt01 April 8, 2016
Can't wait to make this - this is one of the most creative recipes I have seen on Food52 in a while. Congrats on being a finalist!
LeBec F. March 25, 2016
ahhah--told you! a serious contendah now!!congrats,danielle!
Danielle O. March 28, 2016
LOL! Thank you!!!!!!!!
LeBec F. March 16, 2016
p.s. this is a WICKED impressive concoction!!
LeBec F. March 16, 2016
woooooooooooo, you are a seriously dangerous chef! good thing i don't live next to you or i wouldn't be able to walk!