Tahini Cups with a Sweet Coffee-Infused Filling
You probably wept as I described Houston’s spring/summer weather a few months ago. With the atrocious Canadian winter, I started clarifying when my Mom would ask me about the weather: Do you really want to know? Do you really want to know we have bone fide summer with 30 C highs while you just lost the last of your winter snow? I thought not.
Have no fear, though, you will have your just revenge. That hot and humid weather is mere weeks away, if not here already. Hot and humid? Yeah, that’s was this weekend. Houstonians know this is peanuts compared to the upcoming summer (sad face). I am convinced that it is the humidity that makes the wind so heavy here, but I have nothing to prove it.
In any case, I made a Houston-newbie mistake last weekend. I brought these treats to a potluck. Not a problem in other cities, but Houston is hot these days. They were very keen to melting. Even in our apartment, with the air conditioner, they were quick to begin to melt. Since they were my only cooked food fit for others, I brought them anyhow. Imagine my shock when I arrived at the potluck, when they decided to serve the food outdoors! GAH!! A bit of reprieve, the desserts were to stay inside. I placed my container of mini treats with the other desserts and proceeded to pile up with all the delicious savoury options.
I returned indoors to the dessert table. The line from the savoury table now snaked indoors, right past the desserts. I had to do a double-take: only one half-treat remained. I told Christine to grab the last one. Instead of melting, within 5 minutes they had evaporated to high acclaim! Success!
One of my favourite parts of going to vegan potlucks (other than trying so much delicious food), is experimenting in my own kitchen. After seeing Lisa share these, I immediately wanted to try it. Tahini-based desserts were a definite hit earlier this year (see my Sweet Sesame Rice Crispy Treats) and I am warming up to liking a hint of coffee flavour. It pairs well with chocolate (hello Chocolate Mocha Pudding Cake!) but I was unsure about it without the chocolate. Lisa raved about it, so I gave it a whirl.
In case it wasn’t obvious: it was a definite hit. The coffee flavour was subtle enough (for me) and paired well with the sweet dates. The tahini cups were a nice contrast with a creamy base. I liked that it was nut-free, which helps for those with nut-allergies at potlucks.
I made these into mini cups, which I think worked well since you could get more filling:base ratio. Tahini can be a bit bitter, but it was tempered nicely with the sweet date-heavy filling. I still had some filling leftover, which was easily slipped into my next morning’s oatmeal. The tahini base settled a bit funny on top, which is probably because I didn’t use enough. I just barely had enough to surround my 24 minicups. I changed the recipe below to account for more base.
Do you like tahini in your desserts? I am inspired to try more! Perhaps these salted tahini caramels are in my future: tahini + coconut flour + sweetener!
PS. I am sharing this with Bookmarked Recipes.
3/4 cup tahini
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup pitted dates, soaked if super dry (drain once ready to use)
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup strong coffee, or as needed (not sure whether this is technically raw)
2. Prepare your cup base: In a medium bowl, mix together the tahini and melted coconut oil.
3. Place the thinnest possible layer at the bottom of each cup. Place in freezer until solidified.
4. Meanwhile, prepare your filling: In a food processor fitted with its S-blade, combine the dates, coconut oil, vanilla, salt and half of the coffee. Process continually until it turns into a creamy filling. Add additional coffee to achieve a smooth consistency. (I just dumped all of the coffee in at the beginning, oops!)
5. Once the bases have solidified, remove from the freezer. Using a small spoon, place 1/2 tsp of the filling in the middle of each cup, trying very hard not to let it touch the edges of the liner. Flatten to reduce height with a wet finger. Next, pour the remainder of the tahini mixture overtop until completely submerged. Add a bit more after it is just covered to make sure it settles nicely. Chill in the refrigerator or freezer until set (2 hours in the fridge and an hour in the freezer). Can store in the fridge or freezer.
Makes 30 mini cups.