Halvah Pots-de-Crème

Todd Aarrons

Mosaica Restaurant - Vauxhall, NJ

A James Beard Foundation editor with a demanding sweet tooth requested this recipe after tasting it when chef Todd Aarons and Peter Hoffman of Savoy cooked a Passover dinner at the Beard House. It has a beautiful pumpkin color, delicious and unusual flavors, and amazingly creamy texture.


  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 pound plus 3 ounces plain or vanilla halvah
  • 2 cups plain soy milk, divided
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon white sugar


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Gently whisk egg yolks and whole egg together in a mixing bowl, set aside. Put halvah into a food processor along with 1 cup of the soy milk and purée until smooth. Slice the vanilla bean in half vertically. Scrape the seeds into a small pot with the remaining 1 cup of soy milk, sugar, and vanilla bean pod. Bring to a boil, being careful not to let the milk boil over, and cook until the sugar has dissolve. Add the halvah mixture to the eggs and mix gently. Temper this mixture with 1/3 of the hot soy milk mixture, whisking, then gradually add in the remaining hot milk. Mix the ingredients well. Pour custard through a fine strainer, then ladle into eight 4-ounce ramekins. Bake in a bain-marie (hot water bath) until the center of the cream is very viscous, about 35 minutes; you'll have a semi-liquid circle in the middle of each ramekin about the diameter of a nickel. Remove from the oven, and let the ramekins cool in the bain-marie to finish cooking. Chill before serving.


8 servings