HomeRecipesHoney Sesame Tiramisu by Nicole Guini

Honey Sesame Tiramisu by Nicole Guini

(This recipe appeared in the Winter 2023 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

The tiramisu is the only dessert that lives on the menu permanently, but the set changes seasonally. It was inspired by the cute and playful bee molds I found online. Honey became a major flavor profile. I wanted the dessert to taste nutty without actually utilizing nuts, and that’s how the idea behind the tahini, sesame and brown butter combination was born.

Yield: 16 servings

Honey Mascarpone Mousse

  • 350 g mascarpone
  • 1 g vanilla
  • 62 g honey
  • 1 g salt
  • 31 g coffee liqueur
  • 15 g amaretto
  • 81 g egg whites
  • 218 g heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 43 g tahini
  1. In a large bowl, scale the mascarpone, vanilla, honey, salt, coffee liqueur and amaretto. Use the liquid to soften the mascarpone until it is smooth. Reserve.
  1. In an electric stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, whip the whites to stiff peaks.
  1. Fold the softly whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Fold the egg whites into the cream mixture and gently fold the tahini in at the end. (Note: Do not break the mousse, DO NOT OVER MIX the mascarpone mixture. As soon as the ingredients are combined stop mixing.)

Tahini Ganache

  • 150 g heavy cream
  • 82 g milk
  • 50 g tahini
  • 2 g salt
  • 500 g Valrhona Bahibe 46% milk chocolate
  • 100 g Cacao Barry Mi Amere 58% dark chocolate
  1. In a saucepan, combine the cream, milk, tahini, salt and chocolates and heat genlty until the chocolate is melted.
  1. Emulsify well, using an immersion blender, if necessary. Transfer to a piping bag.

Espresso Cake

  • 332 g all-purpose flour
  • 8 g baking powder
  • 6 g baking soda
  • 266 g granulated sugar
  • 66 g dark brown sugar
  • 4 g ground espresso
  • 130 g grapeseed oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 308 g buttermilk
  • 140 g sour cream
  • 70 g hot coffee
  • 32 g unsalted butter, melted
  1. Combine all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle.
  1. Scale the oil, eggs, buttermilk and sour cream together. Combine the hot coffee and the melted butter.
  1. Mix the dry ingredients with the paddle until evenly dispersed and then start to stream in the cold wet ingredients slowly. Stop and scrape the bowl if necessary. Add the hot ingredients at the end. Mix until well incorporated. Line half sheet pans with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Scale 800 g batter in each. Bake 15-18 minutes at 325˚F (163˚C).
  1. For each serving, cut 2ʺ x 3ʺ rectangles.

Coffee Soak

  • 90 g amaretto
  • 64 g coffee liqueur
  • 240 g hot coffee
  • 40 g Trablit coffee extract
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Reserve for assembly.

Lady Finger Crunch

  • 30 g toasted white sesame seeds
  • 30 g toasted black sesame seeds
  • 126 g lady fingers, ground in food processor
  • 104 g feuilletine
  • 40 g Rice Krispies cereal
  • 30 g dark brown sugar
  • 44 g tahini
  • 80 g brown butter, melted
  1. Toast the sesame seeds.
  1. Process all the dry ingredients in food processor. Toss everything together with the tahini and melted brown butter. Bake 8-10 min at 325˚F (163˚C).

Milk Chocolate Halva Gelato

  • 593 g milk
  • 366 g heavy cream
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 52 g pulled espresso
  • 2 g vanilla extract
  • 1 g salt
  • 3 g stabilizer
  • 75 g glucose powder
  • 200 g Cacao Barry Fleur de Cao 70% dark chocolate
  • 66 g Valrhona Bahibe 46% milk chocolate
  • 35 g amaretto
  • 20 g buttermilk
  • Halva, as needed
  1. In a pot, scale the milk, cream, sugar, espresso, vanilla and salt and heat gently. Once warm, whisk in the stabilizer and glucose powder and combine well to hydrate. Pour over the chocolates. Whisk well to emulsify, then Immersion blend – the mixture must be creamy, with no speckles. Strain if necessary. Add buttermilk and amaretto.
  1. Process in ice cream machine and fold in halva once spun, 200 g halva per quart.


  1. Pipe the Honey Mascarpone Mousse ¾ of the way up the mold. Follow with the Tahini Ganache. Top with a piece of Espresso Cake and press gently to ensure the mousse fills the crevices in the cavity. Brush the cake generously with the Coffee Soak. Freeze.
  1. Once completely frozen, unmold.


  • Shredded halva, for garnish
  1. Place one tiramisu on a plate. Arrange two spoonfuls of the Lady Finger Crunch on the plate and top with a scoop of Milk Chocolate Halva Gelato. Drizzle honey on the gelato, garnish with shredded halva.

Photos by Adam Sokolowski.

About Nicole Guini

Nicole Guini is the pastry chef at Adalina in Chicago, IL. She enjoys using unexpected flavor profiles in approachable desserts that sound inventive on paper but taste nostalgic. She also likes to blur the lines a little between sweet and savory. In getting inspiration for new recipes, Chef Nicole uses what is available seasonally and incorporates the flavor and texture that come from the ingredient itself.

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