Sep 15, 2019 Last Updated 6:31 AM, Nov 9, 2017

Babka with Halvah Ice Cream

Alon Shaya's Babka with Halvah Ice Cream.

Dough and halvah ice cream by Alon Shaya, Chef of Shaya in New Orleans, LA.


Yield: 15 servings


  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3.5 oz/100 g granulated sugar
  • 10.9 oz/309 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 4.16 oz/118 g water
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter, softened 
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1.76 oz/50 g granulated sugar

1. Measure out salt and sugar; set aside.

2. In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, yeast, water, butter and eggs and mix at medium speed until a dough that looks smooth on the outside and does not stick to the sides of the bowl is formed, about 8 minutes.

3. Add salt and sugar and mix until combined and smooth about 5 minutes.

4. Place dough on greased surface and tuck under edges, making a smooth ball. Spray with pan spray, place on a sheet tray and wrap with plastic wrap. Keep in the refrigerator overnight.

5. Let the dough warm for 1 1/2 hours before use.


  • 2.5 oz/70 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz/228 g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1.76 oz/50 g granulated sugar

1. Cut dough in half and flatten each half. Roll one piece out until about 9 x 12 in size and very thin. Spread softened butter on dough, leaving a ½” border all around. Sprinkle the chocolate evenly over the buttered dough, then sprinkle on the sugar. Starting at a short end, roll up like a jelly roll, and then use hands to make sure the roll is smooth and evenly sized. Repeat with other half of dough.

2. Once both pieces are filled, place side by side and cut off the ends of each so they are smooth and even in length. Cut each log in half lengthwise and then twist the two pieces together. Place each twist side by side in a greased loaf pan and let rise 2 1/2 hours.

3. Bake in a 350°F oven with no fan and a pan of ice cubes in the bottom to create steam for 40 minutes or until the internal temp reaches 181°F.

Halva Ice Cream:

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1.76 oz/50 g granulated sugar
  • 16.3 oz/464 g heavy cream, divided
  • 8.5 oz/242 g milk, divided
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 oz/168 g honey
  • 7.6 oz/216 g raw tahini

1. Lightly whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar and set aside. 

2. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat together 12.27 oz/348 g heavy cream, 4.3 oz/121 g milk, salt, and vanilla bean or extract, then bring the cream mixture to a gentle simmer. Slowly stream 8.18 oz/232 g of the cream mixture into the egg yolk and sugar, stirring continuously. Continue adding the cream mixture into the yolks until you have incorporated half of it. Next, take the yolk, sugar and cream mixture and slowly pour back into the remaining hot milk and cream, stirring constantly over low heat. Allow the mixture to cook over very low heat for 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Strain into a heat proof container and immediately add the remaining 4.2 oz/121 g of milk and 4 oz/116 g of cream. Put the container into an ice bath and stir occasionally until the mixture is at room temperature. 

3. Place the mixture in a blender, add the honey and tahini and process until well incorporated. Refrigerate until cold. Once the custard base is cold, freeze in your ice cream machine, per the manufacturer’s instructions.


Serve a warm Babka with a scoop of Halvah Ice Cream.


Click here to read more about this and related recipes in the article "A Perfumed Journey."

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