Recipe in partnership with Shabbat UK: Halva ice cream freezer cake

This super-simple dessert will steal the show

  • place PRE 15 minutes
  • place COOK Freezing time - minimum 2 hours or overnight
  • place SERVES 8
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I'm delighted to have been asked to create a menu to celebrate this year's Shabbat UK. No one wants to spend hours in the kitchen, so the starter, main course and dessert all have minimal hands-on time, giving you more minutes to enjoy being with the family.

This frozen dessert is full of Middle Eastern flavour and tastes just as delicious whether made parev or milky. Another bonus is that you can pull it together the day before — leaving you one less job before Shabbat. All you’ll need to do is remember to get it out of the freezer in time to soften, and to decorate it with crunchy, sesame-coated peanuts. A sharp knife dipped in hot water will cut neat slices.


  • Before you start, allow the ice cream to soften for about 10 minutes out of the freezer. If it’s a warm day it may need less time – you don’t want it to melt.

  • Line the base and sides of a rectangular serving dish (or loaf tin) roughly 15cm x 24cm with baking parchment. Allow the parchment to sit above the level of the dish sides to make it easier to pull it out.

  • Mix the milk and vanilla in a flat bowl. Dip three biscuits in the milk to soften them a little, then place them in the base of the dish. Continue to add whole or parts of biscuits until the base is covered in a single biscuit layer.

  • Mix the ice cream with the chopped halva until combined then stir in the tahina. Scoop half of it onto the biscuits and smooth flat.

  • Use the remaining biscuits to make a second layer on the ice cream. Top with the remaining ice cream and smooth the surface.

  • Place the dish in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours (depending on how efficient your freezer is) to firm up. It will keep for a few days if made ahead.

  • To serve: use the parchment as a sling to lift the ice cream cake out of the dish and stand on a serving plate. Scatter the top with crushed sesame coated caramel peanuts. Serve cut into squares or slices.

    Recipe created in partnership with Shabbat UK


500ml good quality vanilla ice cream
10 – 12 chocolate petits beurre tea biscuits or other rectangular semi-sweet biscuits (I used the Gatenio chocolate flavoured ones)
50 - 70 ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g halva (vanilla or marbled with chocolate), chopped/crumbled into small pieces
2 tbsp raw tahina (optional)
Sesame coated caramel peanuts (I bought Cofresh brand) or sesame snaps

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