When we conceived Goldie Falafel, instead of thinking of falafel as an ethnic specialty, we wanted to present it as a vegan alternative to saturated-fat-laden hamburgers, but still wrapped in the flag of the great American fast-food joint. Falafel and French fries — which are often stuffed into pita along with the falafel — were the easy part, since both are naturally vegan and fundamentally delicious.
But what about the milkshakes? How would we replace the sweet, rich, and creamy milkfat with something equally decadent, satisfying — and dairy-free? Fortunately, when the fast-food gods close a door, they open a window.
We’ve said it before: There are very few culinary problems that tahini can’t solve. It’s mostly fat, it’s vegan, and it has a delicious (if forward) flavor that is great in sweet application. Mixed with sugar and a combination of soy and almond or coconut milks and run through an expensive milkshake machine, it yields something that could be (and often is) mistaken for a milkshake. From the opening day of Goldie on April 1, 2017, tahini shakes were a runaway hit, perhaps surpassing the falafel itself in popularity.
No milkshake machine? No problem. Caitlin McMillan, our partner and the chef who developed all of Goldie’s recipes, including the tahini shakes, has adapted our process for ice cube trays and a blender.
TEHINA SHAKES is excerpted from ISRAELI SOUL © 2018 by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Photography © 2018 by Michael Persico. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
- ½ cup tehina
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 3 cups plain unsweetened almond milk, plus more as needed
- ¼ cup flavored syrup of your choice (recipes follow), plus more as needed
- Whipped Coconut Milk or Halva (optional)
- 1/4 cup flavored syrup (see recipe below)
For the Turkish coffee syrup:
- 2 cups water
- 6 Tbsp Turkish coffee 6 tablespoons regular ground coffee
- 6 Tbsp sugar
- 3⁄4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1⁄4 tsp kosher salt
- Combine the tehina, sugar, salt, and almond milk in a blender. Process until smooth. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays (you’ll need three standard-size trays) and freeze overnight.
- The next day, pop the tehina ice cubes out of the trays into the blender. Pour in a little more almond milk to get the blender started and blend just until the ice cubes are completely broken down and the mixture thickens. Add the flavored syrup and blend for a few more seconds. Taste and add a bit more syrup if you like.
- Pour the milkshake into glasses and serve immediately, topped with Coconut Whip or Halva, or with chopped chocolate and fresh mint.
- To make the coffee syrup: Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, remove the pan from the heat, and let steep for 30 minutes. Place a coffee filter inside a fine-mesh sieve and set it over a jar. Strain the syrup into the jar. The syrup will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 month.