Sesame… such a humble seed. Tiny in stature. Used by many cultures in a multitude of dishes. Sesame oil for stir fry, plain seed for seared ahi, blended in hummus, and my new found favorite, Halva. A middle-eastern “candy” like treat traditionally made from tahini (sesame seed butter), honey, and any sort of mix in you can imagine.
I was recently introduced to this confection at the Saturday morning farmer’s market at Pasadena High School. There was a booth, there was a sample, and finally there was a purchase. My halva had swirls of chocolate in it. Um, yes. I took, I ate, and just like the infamous couple of Eden… I gave it to the boyfriend. Let’s just say he took one bite and was in such bliss he probably wouldn’t have noticed if he were naked or not (Biblical joke, no worries if you don’t get it).
So, like a good chef, I sat down to my computer and researched my brains out for the best way to make some homemade Halva.
Here’s round number one.
2 c. honey
1 1/2 c. tahini
1 Tbsp. cocoa
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1. Heat honey over the stove and stir constantly while it simmers. Take off heat once it reaches 240 degrees
2. Warm tahini over stove, not too hot, just to make it workable
3. Once honey cools a bit, add any flavorings or nuts. I added almonds at this point.
4. Pour honey into tahini pot and fold them together.
5. Pour into a flexible pan or greased pan. I added some cocoa swirls at this point.
6. Refrigerate for 36 hours for sugar to crystallize.
It would behoove one to use a candy thermometer to get the honey up to the correct heat. My second batch of halva did not get hot enough to crystallize into flakes. First batch crystalized but it was like a toffee more than a wafer. I’ll definitely have to keep messing around with the recipe and methods
The raw version is delicious and I love that I can add all kinds of booster foods like maca powder and spirulina.
Look for the raw recipe tomorrow!