Halva (also known as helva or halvah) Is a fairly quick and easy treat most commonly found in the Middle east. There’s a few kinds but this is the kind made with Sesame seeds. It’s always fun to learn what cultures you’re not from develop to sate that sweet tooth everyone has!
You will need!
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1½ cups tahini (( this is a paste made with Sesame seeds. It’s ALMOST like Sesame butter but has other things in it. ))
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- 4 Tbsp. black and white sesame seeds, divided
- 1½ cups sugar
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
- ¼ cup dried edible flowers (such as cornflowers and/or roses; optional)
- Flaky sea salt
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Candy Thermometer
- 8½x4½” loaf pan
- Parchment paper
- Wire rack
- Cookie sheet
Lightly coat an 8½x4½” loaf pan with nonstick spray and line it with parchment paper, leaving a 2″ overhang on both of the long sides. Mix the tahini, kosher salt, and 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds in a medium bowl to combine; set aside
Cook sugar and ½ cup water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring with a heatproof rubber spatula, until sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and fit the pan with a candy thermometer. Cook syrup, brushing down sides of saucepan with a wet pastry brush as needed to dissolve any crystals that form, until thermometer registers 250°, 7–10 minutes.
Immediately remove syrup from heat and gradually stream into the reserved tahini, mixing constantly with spatula. Continue to mix just until the halva comes together in a smooth mass and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl (less than a minute). Be careful not to overmix or the halva will be crumbly. Working quickly, scrape into the prepared pan and let cool.
Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (do not let bowl touch water), stirring often. Remove from heat. Invert halva onto a wire rack set inside a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet; peel away and discard parchment. Pour chocolate over halva and sprinkle top with flowers (if using), sea salt, and remaining 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds. Let sit until chocolate is set before serving, about 30 minutes.