Halva is an amazing fudge-like treat that is gluten-free and delicious!
This fudge-like Middle Eastern treat combines tahini and a simple syrup with a wide range of flavourings to create a sweet that is highly addictive. Though not as sweet as fudge, halva is the perfect treat to keep on hand and it's easy to make.
Because this version uses tahini instead of flour, the base is gluten-free. Careful that the added flavours don't add any gluten if this is important to you.
The added flavours can literally be anything. This recipe includes two versions, the mixed nut and chocolate swirl, but feel free to experiment. Try adding coffee or matcha, ginger or other spices, seeds, or try a more savoury-sweet version with dried herbs. How about a lemon and poppy seed version? Use you imagination and explore them all!
The only thing to be aware of while making halva is that mixing must be kept to a minimum once the sugar syrup is added. If stirred too much, it won't hold together after cooling. Only stir until the syrup is combined and it starts to thicken, then stop. I find the easiest way to form halva is using a silicon loaf pan, but other pans (8x8, 9x9, etc.) will also work.
(Makes 20 servings)
1, 1/2 cup tahini
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1, 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
mixed nut halva:
1/4 cup unsalted, dry-roasted pistachios, crushed
1/4 cup raw almonds, crushed
1/4 cup walnuts, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
chocolate swirl halva:
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Prepare a silicone loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add the tahini, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir well to combine.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar and water. Do not stir or the sugar will begin to crystalize. Heat until the mixture reaches 245°F / 118°C. If you find there are sugar crystals starting to form along the sides of the saucepan, use a wet pastry brush to wipe them away. Once the syrup reaches temperature, carefully pour it into the tahini mixture, stirring only until it is combined and starts to thicken. Do not over mix or the halva will crumble instead of holding together.
Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and let stand until it cools room temperature. Once at room temperature, transfer the pan to the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours.
Remove from the loaf pan, slice and enjoy. Wrap leftovers and keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or freeze for up to three months.
Mixed Nut Halva:
Using a food processor, add the nuts and pulse until they are finely crumbled. Add the nuts and cinnamon to the tahini mixture and stir until well combined. Follow the remaining steps above.
Chocolate Swirl Halva:
Follow the steps outlined above. Once the hot syrup is mixed into the tahini, add the chocolate chips and let stand for 30 to 45 seconds until the chips have softened. Stir in gently, but do not completely combine. This will result in swirled halva. Follow the remaining steps above.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (plain halva):
total calories = 152 | total fat = 9.54g | saturated fat = 1.33g | cholesterol = 0mg | sodium = 65mg | net carbohydrates = 15.05g | dietary fibre = 0.85g | sugars = 12.03g | protein = 3.13g
Nutritional Information Per Serving (mixed nut halva):
total calories = 180 | total fat = 11.96g | saturated fat = 1.56g | cholesterol = 0mg | sodium = 65.09mg | net carbohydrates = 15.56g | dietary fibre = 1.3g | sugars = 12.23g | protein = 3.98g
Nutritional Information Per Serving (chocolate swirl halva):
total calories = 184 | total fat = 11.14g | saturated fat = 2.13g | cholesterol = 0mg |