Halva, derived from the Arabic word halwa, meaning sweet, is one of the tastiest offerings of the Middle East. It's a soft, fudgelike candy made out of sesame paste. My version is dipped in chocolate so it's extra special!
2 cups sugar 1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla zest of 1/2 lemon
13/4 cups tahini
pinch of sea salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
sesame seeds for topping
- Line an 8- × 8- inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Combine sugar, water, vanilla, and lemon zest in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook sugar syrup without stirring until it reaches 245°F on a candy thermometer.
- While syrup is cooking, put tahini and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Beat tahini on medium speed and add hot syrup in a stream. Mix just until syrup is incorporated and mixture pulls away from sides of bowl (30 seconds to 1 minute). Do not overmix.
- Quickly and carefully, press hot halva mixture into prepared pan. Allow to cool, and cut into desired shapes.
- Heat chocolate in the top of a double boiler setup until melted.
- Dip halva pieces into chocolate and set on lined tray. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Allow to cool and serve. Or store wrapped in plastic for up to 2 weeks.
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