Sometimes you grow up eating something that you don’t realise isn’t common to the people you hang around with. One of those things for me is halva. We used to get halva mainly on full-family trips to the Nanna Shop or Kakulas as dad was it’s biggest fan in our family and he’d add it to our baskets. But it wasn’t until I was a bit older and telling someone about it and they had never heard of it that I realised it wasn’t a common food in Perth. If you’ve never had it, it’s a bit hard to describe. It’s a sweet that is made from processed sesame seeds and it’s texture is completely unique. It has a sort of ‘gritty’ texture that goes sort of chewy in your mouth like nougat as you eat it. When you cut it, it is almost sandpapery sounding. It’s only mildly sweet and has that lovely nutty flavour of sesame and this makes it perfect for cheese platters and the like. We would get two main flavours, just a plain one and chocolate. This was my favourite, as the chocolate is swirled through the halva in a marble pattern. It looked awesome, and tasted awesome.
I don’t eat halva that often now I don’t live at home, but occasionally I get nostalgic cravings for it. I saw a recipe for halva spread on the My Name is Yeh blog, I immediately got a craving. Then vowed to make this for an Easter present for my parents. This is a perfect spread for hot cross buns. I also love it spread on these chocolate hazelnut crackers from Alejandra’s Always Order Dessert. Traditionally, our family has Pasha on hot cross buns at Easter (an almond, lemon and vanilla cream cheese spread which is currently a secret family recipe), but this year I had to have two hot cross buns - one of each!
I used unhulled tahini, as the flavour is a bit milder which suits this sweet spread.
Chocolate Halva SpreadAdapted from My Name is Yeh
1x 385g jar of unhulled tahini
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup honey
½ tsp fine sea salt
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Pop the chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Set aside.
Pour the tahini, honey and sea salt into a bowl and mix with a hand mixer on low speed until well combined. Take 1/3 of the mixture and put in a new bowl. Add the melted chocolate and blend until combined.
Alternate spooning the ‘plain’ halva and the ‘chocolate’ halva into jars to make a layered pattern.
Spread on toast, these chocolate hazelnut crackers or hot cross buns!