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chocolate halva brownies

Brownies. I thought I'd baked every flavour combination there was until I started seeing chocolate halva brownies popping up on instagram.



I grew up eating halva though I haven't had a piece in years. I decided to make some chocolate halva brownies and looked online for recipe ideas. 



I found a few recipes that added tahini to the mix. I'm a bit ambivalent about tahini as I find it too bitter. I measured out a small amount of tahini to add to the batter then at the last minute didn't use it.



In the end I used my regular brownie recipe and added 125 grams of coarsely chopped vanilla halva that I bought at my local deli. I grew up eating Israeli halva so assumed it was a middle eastern sweetmeat. The deli from which I bought the halva was Macedonian. My Maltese colleague also grew up eating halva as did a Greek work mate. I had no idea halva was eaten in so many countries.



The brownies came out of the oven suitably squidgy and I couldn't wait to try them. If you'd like to make a batch of chocolate halva brownies, you can find the recipe below. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.





Chocolate Halva Brownies
125g (4 oz) vanilla halva, cut into 1-2 cm chunks
½ cup plain flour then remove 1½ tbs of the flour
1½ (20 ml) tbs cocoa
125g (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
185g (6 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
⅔ cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (conventional). Grease and line the base and sides of a 9 inch (23cm) square pan with baking paper or aluminium foil, making sure the paper goes up all four sides. Place the halva cubes over the base of the tin.

Sift the flour with the cocoa into a small bowl. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl placed over a medium saucepan filled with simmering water, stirring until smooth. You could also do this in the microwave. Remove the bowl from heat and beat in the ⅔ cup sugar, the vanilla then the eggs.

Mix in the flour and cocoa mixture and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the batter becomes smooth and glossy. Spread the brownie mixture evenly in the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated 180°C/350°F oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the batter in the centre of the pan is just set. Cool on a wire rack, then lift out of the tin and peel away the foil or paper. Cut the brownies into squares or bars.



These will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days and they also freeze well.

I took these into work and they were a roaring success with most people intrigued by the unique flavour of the halva. One of my workmates declared these the perfect brownies, as they were crusty on top and squidgy inside. They are moist, darkly chocolate and not too sweet. I still have half a container of halva in the fridge so I guess I'll be making another batch soon.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian


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