Halva

Over the years, many readers of this website have asked me for a good recipe for everybody’s favorite million-calorie Middle-Eastern treat – halva. It has taken me quite a long while to figure out a fool-proof version of halva, because candy-making is usually quite tricky… but here it is, finally!

Halva (o halwa) fatta in casa

In case you’ve just landed from another planet and don’t know what halva is, you can think of it as some sort of fudgy candy made with sesame and honey, which will change your life for the better when you taste it! If you never had it before, you are in for a real treat. 

Halva (o halwa) fatta in casa
Making halva at home is not easy at all, which is why I was very slow to publish a recipe: like all the preparations in which you have to work with sugar and heat it to perfection, mistakes are lurking practically around every corner. After many attempts, however, I believe I have found a procedure that works, so please give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Halva (o halwa) fatta in casa

The recipe comes, with minor variations, from the book “Zahav” by Michael Solomonov, a book I wholeheartedly recommend: to give you a sense of how much I love the book, I can tell you it is one of the five books (only five, I know, it’s cruel, but cookbooks are so heavy and take up a lot of suitcase space!) that I brought with me on my move to Israel.

Halva (o halwa) fatta in casa

Halva

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Ebraica
Servings 24 bites

Ingredients
  

  • 550 g white sugar
  • seeds of 1 vanilla pod
  • 300 ml tahini
  • 115 g water
  • 1 pinch of salt​

Instructions
 

  • Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Combine sugar and vanilla with 1/2 cup water in a non-stick pot over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Allow mixture to simmer into a syrup, without stirring, until temperature registers 245° C on a candy thermometer.
    550 g white sugar, 115 g water
  • While the syrup is cooking, place tahini, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed and carefully stream syrup into the tahini. Mix until syrup is incorporated and the mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Be careful not to overmix.
    300 ml tahini, 1 pinch of salt​, seeds of 1 vanilla pod
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and flatten it with a spatula; next, place another piece of parchment paper on top and smooth out the halvah with your hands.
  • Let the halva cool and come to room temperature, then cut into squares.
  • Store wrapped in plastic, inside a tin box, for a week or so.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Halva (o halwa) fatta in casa

If you bought tahini to try this recipe for halva and have leftovers, consider also baking these scrumptious honey and tahini cookies. Nobody likes having a jar of tahini getting stale in the fridge for ages, so go ahead and treat yourself to a batch of cookies, you won’t regret it!

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6 Comments

  1. Buongiorno vorrei domandare due cose se possibile la prima mi piacerebbe sapere se questo libro ha una versione italiana o francese e la seconda domanda é sapere se si può sostituire lo zucchero bianco con il miele. Grazie per l’eventuale risposta ed ovviamente complimenti siete unici !!!
    Paola

  2. Ciao Paola! Il libro che io sappia non è ancora uscito in italiano nè in francese :(
    Per quanto riguarda la halva col miele, io non ho mai provato, ma ce ne sono diverse versioni se cerchi su Google honey halva. In bocca al lupo!

  3. Buonissima la Halva,me l’hanno regalata dei miei amici tunisini,è una bomba di bontà,
    quella che mi hanno portato è bicolore.
    Una parte color nocciola e l’altra verde.

  4. Mangiata in Israele, c’era di tanti tipi, ed esposte sembravano forme di formaggio. Buonissima!

  5. Assomiglia la pasta di mandorla – credo che Halva Pasta di Mandorla e Torrone sono tutti della stessa radice..

  6. Oh! This is my favorite halve.Where I live this unique candy that is made with tahini as the main ingredient is rarely available in the markets.
    When our family members travel to Arabian countries the fist thing is to order tahini halva (plain) .
    Al Nakhla is brand of tahini halva available in the Saudi Arabia.