Halva & dark chocolate blondies

in Desserts, Taste -

Deliciously cakey and soft, these halva & dark chocolate blondies are subtly sweet, fragrant and guaranteed to make you crazy about halva. 

Halva & dark chocolate blondies

Halva is one of my all time favourite sweet things; I love its tahini flavour, slight sweetness and irresistibly crumbly texture; that aside, it’s so dear to me mostly because of all the memories each bite brings. As a staple in the 40day Greek Orthodox lent diet, it has always been part of my family’s spring diet- and a much beloved one at that. My family is not religious, but has always reserved an intensely soft spot for traditions- not to mention sweet treats and tahini.

For a while, during my adolescent years, I became mildly obsessed with halva; I’d usually have it straight from the container it was kept in, cutting large chunks with a dull knife and eating them leaning against the kitchen island, staring out the window and hungrily, quickly savouring every crumbly, sweet and a little nutty morsel.

Halva & dark chocolate blondies

Perhaps understandably, I haven’t bought halva in a long, long time. Yet, a couple weeks ago, while shopping at a small Middle Easter store and seeing it on the shelf, I felt it really was about time. It was a sudden craving, not so much for the actual taste, but rather a longing for all these memories and sentiments to come back. I got home, opened the container while still wearing my coat and had a couple fat chunks leaning on my kitchen counter. And it was perfect. And I held on to that feeling (and the rest of the halva) for the next couple of days.

Halva & dark chocolate blondies

Then I decided it was possible I needed some new memories; and that’s how these halva & dark chocolate blondies came to be. Baking staples, deliciously fruity honey, and a drizzle of pure vanilla extract to compliment the halva’s flavour. I love a good blondie, I love how simple and satisfying it can be and I really hoped the halva would work in here. I wanted it to work, for old time’s sake and for the general love of desserts. You know how these teenage crushes: short-lived and sudden and flooring you like tornadoes; and when you do reminiscnet about them, the taste they leave on the mouth is just perfectly bittersweet and just right. Much like these blondies.

Halva & dark chocolate blondies

Halva & dark chocolate blondies

WHAT

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup honey

200 gr unsalted butter, melted

3 medium eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

120 gr vanilla halva, crumbled

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

HOW

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC (150ºC FAN), line a square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients and set aside. Beat together the honey and sugar and add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating well after each addition.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and combine; lastly, add the crumbled halva and chocolate chips and fold gently with a spatula, trying not to break the halva chunks.
  4. Pour into the baking pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20′, or until golden and an inserted bamboo skewer coming out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven, let cool in the pan for 5′ and then cook for a further 10′ on a wire rack.

* Optional: to frost, mix together 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, 4 tablespoons tahini, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt flakes. 

 

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