Make a batch of this nutty fudge-like Halva at your Greek Orthodox Easter feast this year.
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Lightly grease and line an 11.5cm x 20cm (base measurement) loaf pan with baking paper.
Combine the tahini, lemon rind and salt in a large bowl.
Place the honey in a medium heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, without stirring, for 5 mins or until a candy thermometer reaches 116°C or 'soft ball stage'. If you don't have a thermometer, drop 1 teaspoonful of honey into a glass of cold water. If the syrup becomes a soft ball it's at ‘soft ball stage’. Remove from heat. Pour into the tahini mixture and stir until well combined. Add the almond, macadamia and sesame seeds and stir to combine.
Pour into prepared pan. Set aside for 1 hour to cool to room temperature. Place in the fridge for 24 hours. Invert onto a clean work surface. Use a large sharp knife to cut into slices. Top with extra nuts to serve.
COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Store halva in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three weeks.
Leftover macadamia nuts can be tossed in salads, baked in custards or eaten as a snack.
Halva is a soft fudge-like confectionary. The ingredients for halva are also simple and delicious. It is made from a base of tahini (a sesame seed paste) and dressed with a mix of nuts like almonds and macadamia. How to eat halva? This sweet treat is best served on its own with a cuppa for afternoon tea, or you can experiment by crumbling the halva over ice cream or mixed through brownies or cookie dough.
Halva has Arabic origins and can be found all over the world, including Cyprus, Greece, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Lebanon and other eastern European countries. This sweet is a traditional fasting food among Greek Orthodox during the period of Lent, before Greek Orthodox Easter, and when some food restrictions are in place.
To make this recipe at home, combine tahini, lemon rind and salt with honey that has been heated to 116°C before being dressed with seeds and nuts. You can use a candy thermometer to check the exact temperature of the honey, however, if you don’t have one, don’t stress! Simply drop 1 teaspoonful of the honey into a glass of cold water. If it resembles a soft ball, it’s ready.
Pour the mixture into a pan and finish it off in the fridge for 24 hours before cutting into slices and serving with your favourite cuppa. As this mixture is quite soft, leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to cut.
This recipe for halva is a fantastic base for putting your own spin on this sweet treat. Feel free to add in different nuts and spices, such as chopped pistachio, ground cardamom or ground cinnamon. You can also add different flavourings in your halva dessert, such as rosewater for a subtle floral aroma, vanilla extract, chocolate or even coffee.