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3 cups sesame seeds
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract*
1/2 tsp cinnamon*
1/4 tsp ginger*
Optional: 1 cup toasted nuts such as pistachios, pecans, walnuts, or sliced almonds.
*Try switching up the flavourings and spices to suit your tastes!
Pre-heat your oven to 300 F.
Spread the sesame seeds onto a large baking sheet and toast in your oven until light golden, stirring several times to get an even toast. This will take around 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
In a blender or food processor blend the toasted sesame seeds until finely ground or into a paste. The finer the ground sesame seeds are the smoother the halva. More traditionally halva is made with tahini which is sesame seeds ground into a totally smooth paste, but we also quite enjoy this recipe with more roughly ground sesame seeds too.
Heat honey in a saucepan until it reaches 240 F. If you don’t have a cooking thermometer you can test to see if the honey is ready by putting a few drops into a glass of cool water, it should be soft to a light squeeze but not sticky. Another visual clue your honey is hot enough is that it will begin to froth in the saucepan.
Mix the vanilla, sesame seeds, and spices into the hot honey until everything is combined. This is the time to also add in any additional chopped nuts.
Press the mixture into a 9″x 5″ loaf pan lined with parchment paper, the size of the pan isn’t crucial, it’ll only change how thick or thin your halva is. Refrigerate until totally cool. Once your halva is cool cut into squares, slices, or small bars, and store in the fridge.
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