Halva, which means sweet, is a very sweet and rich treat based on nuts. This peanut and chocolate halva has a slightly salty edge from the peanut butter and a little bitterness from the chocolate which saves it from being blandly sweet like other halvas I have eaten.
The recipe below has been adapted from Sugar & Spice I received a copy of this cookbook for my birthday in February (thanks Gaby!) but I’m only now just making something from it. It has a lot of recipes for smaller treats, with plenty of nuts and chocolate, so it’s likely that I will be using this cookbook often.
Halva may be made from any sort of nut butter. While this offers a lot of scope to experiment with so many delicious types of nuts I chose to use peanut butter. Both of my children have decided that they no longer want to eat smooth peanut butter and I had a whole unopened jar in the pantry. I know there’s no point trying to stir through chopped peanuts and passing it off as the crunchy sort. They will be able to tell; children have an uncanny sense for this sort of trickery!
This halva was a popular treat for the kids (big and small) so I will be making this one again! I was happily surprised that something slightly pedestrian like peanut butter can be transformed into some so delicious with such a simple recipe.
Have you tried halva? What is your favourite flavour?
Makes 14 pieces
250g (9oz/ or 1 1/4 cups) white sugar
100ml (3 1/2 fl oz or 1/2 cup water)
300g (10 1/2 oz or 1 1/3 cups) smooth peanut butter
75g ( 2 3/4 oz or 1/2 cup) chopped roasted peanuts
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
50g dark chocolate
handful roasted peanuts
Line the base of a 20cm (8inch) springform tin with baking paper.
Place the sugar and water in a medium sized saucepan, stir until the sugar has dissolved, and heat until it reaches soft ball stage 114C (237F).
Place the peanut butter, nuts and chocolate in a large bowl. When the sugar reaches temperature pour it over and mix quickly. Place into the tin and smooth the top. Cut the halva into shape while it is still warm then allow to cool completely in the tin.
To decorate, simply melt the chocolate and drizzle over the top and finish with a peanut.