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Tahini and halva brownies

Baking Dessert
Makes 16
Featured in
Sweet cookbook

The combination of tahini, halva and chocolate is so good that some members of staff (Tara, we see you!) had to put a temporary ban on their eating of these particular brownies during the making of Simple. It is very hard to eat just the one. To achieve the perfect balance of cakey and gooey – that sweet spot that all brownies should hit – the cooking time is crucial. It will vary by a minute or so between different ovens, and depending on where the tray is sitting in the oven, so keep a close eye on them.

Ingredients

250g unsalted butter, cut into 2cm cubes, plus extra for greasing
250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into 3–4cm pieces
4 large eggs
280g caster sugar
120g plain flour
30g dutch-processed cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
200g halva, broken into 2cm pieces
80g tahini paste

Method

Ready to start
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6. Grease and line a 23cm square or 30 x 20cm rectangular baking tin with baking parchment and set aside.

  2. Place the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the base of the bowl is not touching the water. Leave for about 2 minutes, to melt, then remove the bowl from the heat. Stir through, until you have a thick shiny sauce, and set aside to come to room temperature.

  3. Place the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until pale and creamy and a trail is left behind when you move the whisk: this will take about 3 minutes with an electric mixer, longer by hand. Add the chocolate and fold through gently using a spatula – don’t over-work the mix here.

  4. Sift the flour, cocoa and salt into a bowl, then gently fold into the chocolate mixture. Finally, add the pieces of halva, gently fold through the mix, then pour or scrape the mixture into the lined baking tin, using a small spatula to even it out.
    Dollop small spoonfuls of the tahini paste into the mix in about 12 different places, then use a skewer to swirl them through to create a marbled effect, taking the marbling right to the edges of the tin.

  5. Bake for about 23 minutes, until the middle has a slight wobble and it is gooey inside – they may be ready anywhere between 22 and 25 minutes. If using the 30 x 20cm tin, they will need a couple of minutes less. They may seem a little under-cooked at first, but they firm up once they start to cool down. If you want to serve them warm-ish (and gooey), set aside for just 30 minutes before cutting into 16 pieces. Otherwise, set aside for longer to cool to room temperature.

    We made these in a 23cm square baking tin, but a 30 x 20cm rectangular tin also works well.

    These will keep well for up to 5 days in an airtight container. They also freeze well, wrapped in cling film, for up to a month. When you take them out of the freezer, they are uncommonly good eaten at the half-frozen, half-thawed stage.