Halva Brownies

A pile of halva brownies
Anita Schecter
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
501 Calories
33g Fat
48g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 501
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 42%
Saturated Fat 19g 94%
Cholesterol 114mg 38%
Sodium 276mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 17%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Protein 8g
Calcium 91mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Halva, a fudge-like confection made of sesame paste, is a tasty treat on its own, but its mild nuttiness is also the perfect foil for a rich, chocolate brownie batter. In this recipe, halva candy is the base for a chocolate brownie, making for a dessert that is sure to be memorable.

Halva is a ubiquitous item in Middle Eastern markets and is sold by the pound. It is offered in a few different flavors including vanilla, pistachio, and marble (chocolate swirled in). Any flavor will work well in this recipe, so the choice is up to you.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder​
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound halva

Steps to Make It

  1. Melt the semisweet chocolate in the microwave or a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Allow it to cool slightly.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F and butter and flour an 8-inch square pan. You can also line it with parchment paper to help remove the baked brownies if you wish.

  3. Add the sugar and butter to a large bowl and, using a stand or hand mixer, cream them together until the mixture has lightened in color. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and melted and cooled chocolate.

  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the unsweetened cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir to combine.

  5. Cut the halva into 1/2-inch pieces and sprinkle them evenly across the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Pour the brownie batter over the halva and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the tops of the brownies are set.

  6. Cool before slicing and removing from the pan. Enjoy.

What Is Halva?

Halva is a dense, sweet confection that is made from either sesame seeds (tahini), nuts, or flour. The sesame or nut varieties are soft with a dry, crumbly texture while a flour-based halva is more gelatinous. Halva can be found at Middle Eastern markets, where it may be sold in fresh blocks, or in the international food aisle of well-stocked grocery stores, where it is most likely prepackaged.

Recipe Variations

  • If you'd like a swirled brownie instead of layered, you can melt the halva with a few tablespoons of water and then swirl into the brownie batter before baking.
  • Add some chopped nuts to the brownie batter or sprinkle on top of the finished brownies.
  • Once cool, sprinkle coarse sea salt onto the baked brownies.