We can all dispute the origins of this dish. Some will tell you it’s from Turkey. Others will say Byzantine or India. To many, there is no doubt that halvah is one of the most frequently bought desserts in the world. It’s dense and flaky as this tahini-based candy is known to Israeli Jews and American, but that’s only one of the hundred versions that are most enjoyed in the globe.
Amongst our family, kosher halvah is one of the things we enjoy. Sometimes, we’ll make it at home to enjoy for the entire week. I remember growing up with my mom making these, and it was always such a treat. Of course, she purposefully made small batches because she wanted us to learn how to share. But, gees! That was so hard since these goodies were so delectable to the taste. From bite after bite, I wasn’t sure when I would stop. And you’d think I’d be tired of eating them after all these years, right? Wrong! I’m making different versions of them whenever I can, and I am just getting started.
4 cups honey
Up to 4 cups of sliced almonds
3 cups tahini, well stirred to combine
Warm up the honey in medium heat until it makes a “soft ball” similar to a candy making stage or until your thermometer indicates 240˚ F. To confirm this, take a small drop of honey into cold water. The soft ball should be able to flatten when it’s removed from the water.
In a separate pot, keep your tahini ready. When the honey is at the right temperature, set it aside and heat the tahini to 120˚ F.
When you’re done, add the tahini to the honey pot and combine it using a wooden spoon. Don’t be alarmed if they look separated. Continue mixing them until they’re smooth.
If you’re adding nuts, combine them with your halvah mix. Continue this until the mixture begins to stiffen for 7 minutes. Take a well-greased pan, and pour the combination. Make sure the pan has a removable bottom. You want to cool this at room temperature and cover with cling wrap.
Take your pan to the fridge and keep it there for 36 hours. It might be a long time, but this will let the melted honey to form sugar crystals which will offer your halvah its rightful texture.
Flip the pan to remove the halvah or cut it into pieces with a knife. Enjoy!