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Tahini Halva Brownies

These rich and dense brownies are drizzled with tahini and dotted with halva. Pay attention to the invaluable tip from author Claire Ptak on how to get your brownies perfectly gooey.

From the book


These have become a staple at Violet. Every once in a while we give them a little break from the counter to make space for other recipes, but it never lasts long because people ask for them every day. Halva can be found in many Turkish and Middle Eastern shops or online.

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250g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) unsalted butter
250g (9oz) dark chocolate
4 eggs
250g (1¼ cups) golden caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
140g (1 cup) fine spelt flour
50g (½ cup) cocoa powder
150g (5½oz) tahini paste
225g (8oz) vanilla or marbled chocolate halva, broken into 2cm (¾in) pieces
¾ tsp sea salt flakes

Essential kit

You will need: a 20×30cm (8×12in) cake tin and a heat-proof bowl.


Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/350°F/ gas mark 4. Butter and line a 20×30cm (8×12in) cake tin with baking paper.

Put the butter and chocolate into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally until the mixture has melted completely. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until combined, taking care not to over whisk; the idea here is not to add too much air. Stir the eggs into the cooled chocolate mixture with the vanilla extract, then sift in the flour and cocoa powder and fold all together. Pour into your prepared tin.

Drizzle the tahini over the top of the brownie mixture. Dot with halva pieces, then gently run a knife across the surface to marble it. Sprinkle with sea salt, then bake for 25 minutes. The brownies should be just set but still wobbly. Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into rectangles.

Baker’s tip: Remember that both brownies and cookies continue to bake while they cool down. It is always a good idea to err on the side of caution and remove the baked goods just before you think they are done to avoid overbaking and to keep that lovely gooey texture.

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