Say hello to your new favorite dessert/snack! Vegan Halva!
If you have never heard of halva, it’s a middle eastern dessert very popular in Israel, Greece, Turkey, and many other countries. Made with tahini and honey or sugar, it’s sweet, nutty and has a crumbly yet soft texture. It goes very well with coffee and makes a delicious afternoon snack!
I love halva but I’m not a fan of white sugar so I had to come up with a healthier recipe without sacrificing on flavor. This 2-ingredient halva is not only vegan, but it’s also refined sugar-free! AND I’m sharing 3 ways to flavor it!
The base requires just two ingredients: tahini and maple syrup. The secret to get an halva that sets and become crumbly is to heat the maple syrup to 266°F (130°C) so you will need a thermometer for this recipe. If you don’t boil the maple syrup enough your halva will have the consistency of a nut butter instead of being firm.
Be aware this recipe yields a halva that is crumbly in texture just like the real one but doesn’t have that crystalized/flaky texture. If you ever had halva, you probably know what I mean by that. The thing is, it’s not possible to achieve such texture without making a very, very large batch (probably hundreds of pounds of halva). Anyway, this doesn’t make it any less delicious!
Once the maple syrup has reached the correct temperature, we remove from heat and stir in the warm tahini. Stir until it thickens and forms a paste. Then transfer to a muffin pan, greased ramequins, or small baking dish. The shape doesn’t really matter, use what you have on hand.
The next step is to wait until the halva firms up, which will take about 2 hours. Once firm, cut into squares and enjoy!
I’m sharing 5 other halva flavors (only 3 pictured below):
- Vanilla: A classic but one that never disappoints! It makes the tahini flavor shine.
- Pistachio: If you are on the crunchy team, this one is for you! Roasted pistachios add more texture and a beautiful green color to the halva.
- Chocolate Hazelnut (aka Nutella): This halva is super nutty with a light chocolate flavor. Tahini combined with hazelnut butter and cocoa powder makes this halva super addictive.
- Pecan Cinnamon: Probably my favorite! Loaded with candied pecans and full of cinnamon, this halva is the best for the Holidays! Plus it makes a great gift!
- Marble: Melted chocolate swirled into halva? Count me in!
- Peanut Butter: It tastes like peanut butter fudge but is more crumbly and has crunchy peanut pieces.
There are many other ways to flavor halva, you can add spices like cardamom, ground coffee, rose extract, and more.
I hope you will all love this halva! It’s naturally sweetened and has a delicious nutty flavor. Tahini lovers, definitely try this recipe!
Halva will keep for weeks at room temperature, just like nut butter. You can serve some chunks with coffee or tea, or use in sweet recipes like brownies, cookies, or use as an ice cream topping!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
- 1/4 cup (80g) maple syrup
- 1/2 cup (140g) tahini
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- optional: 1/3 cup roasted pistachios
- Lightly grease a small glass baking dish. You can use a silicone muffin pan if you want, the shape doesn’t really matter.
- Place the maple syrup in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until it reaches 266°F (130°C). The maple syrup will bubble and some foam will form, this is normal. While the maple syrup is heating, place the tahini, vanilla extract, and pistachios if using in another saucepan and warm over low heat. Tahini must be just warm, not hot.
- Once the maple syrup has reached the temperature, turn the heat off and pour the warm tahini into the saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, stir until it starts to thicken and doesn’t look shiny anymore. You can use an electric beater if you want but do not beat for too long as it thickens very quickly, about 5-10 seconds.
- Pour immediately into the prepared dish and spread it into an even layer. Let cool at room temperature for at least 3 hours before removing from the pan or baking dish.
- You can then cut it into small squares, or make small chunks using your fingers. Enjoy with coffee, tea, or as an afternoon snack!
- Halva will keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
For non-vegans, you can substitute maple syrup for honey. If you don’t have access to maple syrup, you can use 2/3 cup cane sugar combined with 2 tbsp water, bring to a temperature of 248°F (120°C) and then stir in the tahini.
“Nutella”: Combine 1/4 cup tahini, 1/4 cup hazelnut butter, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 tsp cocoa powder.
Pecan Cinnamon: In a small bowl, coat 1/4 cup pecans with 2 tsp maple syrup, 1/4 tsp oil, and 1/8 tsp cinnamon. Roast for 8 minutes at 350°F (175°C). Add the roasted pecans and 1/4 tsp cinnamon to the tahini.
Chocolate Marble: Melt 3 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips over a double boiler. Prepare the halva as explained above. Stir in the melted chocolate once you have combined the tahini with the maple syrup. Do not stir too much to keep a nice chocolate swirl.
Peanut: Combine 1/4 cup tahini, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup roasted peanuts.
- Serving Size: 1 square (without pistachios)
- Calories: 116
- Sugar: 5.4g
- Fat: 8.4g
- Carbohydrates: 9.3g
- Fiber: 1.5g
- Protein: 2.7g