The combination of tahini, halva and chocolate is so good that some members of staff (Tara, we see you!) had to put a temporary personal ban on eating these particular brownies during the making of this book. It is very hard to eat just one.
In order 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 depending on where the pan is sitting in the oven, so keep a close eye on them. Note: this recipe is nut-free.
1 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp/250 g unsalted butter, cut into 3/4-inch/2-cm cubes, plus extra for greasing
9 oz/260 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into 1 1/2-inch/4-cm pieces
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups/280 g granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 3 tbsp/120 g all-purpose flour
1/3 cup/30 g Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
7 oz/200 g halva, broken into 3/4-inch/2-cm pieces
1/3 cup/70 g tahini paste
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Grease your chosen pan and line with parchment paper, then 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 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 with a spatula—don’t overwork the mixture here.
4. Sift the flour, cocoa powder 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 pan, 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 pan.
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 12 x 8-inch/30.5 x 20-cm pan, they will need a couple minutes less cooking time. They may seem a little undercooked at first, but they firm up once they start to cool down. If you want to serve them warmish (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 9-inch/ 23-cm-square baking pan, but a 12 x 8-inch/30.5 x 20-cm pan also works well.
These will keep well for up to 5 days in an airtight container. They also freeze well, covered in plastic wrap, 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.
Reprinted with permission from Sweet: Desserts from London's Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography credit: Peden + Munk © 2017
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