chocolate truffles

In this picture, we used powdered seeds. But whole sesame is better.

What is halvah?  Maybe your parents shopped in ethnic markets, so you remember halvah cut from large blocks in the olden days….  Maybe you’ve been to the middle east.  Or you’ve sampled the halvahs at our shop.  It’s an addictive chewy, sweet treat, which the dictionary defines as an “Eastern Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, or Indian sweetmeat made of honey and containing sesame seeds, nuts, rose-water, saffron, etc.”

Combine the flavors of halvah with a chocolate truffle (“a bite-sized chocolate confection usually made from ganache, a mixture of chocolate and cream”) as I have here, and I hope you will have a new favorite dessert. In marrying halvah and truffles, I replaced cream with whole sesame tahini (because whole sesame tahini has more calcium and a generous amount of magnesium too), and used toasted sesame seeds in place of cocoa powder. Voila! A new confection, just to shake things up a bit.

If the mood strikes, experiment with a few drops of rose-water, or a pinch of saffron too.

Makes about 20 truffles

½ C raw honey (buckwheat* is great) ½ C whole sesame tahini (Oxygen brand)
C organic chocolate chips  ¾ C whole, brown, unhulled sesame seeds (the hulls have the wonderful fiber called  “lignans”)
In a saucepan, over a low flame, gently melt honey, chocolate chips and tahini. Stir for a minute or two.

Put in the refrigerator and allow the ganache mixture to cool, about an hour. In the meantime, lightly toast the seeds in a dry frying pan until they start to pop and are aromatic. Leave them on a plate to cool.

Take the ganache out of the fridge, let stand until it comes to room temp, and then, using a teaspoon, scoop out and roll into small-ish truffle balls. Roll each ball in the sesame seeds. (I like to coat truffles thickly, but any remaining toasted sesame seeds will keep forever in a little glass jar in your frig or freezer.

Serve truffles at room temp. These do keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

*Why buckwheat honey? Buckwheat honey is a dark-colored honey with a stronger, spicier flavor, less water and more antioxidants. Like all raw honeys, it is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.