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Halvah, a favorite confection


Darienne
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Well I just stuck the thermometer in boiling water and it read 99.8 C so it it seems okay-strange. It didn't really turn glden but was on the verge-it was barely golden. It took 15 minutes-perhaps my flame was not strong enough but it was a small pot so I had it on the medium sized flame plate with the flame at max.

It is good. It is a bit oily and not firm enough at room temp-which is now too high-could be the humidity thing as well?

homemade halva.jpg

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Well I just stuck the thermometer in boiling water and it read 99.8 C so it it seems okay-strange. It didn't really turn glden but was on the verge-it was barely golden. It took 15 minutes-perhaps my flame was not strong enough but it was a small pot so I had it on the medium sized flame plate with the flame at max.

It is good. It is a bit oily and not firm enough at room temp-which is now too high-could be the humidity thing as well?

homemade halva.jpg

Lovely plate. As least your halvah is firmer than mine...

And back to Kerry's post:

"Anytime I've made halvah this way I ended up with it softer than I wanted. I wasn't sure if a higher temperature would have helped. I think you are essentially making a fudge with the ingredients - which is essentially a fondant. I think beating longer might be the solution until it starts to thicken."

Beating: how much longer? At what speed?

And why? (I still don't have this kind of knowledge assimilated properly.) Is it that more beating would tend to accentuate the crystallization process?

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I wrote to the author of the recipe for advice-will let you know. In her forum someone wrote to her that they overcooked the syrup and soit came outhard and crumbly just like the industrial one, so raising the temp just may help.

It is an interesting idea that Halva is really fondant-been thinking about this. Perhaps the halva needs to be kneaded like fondant??

Would marzipan also fall into a fondant product type? I have to look up the recipe!

Edited by Lior (log)
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Hi Ilana,

Thanks for going to the trouble of writing the author. Very vivacious lady. Quite charming, even though I couldn't understand any of it...except for 'halvah'. :smile:

In the interim, I took my soft halvah, mixed in some more nuts, the neglected vanilla, and some melted 56% and 70% chocolate and filled tiny muffin pans for delicious 'pop into your mouth' snack goodies.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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It would have been more divine if I had tempered the chocolate instead of melting it. I meant just to make a throw-it-together ganache type thing, and then thought...why not little bon-bons types? Then after thought...idiote, you should have tempered the chocolate!!! :raz: So now they must go from the fridge into the mouth...hmmm...unless I roll them in cocoa. Good idea. Or finely chopped nuts...

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Well surprise surprise, I got an answer!

1. It seems that according to my description the syrup was taken off the flame a bit too early

2. The time it takes to reach 121C depends on not just type and size of pot but flame size as well.

3.A degree difference can make the halva too soft or too hard and crumbly.

I looked for Halva processing procedures or something like that and found that it does get kneaded.

video

I also found this lovely blog which mentions the kneading.halva

I guess I am into Halva right now-sorry!!!

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Well surprise surprise, I got an answer!

1. It seems that according to my description the syrup was taken off the flame a bit too early

2. The time it takes to reach 121C depends on not just type and size of pot but flame size as well.

3.A degree difference can make the halva too soft or too hard and crumbly.

I looked for Halva processing procedures or something like that and found that it does get kneaded.

video

I also found this lovely blog which mentions the kneading.halva

I guess I am into Halva right now-sorry!!!

Interesting that the hand with the glove on it is not the hand kneading the halva!

Why would you feel the need to apologize for being into halva - I think we all understand obsessions quite well on this forum?

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Since early childhood I have loved halvah to distraction. It is one of my earliest happy memories...eating halvah given to me by my Bubbi. Go ahead...be obsessed. :wub:

Interesting videos...I watched several of them. And also a lovely photo on the blog. Alas! No recipes. Where is that magic recipe?

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Update. I took out the halva today from keeping it in the fridge in an airtight container wrapped in nylon. I was pleasantly surprised that it had changed! It was less oily, firmer and slightly flaky! I had a few pieces and had to force myself to stop. Yay!

I also found this recipe:

Scroll down a bit to the sesame halva

sounds yummy!

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Update. I took out the halva today from keeping it in the fridge in an airtight container wrapped in nylon. I was pleasantly surprised that it had changed! It was less oily, firmer and slightly flaky! I had a few pieces and had to force myself to stop. Yay!

I also found this recipe:

Scroll down a bit to the sesame halva

sounds yummy!

Glad your halvah cured nicely.

Your update led me to my update. Took my cut pieces out of the fridge to roll them in whatever and after they sat a while, they wilted into nothing. Put them back in one pan, smoothed out, and they are back being a very soft ganache to be spread by DH on chocolate discs.

And your website led me to reread the first couple of pages of this thread. Took me back to some pretty different and strange halvahs that I made a couple of years ago, including the one that ended up in the round bin. :laugh:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I am not a bubi yet, but I can send you some good stuff from here. :laugh:

I can confirm that - I got to carry home some Lior sent to the conference. I loved it down to the last crumb! Thanks Lior.

I'd never have guessed so many other people like it as much as I do. I'm fortunate that local Lebanese and Persian populations have made pretty good stuff easy to get here, but I'm going to have a go at making some for the experience. Is high humidity a big deterrent?

Little surprises 'round every corner, but nothing dangerous

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In case anyone is still interested, I just found a video on making Halvah at home with a well known lady who has recipe books and a TV show. She always makes confections and the recipes are easy.

I apologize that it is not in English. The video is good for visual and Iwill write the recipe:

Halva- "less crumbly and more delicious than the industrial ones you can buy"

Put 1/2 kilo Tehina in the mixer using the flat blade like she does

In a small pot 1/2 cup sugar and add put 1 cup boiling water.

Roast some pistachios about one cup but check they have no shells left on them.

1 teaspoon of a good vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon of aless good one.

A small square pan lined with 2 sheets of Baking paper sprayed with canola oil

Bring sugar and boiling water to the boil on a high flame. You may stir but only until the sugar is melted-then no stirring. Boil to 121C and if you have no thermometer-about 7 minutes-she does the soft ball check in the video for those who have no thermometer. The syrup becomes thicker and loses some of its transparency as it gets close to 121C. The syrup should not get any color or else your halva is ruined. She mentions "to always keep children away when making hot syrup and to be concentrated and not distracted by them or anything else...Reserve 7 minutes for yourself to make halvah"

At 121, carefully carefully (her voice gets very squeeky here!) the thermometer beeps ("QUIET!!-SHEKET!!), turn off the flame take the pot to the mixer, turn it on and then work quicky very quickly, pour the syrup into the bowl, add vanilla and pistachios and count to five! Turn off and you have Halva. Pour it quickly into the bowl as it hardens fast. It should not be sticky. Cool on counter for about half an hour. Cut into squares or whatever. She makes cookies filled with halvah and then you can see her cut the halvah with a very sharp knife.

When I'm looking at the syrup she is making it looks like a higher sugar to water ratio than the recipe calls for - I wonder if it should be 1 cup sugar to 1/2 cup water?

Ah, answered my own question with a hebrew to english translator - it's 1/2 kg of sugar to 1 cup of water.

I just threw out the syrup I was cooking and I'll weigh out some more for my first experiment.

I'm also going to heat the tahini to 50º C - as suggested in the honey recipe.

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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DSCN0736.jpg

Under construction - I made it in the thermomix. Toasted the pistachios, heated the tahini to 50º C in the TMX bowl. Cooked the 500 grams sugar with 1 cup of water to 121ºC, poured it through the top with the TMX going at about speed 3. Added the vanilla and pistachios. I tried to knead - but I think the TMX won't knead hot stuff perhaps due to splashing. Turned it on reverse speed 3 for a short while, saw that the mass was starting to come away from the sides - so pulled it out. It's already that nice kind of crispy texture of good halvah.

Next batch - I'll replace some of the syrup with honey - I think that will make the flavour stellar.

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Under construction - I made it in the thermomix. Toasted the pistachios, heated the tahini to 50º C in the TMX bowl. Cooked the 500 grams sugar with 1 cup of water to 121ºC, poured it through the top with the TMX going at about speed 3. Added the vanilla and pistachios. I tried to knead - but I think the TMX won't knead hot stuff perhaps due to splashing. Turned it on reverse speed 3 for a short while, saw that the mass was starting to come away from the sides - so pulled it out. It's already that nice kind of crispy texture of good halvah.

Next batch - I'll replace some of the syrup with honey - I think that will make the flavour stellar.

You may get to be my new 'best friend'. Sounds wonderful. :wub:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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DSCN0756.jpg

Batch two. Cut sugar back to 400 grams, water to 200 grams, added 125 grams honey. The syrup cooled considerably while I was waiting for the tahini to get to 50ºC. Beat in the thermomix just until I could see a change in the surface indicating it was starting to thicken.

Poured half into loaf pan, sprinkled some chocolate, added other half and more chocolate. Not sure how to better accomplish this - definitely nothing on top.

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Kerry, thanks so much for working through this recipe and posting the results. I have been looking for a good recipe for halvah for a long time, so it's great to finally see someone tackle this topic.

I'm curious if the texture of the honey+sugar product is much different than the one made with only sugar. The texture that I'm used to is that of Joyva halvah. (My wife calls it "sawdust", but I love it!)

If you were trying to make an all-chocolate halvah, do you think it would be better to mix in tempered chocolate, or do you think it wouldn't matter?

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Kerry, thanks so much for working through this recipe and posting the results. I have been looking for a good recipe for halvah for a long time, so it's great to finally see someone tackle this topic.

I'm curious if the texture of the honey+sugar product is much different than the one made with only sugar. The texture that I'm used to is that of Joyva halvah. (My wife calls it "sawdust", but I love it!)

If you were trying to make an all-chocolate halvah, do you think it would be better to mix in tempered chocolate, or do you think it wouldn't matter?

It has the nice sawdusty texture I'm accustomed to.

Re chocolate - since it's going to be hot - I don't think tempering would matter.

Kerry, that looks crazy delicious. Well done! Do you think halvah could be dipped in chocolate, or is it so oily that it you risk seepage?

I suspect this could be dipped - my other homemade always leaked.

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Batch two. Cut sugar back to 400 grams, water to 200 grams, added 125 grams honey. The syrup cooled considerably while I was waiting for the tahini to get to 50ºC. Beat in the thermomix just until I could see a change in the surface indicating it was starting to thicken.

Kerry, did you cook the honey in the syrup from the beginning? I ask because I've just finished a batch and it is creamier in texture than I expect from my halvah - more like fudge.

If you are adding the honey at the end of the cooking, I could theorize that my adding it at the start doctored the syrup and decreased crystallization.

If not, I probably just didn't beat it long enough B-}=.

Little surprises 'round every corner, but nothing dangerous

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Batch two. Cut sugar back to 400 grams, water to 200 grams, added 125 grams honey. The syrup cooled considerably while I was waiting for the tahini to get to 50ºC. Beat in the thermomix just until I could see a change in the surface indicating it was starting to thicken.

Kerry, did you cook the honey in the syrup from the beginning? I ask because I've just finished a batch and it is creamier in texture than I expect from my halvah - more like fudge.

If you are adding the honey at the end of the cooking, I could theorize that my adding it at the start doctored the syrup and decreased crystallization.

If not, I probably just didn't beat it long enough B-}=.

Ah yes. I heated the honey in the microwave. When the rest of the syrup reached about 115C I dropped it in and within a few seconds it was at 121. So less chance of inversion for sure. But do beat until you see thickening happening.

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