It’s easy to be put off by tahini. Like mustard, eating it by the spoonful will probably make you gag. Why? The paste, made from blending pure sesame seeds, curiously attains a bitter quality that its nutty counterparts such as peanut and almond butter do not share.
But it is precisely this bitter quality to tahini that makes it so versatile when it comes to creating flavour combinations. In my opinion, tahini is best when balanced with sweetness: let the following recipe exemplify the triumph of this marriage. If you don’t have the time or the patience to make it though, simply slather some tahini on your morning toast and top it with jam, or drizzle it over a chocolate bar. Give tahini a second chance and make it sweet! What’s more, be sure to buy your next jar from a middle-eastern grocer – the less English on the label, the better. Not only is the bitterness of authentic tahini less overpowering, but you’ll find the consistency is much creamier. Liquid gold. Enjoy!
Chocolate Tahini Fudge
- 12 tbsp tahini
- 200 ml agave or maple syrup
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp cacao powder
- 12 Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 handfuls assorted dried fruit and nut mix, roughly chopped (I used almonds, cashews, raisins, and a chopped fruit n’ nut bar)
- pinch salt
1. Melt tahini, salt, agave syrup, cacao powder and coconut oil in a pan over low heat, stirring regularly, until a thick syrup has formed. Try to keep the syrup from bubbling.
2. Pour syrup in to a food processor and add dates. Pulse until mixture is smooth and gooey.
3. Pour mixture in to a non-stick/lined loaf tin. Run a knife under hot water and using the wet blade, smooth over the surface of the fudge. Sprinkle assorted dried fruit and nuts over the surface.
4. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Fudge should be gooey but firm. Cut in to squares of your preferred size (mine roughly 2cm x 2cm).
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Photo: Nicola Blackburn