These crispy gooey chocolate brownies have a surprise layer of halva in the centre that adds a wonderful texture and a hit of espresso! If you want a gorgeous gluten free brownie with a little bit extra that will send it over the edge, this these espresso, halva and tahini brownies!
The idea for this brownie came from my friend Laura who ate a halva brownie at Stanbuli in Enmore. She raved about the texture of this brownie and how having it the crumbly surprise layer of halva in the middle of the brownie made it absolutely heavenly.
What Is Halva?: Halva is a Middle Eastern confection made from sesame and sugar. It has a crumbly texture and is very sweet but delicious. I used a chocolate halva which made this brownie very, very chocolatey. I'd actually recommend using a plain halva for this recipe if you really love sesame flavour and want to make it more distinct. Use chocolate halva if you want it to remain more chocolatey.
Should your brownies be gooey? The ideal brownie texture is crackly on the top and then slightly gooey and undercooked but not runny in the centre (definitely not like the centre of a chocolate fondant). Timing and temperature is important for brownie baking so make sure to cook your brownies at 160C/320F for 25 minutes. All ovens differ slightly so make sure to check it at 25 minutes and if it needs a couple of extra minutes you can do this. Usually the outer brownies are cooked and the centre two can be slightly softer. And people seem to be either an edge or a centre brownie person!
Gluten free brownie: This brownie only uses a small amount of flour and you can easily make this with buckwheat or chestnut flour. I used buckwheat flour in this recipe.
Other brownie recipes: I love brownies and there are many brownie recipes on my blog. Try these Snickers Brownies, Low Fat Brownies With A Secret Ingredient, Keto Sweet Potato Brownies or Healthy Spinach and Carrot Brownies. If you're after a cake there's a Gooey Easter Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Brownie Cake or if you prefer a cookie there's a Brownie Sandwich Cookies With Salted Buttercream Filling. I even went to the very place where the brownie was invented and this is the original brownie recipe!
Because Laura inspired me to make these, I wanted to run these by her to ensure that I got the texture correct. She was coming over for dinner and we had gathered a crazy assortment of food for dinner. From any casual observer, it was a meal put together by two hungry toddlers with ADHD.
I had made sushi that afternoon and then Laura and I had gone out to procure some goodies from the Asian grocery store because we both had a craving for soft buns and snacks. Donning our face masks we headed into the store buying a range of crazy treats from boba tea ice creams, taro chips flavoured with lime, sesame pancakes, dumplings, kimchi popcorn, fried chicken, soft buns and pineapple cake ice creams while Mr NQN waited for us in the car.
Although I miss my usual Friday night out at a restaurant, I have to say that I also equally love these Friday nights in with friends. We nibbled and sampled everything and packed up everything that we couldn't finish. And at the end? It was a square of this brownie. It was gooey, intensely chocolatey with a resounding hit of coffee and sesame and that surprise sesame halva layer in the centre was divine!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you ever eat a random collection of foods? Are you an edge or centre brownie person?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Espresso Halva Tahini Brownies
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 4 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
- 90g/3ozs. butter
- 225g/7.9ozs. dark chocolate
- 150g/5ozs. caster or superfine sugar
- 2 tablespoons espresso
- 2 eggs, beaten lightly
- 40g/1.4ozs buckwheat, chestnut or plain flour
- Pinch salt
- 185g/6.5ozs. dark chocolate
- 200g/7ozs. halva
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons/60ml/2flozs tahini
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 160C/320F and line the base and sides of a 20x20cm/8x8inch square baking tin with parchment.
Going from grainy...
Step 2 - Place the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan and melt on medium heat. Add the chocolate and melt until smooth. Add the sugar, espresso, beaten eggs, flour and salt. With a spatula stir the mixture rapidly while on the heat - you want the sugar to dissolve and the mixture to almost come away from the sides of the saucepan. It should be quite thick and glossy by this stage and it can take a few minutes to achieve this. Remove from the heat and stir in the second lot of dark chocolate.
Step 3 - Spread out half of the brownie mixture in the prepared tray. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and then slice the halva and scatter all over the batter. Top with the remaining brownie mixture and smooth the top with an angled palette knife.
Step 4 - Place the tahini in a small piping bag and pipe seven horizontal lines across the brownie. Then using a skewer, feather the pattern back and forth in a vertical pattern. Bake for 25 minutes. The centre of the brownie should be still slightly gooey while the edges are crispy and dense. This will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.