Chocolate Marbled Peanut Butter Halva
I have loved halva ever since I started buying it at a local shop a few years back. I still occasionally get down to the shop, but I also started to make my own at home. I have made it a few times now, and Eric loves it so much that the batch is usually gone in a few days. It is classically made with tahini, which is really good no matter what flavor you decide to make it. But I was wondering if it could be made with other nut butters. I am the nut butter queen after all, I have at least 5 varieties on hand at all times. So I thought I would do an experiment and try something besides halva.
I am a sucker for the chocolate and peanut butter combo, peanut butter cups were always a favorite of mine growing up. So I went with peanut butter this time. I have the most on hand of all my nut butters, so it was perfect! I wasn't sure what would happen, because the nut butter fat content varies, but it worked out really well!
I made the halva the same way I make the one with tahini, but used peanut butter instead. This is my tweaked halva recipe, it started out with a bit more sugar but I found it a little too sweet so I feel like 1 cup is just the right amount. I also add in a bit of sea salt, and a touch of vanilla. Yes, it needs the sea salt, trust me on this one, it just brings out the flavor and makes it better and gives it that something extra. Especially with the peanut butter, which I like to be a little salty. You need a candy thermometer for this, and yes it is essential to get the sugar caramel to the right temperature. But they are cheap and something good to have in the kitchen so it is not a big deal to pick one up.
The other important thing about this besides the candy thermometer is mixing it properly. Some people use a stand mixer but I just used a wooden spoon. The important part is to mix it quickly while pouring the sugar syrup in until is is just incorporated so it has a nice texture and isn't too crumbly. Once the peanut butter base was made I quickly mixed in dark chocolate chunks to give it chocolate marbling (again you don't want to over mix, just add the chocolate a few stirs and voila). This halva turned out sooo heavenly! It is like peanut butter cup halva! It is a bit smoother than the regular tahini halva, but I love it! Once you have a piece though it is hard to stop eating so you have been warned!
Chocolate Marbled Peanut Butter Halva
Makes 1 lb
- 1 1/2 cups smooth, natural (unsweetened) peanut butter, stirred well, at room temperature
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 1/2 cup chopped vegan dark chocolate
- 1/4 cup chopped vegan dark chocolate for the top of the halva
- Line an 8x8 inch square pan with parchment (letting it go up the sides as well).
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the peanut butter, sea salt, vanilla and mix until well blended. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan with a candy thermometer in it, combine the sugar and water over medium high heat, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil, and allow to cook while stirring occasionally so it does not burn, until it turns golden brown and reaches 250F degrees.
- When it reaches the proper temperature, pour into the halva mixture in a thin stream while stirring constantly until it is just blended, then quickly stir in 1/2 cup chopped chocolate just until it forms streaks in it (it is literally just a few stirs, you don't want to over-mix or it will become crumbly).
- Dump the halva into the prepared pan, and press it out evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chunks and press them into it to adhere them.
- Place the halva in the refrigerator and allow to chill and set for a couple hours until it is firm.
- Cut into pieces, and enjoy!
Keeps for 1 month in the refrigerator.