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Tahini Scones

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

I’m fond of calling myself a #bakernonbaker but the truth is, sometimes I surprise myself. These scones were next-level. The crunchiest exterior, pillow-soft interior and crazy flaky – almost like halva! How my little of this and little of that achieved scone-perfection is a mystery even I cannot solve, but I think it has a lot to do with the magic ingredient – tahini.

I’m pretty open about the fact that I’m not into the science of food. I’ve never been a very technical person. Technicalities give me a headache. I don’t find gastronomy intriguing, but one thing I can tell you is that tahini has special powers. Something about it’s fat content makes it bind with other ingredients in a completely different way. Fold it into whipped cream and you’ll get the thickest emulsion that will not deflate – and it will freeze up so smooth and creamy with the texture of ice cream! Mix it with water and you’ve got the silkiest, creamiest dip or stir in some silan and you’ve got a thick fudge. What is it about this magic ingredient that can be used in both sweet or savory applications, mixed into doughs and salad dressings, fudge and candy?

Tahini so fascinates me, I almost want to explore the science of emulsification. Almost. It does something so special to these flaky scones, you’ll never believe they don’t have butter!

Buttery pastries intimidate me. The way you have to get the butter into the perfect pea-size, and you can’t melt it with the heat of your hands. How you have to be careful to handle the dough just-so and not overmix it. How you have to perfect the process to allow for pillows of flakiness in every bite. Too painstaking for this impatient cook.

But cream-based scones? I got this. And so can you. Because it’s just as simple as mixing some ingredients into a bowl and forming them into a disc. And you can thank the magic ingredient, tahini, for doing the work of butter – minus the technicalities.

I thought about glazing the scones (and even posted a poll on my Instagram!), but I decided not to mess with perfection. Sometimes you get something just right and you don’t need to over-complicate things. So I left the scones as-is, allowing the subtle tahini flavor to shine, and served them with a side of dairy whipped cream and fresh berries, ‘cuz really, does it get any better than that?

OK, maybe with a side of a steaming hot cafe hafuch and some fresh figs. (on a porch somewhere in Israel. I’m pushing it now, aren’t I?) The breakfast of my dreams.

Related Recipes:

halva krembos with sesame cookies
halva and ricotta stuffed figs
tahini frappuccino
tahini puppy chow 

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Halva Krembo’s

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know about my recent trip to Israel. I posted lots of droolworthy pics of all of the delicious foods I was eating! And there was no shortage of that. Israel is the land of milk and honey – overflowing with the most amazing bounty. A single trip to the Machane Yehudah market will prove just that. You’ll find the sweetest seasonal fruits and perfect large, robust vegetables that are all farm fresh and (mostly) locally grown. The stands piled high with fresh baked pastries, the artisan breads and fluffy pillows of pita, and the hidden gems of culture at every turn are awe-inspiring.

One thing the shuk is known for is it’s halva. “Mamlechet HaHalva”, or “The Halva Kingdom” is famous for it’s amazing array of halva flavors. It is so hard to pick a favorite but the espresso, candied pecan and cinnamon are all up there!

And any of you that have walked passed the halva stand have been nudged by the famous “Halva King” to try a piece. He’s become a fixture in the shuk, gold crown and all! See my pic with him below!

The Halva Kingdom recently started making a line of flavored tahini as well. I tasted the freshly ground paste (which tastes like peanut butter) and then sampled a selection of sweet and savory flavors like tomato, pesto, nougat, chocolate, and more. The nougat was so good, I brought home a bucket!

All of the amazing flavors and aromas of the shuk inspired me to create a twist on a classic Israel snack – the KREMBO. Krembo is hebrew for “There’s Cream In It”, referring to the fluffy cream hiding under it’s chocolate coating. Krembo’s have a round biscuit base and are available in vanilla and mocha flavors. They’re wrapped up in thin foil packaging, blue for vanilla and brown for mocha.

With tahini being just about the most popular food of Israel, I was surprised they never came out with a halva flavored krembo – so I decided to do just that! I started with a sesame-flavored cookie and topped it with some tahini-flavored whipped cream. I coated it all in chocolate and decorated it with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.


Creating a beautiful chocolate glaze came together easily with the amazing new brand of kosher vegan chocolate chips – California Gourmet. Their 45% cocoa chips are rich in chocolatey flavor with just the right balance of sweetness. I love how easily it melts, perfect for dipping, and it hardens quickly too. I stir in some coconut oil to create the perfect chocolate magic shell, and we use the leftovers to have a little after-school fondue dipping party!

California Gourmet chocolate chips help me keep my krembo’s pareve, without sacrificing on richness and flavor. And boy are these rich and flavorful! Halva flavored Krembo’s, here we come!

And while we are talking about homemade krembo’s, I must give a shoutout to the Balaboosta cookbook. In it, Israeli Chef Einat Admony recreates one of the favorite snacks of her childhood, you guessed it….krembo. Her homemade version of the classic (which looks incredible, by the way), gave me the push I needed to make these happen.

You see, I’m not much of a pastry girl. In fact, I don’t own a single pastry bag. When I say to fill your pastry bag with whip cream, I mean Ziploc. And I cut the corner with a scissor, the old fashioned way. That’s how I pipe people. So let me tell you – If i can make these, you most definitely can. They might look intimidating, but they are anything but. And that, my friends, is just the way I like to do things. Happy Halva-ing!


Here are some photos of the things that inspired this recipe! With the Halva King, eating freshly ground tahini and surrounded by the many flavors of tahini, halva, and of course, krembo!

This post is sponsored by California Gourmet Chocolate Chips. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

Related Recipes: halva & ricotta stuffed figs

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Halva & Ricotta Stuffed Figs

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Recently, I was lucky enough to attend a fabulous kosher foodie potluck, arranged by the talented Kim Kushner, author of The Modern Menu. It was such an honor to meet Kim and taste her delicious food! She blogged about our amazing evening under the stars here.

Kim set up the most beautiful tablescape on a rooftop in Midtown Manhattan (which also happens to be her husband’s office). With the help of Marzan Flowers, and other generous sponsors, the table was set with a rustic vibe and the most amazing swag! We were surrounded by the New York City skyline, the most incredible kosher food, and the who’s who of the kosher blogging world.

Since it was a potluck, each guest was required to bring a kosher dish (or two), all of which were laid out on a round buffet table. I made my malawach cheese pastries with tomato & schug dipping sauce, plus some incredible goat cheese popovers! Some of the other dishes included nachos by The Patchke Princess, creamy hummus, salmon, roasted veggie salad and pavlova by Kim Kushner Cuisine, fava beans by BeautyandsomeBeef, panzanella salad with cashew bread and s’mores caramels by KitchenTested.

We also had some famous kosher Instagrammers like @cookinginheels, @chefchaya and @theghettogourmet who brought drunken fish tacos with pickled onions, cronuts with nutella pastry cream and Asian quinoa lettuce wraps, respectively.

What has all that got to do with these AMAZING, droolworthy stuffed figs?! Well, BeautyandsomeBeef made the simple ricotta stuffed figs that inspired these halva-drenched ones! Check out these pics for a peek!

I’d heard of ricotta stuffed figs with honey before but I’d never tasted them until the potluck. I couldn’t believe how such a simple dish could taste so fantastic! Of course I couldn’t stop thinking about how I could make them even better…and then THESE happened.

And by these I mean the insanely decadent jewels of perfection you see here. Fresh seasonal figs stuffed with ricotta, dipped in silan and sesame, dripping with sweetened tahini sauce and finished with halva crumbs. Shall I get you a napkin?!

If you’ve never heard of silan before – hop on the silan train because it’ll take you to syrup heaven! Silan is a honey syrup made from dates. It’s got an intoxicatingly rich flavor that is so much better than whatever else you’ve been using! When mixed into tahini paste, it creates the most decadent halva sauce that you’ll want to eat by the spoonful! It’s interesting to note that when the Torah speaks of honey it is actually referring to date honey. Israel, the land of halva and “Milk & (Date) Honey” is what inspired this Middle-Eastern twist on a classic recipe!

Do yourself a favor and grab some fresh figs, before the season is over! 

 

Related Recipes:

breakfast quinoa with silan roasted figs
grilled cheese with figs and honey
holiday fig salad

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