Marbled Hazelnut & Chocolate Halvah
Author: Yvonne Cornell
  • 2 cups hazelnuts, toasted & skinned
  • 2 cups tahini (16 oz jar raw sesame seed butter, sold in the peanut butter aisle of health food stores)
  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • a candy thermometer
  1. Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan or smaller with plastic wrap or oil the pan and line with parchment paper, allowing some to hang over each side of the pan.
  2. Melt chocolate in a small bowl in a microwave, heating in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval until evenly melted (only needs about 2-3 intervals.) Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  3. You can buy roasted hazelnuts or spread raw hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel, folding the towel over the nuts and rubbing vigorously to remove skin. Don't fuss if all the skins don't rub off - they never do! Finely chop into a breadcrumb size paste using a small food processor.
  4. In a large bowl, combine hazelnuts, tahini, and vanilla. Stir until well mixed.
  5. In a small saucepan, gently heat sugar and water with a pinch of salt, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  6. Once the sugar dissolves, bring the sugar water to a simmer or low boil over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer reads 240ºF (the soft-ball stage.) This may take up to 15 minutes, so keep an eye on it, stirring often.
  7. Slowly pour the very hot sugar syrup into the tahini-hazelnut mixture, stirring constantly until the mixture is well combined and starts to harden. Now marble in the chocolate with only a few gentle swirls being careful not to overmix or it will integrate too much with the mixture.
  8. Immediately transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, smooth the surface and press down with the back of a spoon.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap or fold edges over to seal.
  10. Let the halvah cool in refrigerator before flipping over and out of pan onto a cutting board to slice and serve.
  11. For the best break-apart consistency, refrigerate for a full two days, but feel free to enjoy sooner.
  12. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Recipe by Yvonne Cornell at