What's better than a super rich and chewy brownie? These fudgy brownies swirled with melty vanilla halva and topped with flaky sea salt! The combination of chocolate and halva is absolutely to die for. If you've never used halva in baking, let me tell you why you should!
What is Halva?
Halva is a Middle Eastern candy made from a combination of seed or nut butter and sugar. It has a super unique texture that's somehow both creamy and crispy and melts in your mouth like cotton candy.
My favorite Halva brand Hebel & Co. describes it as "Sort of a flaky, cottony, crispy, airy, melt-on-your-tongue lusciousness." And I really couldn't have said it better myself!
For these brownies I used their classic vanilla halva which is essentially just tahini, sugar, and vanilla (drool), but they have a ton of different fun flavors to choose from!
How to Bake with Halva
Halva is delicious on its own but it's also incredibly versatile! You can cut it into little chunks and toss it into whatever you're baking. Or you can melt it down into a creamy, caramelly consistency and swirl it through any type of batter, which is exactly what I did for these halva brownies!
In a small pot over low heat, I added the halva and a little bit of water and let it melt into a smooth, slightly runny paste. This makes it super easy to swirl into your brownie batter!
The first time I tested this recipe I just put chunks of halva on top of the brownies. And while it was still delicious, it didn't look nearly as pretty.
- Cocoa powder - My absolute favorite cocoa powder to use in my baking is the King Arthur Flour Triple Cocoa Blend! It's a blend of natural, Dutch, and black cocoa and is perfect for any baking. But this recipe will work great with whatever cocoa you have on hand! I also love the Ghirardelli Natural Cocoa.
- Halva - You can use whatever Halva you prefer but it can be difficult to find in stores. Your best bet is usually specialty international grocery stores or online!
- Flaky sea salt - This is optional but I just love the way the sea salt compliments the rich chocolate and nutty halva! I exclusively use Maldon Sea Salt for topping my baked goods!
Prepare your brownie pan
I love all of my USA Pan cake pans because they are extremely sturdy and truly nonstick! However, I still like to prepare my pans to ensure the brownies come out super easily.
Cut a parchment paper sling slightly smaller than the width of the pan and make sure it fits flatly in the bottom. Then lightly spray the bottom and sides of the pan with a vegetable oil based spray (I love Bakers Joy or Everbake). Place you parchment paper sling in the bottom of the pan and smooth it out so that it sticks to the pan spray. I then secure the parchment sling with metal binder clips (do NOT use clips that contain plastic). After baking you’ll be able to just slide the halva brownies right out of the pan!
More Brownies & Bars
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Chewy Halva Brownies
- 1 ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup cake flour , substitute all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces vanilla halva
- 2 tablespoons water
- flaky sea salt, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease and line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
- Add in the eggs one at a time and whisk each one until fully incorporated and the batter starts to get lighter in color. Then add in the vanilla extract.
- Fold in the cocoa powder, flour, and salt and mix until the batter is smooth and there are no more lumps.
- Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and set aside.
- In a small pot over medium-low heat, combine the halva and water. Stir frequently until the halva is melted and a caramel like consistency. You want to be able to easily swirl the halva. Drop small spoonful's of melted halva on top of the brownies and swirl into the brownie batter.
- Bake at 350°F for 40-50 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out mostly clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and enjoy!