Last week I made a zesty, tasty Hummus with chickpeas and tahini. I make hummus almost every week because...well I don't need a specific reason to make hummus...it is easy, nutritious - lots of Omega 3 oils from the sesame seeds - and most importantly, spreadable - perfect on a slice of bread or a rice cake for a quick snack. I keep a big jar of tahini in my fridge and sometimes I experiment in using it in marinades and various bean based dips. But what else can you do with it, apart from hummus?
In Greece when you hear the word "tahini" you immediately associate it with halva. Dense and sweet, it is made from sesame seed paste mixed with sugar, cocoa or vanilla, toasted almonds or pistachios. It is very well known and loved not only in Greece but all over the Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa. It is a traditional dessert, the best choice for those who fast during the period of Lent. For all its richness and sweetness, halva is a humble dessert for the pious no matter their religion.
But I was in no mood for halva. I wanted something "less traditional" and I found it in this recipe from one of Greece's best pastry chefs. It is a Chocolate, Tahini and Dark Rum Cake and I can tell you that there is nothing humble and pious about it, apart maybe from that it is so easy to prepare. You don't even need a mixer. Just a big bowl and a whisk and you are in business. Tahini and rum complement each other perfectly. You get an explosion of unique aromas and flavours with every bite, sweet cinnamon, vanilla and cloves from the rum, bitter notes of sophisticated earthiness from the dark chocolate and finally that particular piquancy of sesame. It is a very rich and very moist cake perfect when warm from the oven, even better when cold the day after.
Chocolate, Tahini & Dark Rum Super Moist Cake
Recipe from Stelios Parliaros "Μαθήματα Γλυκιάς Αλχημείας - Πρωτότυπες και Δημιουργικές"
300 gr tahini
300 gr powdered sugar
300 gr flour
200 gr dark chocolate, melted
300 ml dark rum
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pre-heat oven to 180 C.
Butter a cake pan and sprinkle it with white sugar. I used a long pan but you can use a round one if you prefer.
In a big bowl, mix the tahini, dark rum and powdered sugar. Add the melted chocolate. Whisk in the flour and baking powder.
Pour the mixture into the pan and sprinkle its surface with white sugar (The sugar will caramelise while the cake is baking and it give it a nice crunchy texture).
Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, depending on the size of your pan.
When ready, gently run a knife around the edges of the pan, put your serving plate on top and turn over. The cake should fall easily on the plate and it should be hard on the outside and quite moist inside.
I am entering this post into this months Bookmarked Recipes by Ruth from Ruth's Kitchen Experiments and hosted by Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes.
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