Recently, while cleaning up the kitchen after my dinner, I looked at the jar of tahini I had just used—I’d made hummus–and spied the always-present baggie of chopped chocolate on my counter. And in literally 5-minutes, using just those two ingredients plus 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, a sugar free Tahini-Tella Spread was made. Who among us wouldn’t rather test a recipe than do the dishes, anyway?
I love tahini. Tahini reminds me of my beloved Grandpa Joe, who sliced a kind of tahini candy called halvah for me – well, for all of his 8 granddaughters – with such delight. As the eldest, I always got what I remember as the biggest chunk of it. Now, while I love tahini, my kids, especially my son, has always loved Nutella, a hazelnut- chocolate spread that he discovered in Paris as a teen. (I have a milk-free version of Nutella in Vegan Chocolate.)
If you’re not familiar with it, tahini is simply a condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds. It can be served as a dip or spread on its own, and it’s also a main ingredient in hummus, baba ghanoush, and halvah – a sweet dense confection that’s popular throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. It is tan in color like most sesame seeds, although I recently found black tahini made from black sesame seeds.
While it is high in fat, tahini is a good source of calcium and protein, and it is higher in fiber and lower in sugar than peanut butter. You can easily find tahini in ethnic or ordinary supermarkets, and you can make your own in the same way you’d make any nut or seed butter. Grind the sesame seeds in a food processor until fine and sticky. Now, either add some neutral oil, and continue to grind, or do as I do and process long enough so that the paste gets oily. Refrigerate for a few weeks.
My Tahini-Tella recipe makes more of a glaze than a thick spread.
Here I have used it to make spread on toast, yes, I did take a bite), and as a coating for bananas. In the case of bananas, chill until the Tahini-Tella firms.
Tahini-Tella can be used to frost cupcakes, as well, as you can see in the first photo in this post.
If you like this recipe, you’ll love my Chocolate Orange Sesame Truffles, too.
- 4 ounces 70 to 72% chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 ounces 4 tablespoons tahini, well-stirred
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a water bath.
Stir half the tahini into the chocolate using a silicone spatula, and then stir in the other half until thoroughly mixed together.
Stir in the vanilla extract. The glaze may stiffen a bit. That's ok, just warm gently, stirring gently.
Pour into a jar. Spread stays creamy at room temperature for a few days. Refrigerate up to 1 month. Warm cold and set Tahini_Tella to spreading consistency in a water bath as needed
Spread on bread, or consider this a dip for pretzels. Dip a chunk of banana into the liquid Tahini-Tella. Allow to set until just tacky and roll in sesame seeds. Refrigerate 5 to 10 minutes until set. Spread on Cupcakes too.