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Halva, Pecan and Chocolate Tart

Halva is a great ingredient I tend to use quite a lot in my recipes. It’s a Middle Eastern treat that is very popular in Israel.

This pie combines halva with pecans and chocolate, and it’s pretty, sweet and so delicious. The crust is filled with halva and pecan cream, all topped with dark chocolate truffle domes, halva cream and homemade sesame nougatine (bark).

Halva, Pecan and Chocolate Tart

Photo: Natalie Levin

Halva, Pecan and Chocolate Tart

For short crust pastry:
150 grams all-purpose flour
100 grams cold butter, cut into cubes
40 grams icing sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1-2 tbsp. cold water (as needed)

For halva and pecan cream:
100 grams pecans
20 grams sesame seeds
75 grams cold butter cut into cubes
1 tbsp. raw tahini paste
1 tbsp. honey
70 grams sugar
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
1-2 tbsp. cold milk

For sesame nougatine:
25 grams corn syrup
30 grams sugar
30 grams sesame seeds

For dark chocolate truffles domes:
150 grams dark chocolate
100 ml. heavy cream
Pinch of salt

For halva cream:
250 ml. heavy cream
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. raw tahini paste
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. cream stabilizer or instant vanilla pudding mix

Grated dark chocolate for decoration

Halva, Pecan and Chocolate Tart

Photo: Natalie Levin

Preparation:

  1. Crust: in a food processor with a steel blade put flour, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and process until mixture is crumbly.
  2. Add egg yolk and continue to process just until large clumps of dough form. If the dough is not setting, gradually add a little milk.
  3. Transfer the dough chunks on a lightly floured work surface and form a disc-shape with your hands.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface about 3-4 mm thick and line the pie pan. It is important to create a right angle between the sides and the base of the crust, which will ensure the edges remain high when baking.
  6. Using a fork create holes in the crust. Freeze the crust for about an hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 170c degrees.
  8. Blind baking: put a sheet of heat-resistant plastic wrap or baking paper on the frozen crust and fill with dry beans or special weights for baking.
  9. Bake for about 12-14 minutes.
  10. Remove the weights and the plastic wrap and continue to bake the crust for about 3-4 minutes or until it is lightly golden.
  11. Cool at room temperature.
  12. Halva and pecan cream: in a food processor with a steel blade put pecans, sesame, butter, tahini, honey, sugar, flour and salt and process until mixture is crumbly.
  13. Add egg and a little milk and blend until you get a thick cream.
  14. Pour the cream over half-baked crust and flatten slightly.
  15. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the filling is golden and set, but still slightly soft in the center.
  16. Cool completely before the decorations.
  17. Sesame seeds nougatine: Preheat oven to 170c degrees.
  18. In a small pan put corn syrup and sugar and solvents together on high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture is bubbling.
  19. Add sesame seeds and mix.
  20. Transfer the mixture to an oven pan lined with baking paper.
  21. Bake for 6-10 minutes or until completely browned and bubbly.
  22. Cool completely until set and break into asymmetrical pieces.
  23. Dark chocolate truffles domes: chop the chocolate and put in a bowl. Add heavy cream and salt and solvents together in the microwave or over double-boiler, until everything is melted and mixture is smooth.
  24. Pour the mixture into a dome-shaped silicon mold and level the top.
  25. Freeze until completely frozen.
  26. Extract the frozen chocolate domes and store in the freezer until assembly.
  27. Halva cream: in a mixer bowl put cream, honey, tahini, salt and stabilizer and whip at high speed until you get a very stable whipped cream.
  28. Transfer the whipped cream into a piping bag with a 2cm serrated piping tip.
  29. Assemble the tart: arrange the chocolate domes on the tart at intervals.
  30. Pipe mounds of halva cream in between the domes.
  31. Decorate with nougatine and grated chocolate.

Notes:

  • Keep the tart in a closed container in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days.
  • Instead of pecan you can use any other nut you like.
Halva, Pecan and Chocolate Tart

Photo: Natalie Levin

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