Nut and Semolina Halva with Syrup

Nut and Semolina Halva with Syrup

Posted 2016-08-04 by finyfollow

Halva is a traditional sweet found in the Middle East, Greece and Israel and is generally made of water, sugar, nuts and flour. I have varied it slightly here and used semolina instead of flour.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Makes: About 15 - 20 servings

115 g unsalted butter, softened
115 g caster sugar
Rind of one orange
30 ml fresh orange juice
3 eggs
175 g semolina
2 tsp baking powder
115 g hazelnuts
Cream (optional) for serving

For the syrup
350 g caster sugar
2 cinnamon sticks, halved
1 lemon juice
2 tsp orange essence (or 4 tbsp orange flower water
50 g unblanched hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
50 g blanched almonds, toasted and chopped
Rind of one orange

  • Preheat the oven to 220°/200° fan forced. Using a 23 cm square, deep pan, line this with baking paper.

  • In an electric mixer, cream the butter. Add the sugar, orange rind and juice.

  • When mixed, add the eggs, one at a time, and then the semolina and baking powder.

  • Grind the hazelnuts.

  • Mix in with the other ingredients and beat together until it is all smooth.

  • Put this into the prepared baking tin and slightly level the surface.

  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until JUST firm and going golden.

  • Leave it to cool in the tin.

  • For the syrup
  • Put the sugar in a saucepan with 2¼ cups water and the halved cinnamon sticks.

  • Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar melts.

  • Turn the heat up and boil, without stirring for about 5 minutes.

  • Add the lemon juice and orange essence or flower water, to HALF of the syrup, and pour it over the baked halva.

  • Leave the rest of the syrup in the pan.

  • Leave the halva in the tin until all the liquid is absorbed, then turn it onto a plate.

  • Cut it diagonally into diamond shaped pieces.

  • Scatter with the chopped nuts.

  • Boil the remaining syrup until slightly thickened and then pour it over the halva.

  • Put the orange rind over the pieces.

  • Serve with cream (optional).

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