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Nut and Semolina Halva with Syrup

by Finy (follow)
For more recipes by Finy, check out my website: www.finysfood.blogspot.com.au/
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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).

#Afternoon tea
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