The most fluffy Greek Semolina Halva and how to make it…safely!

The most fluffy Greek Semolina Halva and how to make it…safely!

My weird relationship with halva started at a very young age. I was a very funny child and my quotes have been unforgettable. Whenever I said something funny in all my innocence, my mom used to burst into laughs, take me in her arms and say “you are my halva…!” To be honest, I didn’t understand what she meant but one thing was certain. I was a halva. One day, I see my mom cooking something that I’ve never seen before, so I ask her what is it. “Halva,” she says. I laugh and I say back to her “what are you talking about? I am halva…” So that is how my bad relationship with halva begun. And this delicious dessert was meant to torture me and scare me for many years. But let’s start from the beginning.

I’m sure most of you will be wondering at what danger I am referring to. But of course in this volcanic eruption that happens when you drop the syrup and in these bubble bombs that explode left and right as you stir, and pop under your hands through a mixture that bubbles like lava in seconds. They become more, and bigger, and stronger. So this sweet always scared me. And yes, I did everything, low temperature, wrapped hands in towels, bags and everything else I read or thought on my own but the situation remained the same. I suffered terrible bullying from this simple dessert that everyone makes so easily, and so I avoided it. Today, I will show you how to cook it so that none of this happens, time and effort are significantly reduced and the result will be better.

But that wasn’t the only reason I avoided making halva. The most serious reason was that I wasn’t making good halva! I don’t know if my expectations were high but this classic 1-2-3-4 recipe that we all know, with the classic technique, with the classic ingredients, just didn’t work for me. So I kept asking everyone how they make halva but the answer was always the same, “well … I don’t want to brag about it, but I make the best halva… I’ll send you the recipe” And unfortunately they sent it to me! And unfortunately, it was worse than mine! But I’ll stop talking vaguely. Let me determine the characteristics of a good halva for me. I want it to be fluffy and not like a rubber mass. I want the semolina grains to scatter in my mouth and the taste of semolina to overwhelm my taste buds, while the halva maintains its consistency and shape. The grain should stand out and be soft and pleasant in the mouth, not hard and tasteless but not soft like porridge as well. The oil should keep it together and give it a discreet shine without overflowing and creating a slippery and oily result. Its colour should be brown but “golden” not black. And of course not off-white which means that the semolina is undercooked.

So here is the secret. A good roast results in a beautiful colour but above all a wonderful taste. If you do it right you have almost succeeded. And here lies the difference in the result in the exact same recipe. That is, if you roast it a little, the halva won’t have a taste because the semolina grain won’t be broken, while if you overdo it, you’ll be left with a bitterness in the aftertaste. I solved this problem by roasting the semolina without any oil. Trying the same time, the same temperature, the result is perfect again and again… The oil is added at the end, only to unite the mixture, without giving a distinct oily taste or smell. As for the syrup, the combination with honey takes it to a whole new level of taste and colour. By throwing the semolina in the syrup and not the other way around, there is no risk of burns and most importantly no effort because you don’t have to stir it until the bottom of the pot is visible. You just bring it to a simmer and turn the heat off before the “bombing” begins.

Lastly, an amazing way to serve is with a scoop of ice cream inside the halva. Put a maraschino cherry on top and prepare to be amazed!

Ingredients

Depending on your taste you can use olive oil or vegetable oil or you can mix two types of oil. You can also use 1/2 cup of any type of oil and 1/2 cup of butter which tastes amazing. As for the nuts, you can add the amount and type you like, as well as raisins. You can also use some cloves or vanilla extract. The amount of cinnamon may seem small to you but keep in mind that we will sprinkle some extra cinnamon on top. You can also add orange or lemon zest for a more aromatic result. 

Preparation

In a pot, add the water, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice and bring to a boil for 3 minutes, over medium heat.  Turn off the heat and add the honey. Whisk well until the honey melts.

Chop the nuts in a blender by pressing the button gradually. That way, the pieces will stay solid and won’t take out any oils which will a more pasty result.

You can chop the almonds almost as fine as couscous is. That way, your halva will have the almond flavour but only the walnuts that will be coarser will be visible. Otherwise, the result is quite crunchy which some of you might prefer. 

Heat up a non-stick pan, add the semolina and almonds and stir constantly, over medium heat, for 10′.

If you want the almonds less roasted, then add them in the middle of the process, ie at 5 minutes.

Add the walnuts and pour the oil. Stir for 1′ until the oil is mixed and turn off the heat.

Adding the oil last makes the halva fluffier and the semolina grains more distinct. If you want a more solid result, add the oil in the pan along with the semolina and almonds and stir. 

Add the semolina in a pot along with the syrup and turn on the heat. Stir constantly and bring to a simmer.

As soon as you see the first bubble, turn off the heat, cover the pot with a towel and the lid on top and let it cool down.

Halva with ice cream

Cover the walls of a bowl with halva and put a scoop of ice cream in the middle.

Cover the top part with some more halva, flip over the bowl and serve.

Enjoy!

Νanà…

 

The most fluffy Greek Semolina Halva and how to make it…safely!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups coarse semolina
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 150 g raw almonds
  • 150 g walnuts

Depending on your taste you can use olive oil or vegetable oil or you can mix two types of oil. You can also use 1/2 cup of any type of oil and 1/2 cup of butter which tastes amazing. As for the nuts, you can add the amount and type you like, as well as raisins. You can also use some cloves or vanilla extract. The amount of cinnamon may seem small to you but keep in mind that we will sprinkle some extra cinnamon on top. You can also add orange or lemon zest for a more aromatic result. 

Preparation

In a pot, add the water, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice and bring to a boil for 3 minutes, over medium heat.  Turn off the heat and add the honey. Whisk well until the honey melts.

Chop the nuts in a blender by pressing the button gradually. That way, the pieces will stay solid and won’t take out any oils which will a more pasty result.

Heat up a non-stick pan, add the semolina and almonds and stir constantly, over medium heat, for 10′.

Add the walnuts and pour the oil. Stir for 1′ until the oil is mixed and turn off the heat.

Add the semolina in a pot along with the syrup and turn on the heat. Stir constantly and bring to a simmer.

As soon as you see the first bubble, turn off the heat, cover the pot with a towel and the lid on top and let it cool down.

 


Source: https://cookeatup.com/en/the-most-fluffy-greek-halva-and-how-to-make-it-safely/

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