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Remember when you could fit all your worldly possessions into the back of a car? Hell, I can remember when I could fit all my worldly possessions into a holdall, and still have room for a packed lunch. Not so these days, when even an overnight trip leaves me hankering for a Volvo Estate (we have a Polo). I was thinking of this earlier today, as I sat and nursed Mini BB for the umpteenth time – did I mention I had had another baby? Yes, he arrived, with no little surprise – a couple of weeks ago, and has been alternately feeding and sleeping, mostly feeding, ever since.  Anyway, as I nursed him I saw a couple unloading their possessions from a small car and carrying them into their newly rented flat. A flat which has the unhelpful postal address of the road I live on, despite being down an alley and clearly part of a house not actually on my street. Oh the fun I have had with delivery men.

Regrettably, because Mini BB was attached to me, I was unable to rush out into the street ask them (in the nicest possible way) not to park their car directly in front of my house, because I have a toddler and a newborn and simply do not need any additional complications in my life right now, so I just sat their silently seething and mentally composing a mumsnet parking thread. Sooner or later, for the aforementioned reason, I will have to go and ask them not to park there though. I will also have to go and warn them that the previous occupants were in the habit of encouraging, by means fair and foul (mostly foul and involving food I suspect) one of our cats to hang out in their flat, and so they may soon find themselves with an unexpected houseguest. I may take them some biscuits to soften the blow, but in the meantime I have got my baking mojo back with this entirely non-baked sweet, for my Lebanese friend’s birthday. Last year I made Baklava, this year Halva. Truly my talent knows no end.

Recipe from this lovely Australian food site



220 g caster sugar
385 g jar hulled tahini
125 g pistachios, chopped
115 g slivered almonds
100 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), melted

NB: The jar of tahini I used was only 300g, so I reduced the other ingredients to 77.5% of the amounts listed above. Also, I only had half the required amount of pistachios, so I made up the difference with walnuts



Place sugar and 60ml water in a pan over medium heat.


Stir to dissolve sugar, then cook for 4 minutes or until mixture reaches 140°C on a sugar thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat, but do not allow to cool.

Meanwhile, place tahini in the bowl of an electric mixer. With the motor running, immediately add sugar syrup to tahini in a thin, steady stream. Continue whisking for a further 30 seconds or until mixture starts to crumble. Mine never really crumbled as such, but it did come together in a large blob-type thing, which is close enough for me.

Stir in the nuts (which I lightly toasted in a pan),  then add two-thirds of the melted chocolate and lightly stir to marble.

Press mixture into a greased 20 cm round cake pan, then drizzle with remaining melted chocolate. Using a knife and a swirling action, marble the chocolate on the surface.


Cover surface with plastic wrap and press to compact. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Cut into wedges and serve with coffee or sherry or indeed tea. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month.