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Halva: pre-Christmas sweetener

Eugenia Pantahos gives as a halva recipe to try during the fast before Christmas

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Eugenia's Greek Halva.

02 December 2014

Halva is an easy to make, nistisimo sweet, ideal for those preparing for Christmas. It is a traditional Greek semolina cake that is initially toasted and then infused with cinnamon. The cake is finally moistened with a honey and sugar syrup mix. The result is an aromatic, grainy textured cake.

Ingredients:
Cake
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1 cup coarse ground semolina
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 cups of water
1 cinnamon quill

Method:
1. Place all the syrup ingredients in a pot and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Gently bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Whilst the syrup is simmering, place the sunflower oil and semolina in a heavy based pot.
3. Keep stirring to gently toast the semolina until it is a deep golden colour and add the ground cinnamon. Stir. Remove both pots from the stove. Gradually add the hot syrup into the toasted semolina mixture. Be careful as the semolina will start to bubble and may splatter.
4. When all the syrup has been added, take the pot back to the stove and stir until the mixture comes away from the side of the pot.
5. Cover with a clean tea towel and place the lid on top. Leave it to stand for 15 minutes.
6. Place the mixture into a mould or baking dish and spread evenly.
7. Sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon and cool.

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