This is a not-too-sweet cake with a generous ‘meaty’ crumb. Perfect with a cup of espresso or Turkish coffee. It’s wonderfully dense and the tahini gives it a lovely slightly sticky texture, it sort of coats your mouth, a little like peanut butter does.
During my research for this recipe (I don’t always just wing-it you know) I read about a similar cake, made with tahini, which it is traditional to make during lent, so I guess I’ve timed this quite well.
Cocoa, honey and tahini go really well together and the flavours remind me of the place in Istanbul where Mr Colonial Cravings and I stayed on our honeymoon. They served the yummiest cocoa halva everyday for breakfast (I walked it off during our sight-seeing, I promise!)
Make sure you beat your tahini really well before you measure it to ensure that it has emulsified.
100g tahini paste
2 tbsp olive oil
100g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
50g fine cornmeal
50g ground almonds
pinch of salt
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Preheat your oven to 180°c
and grease and line a cake tin.
Beat together the honey and tahini, it will probably become a little bit fudgy. Mix the oil into this.
Sift together the flour and baking powder and then beat this into the tahini mixture along with the salt, almonds and cornmeal. You should end up with a slightly doughy mixture once everything is combined. Add 100ml of the water to loosen the batter.
Mix the cocoa with the remaining 25ml of water. Divide the batter in two and then mix the cocoa paste into one half.
Add the two batters to the tin and marble them together. Shake the tin a bit to level off the cake. The batter will be quite thick and sticky so I find this easier than trying to smooth it off with a spatula.
Bake the cake for 30 minutes and allow to cool before serving.