Hot Chocolate and Halva Pudding #TheCakeSliceBakers
And this is not a pretty dessert. But it IS a 'halva pudding. Ba--dum chhhh!
When I was in college, a bunch of the guys I knew got together and had a "cake in a bowl" party. They just threw cake and scoops of canned frosting into a bowl and ate it in copious amounts. Delicious, but not..er...French patisserie.
The kind of dessert you order at a casual-dining chain restaurant when you decide to throw caloric caution to the wind.
"Any room for dessert?"
"No I'm stuffed. Wait--you know what?...what the heck. I shouldn't, but I'll take the Hot Chocolate Halva Pudding."
It is essentially a lava cake, or (use your best British accent) a "self-saucing pudding." It's a simple batter, spread in a dish then covered with a mixture of hot water, cocoa powder, and sugar. It looks like it will be a sloppy disaster, but the water sinks to the bottom, miraculously creating a molten chocolate sauce underneath.
Like a liquid brownie. With a soft regular brownie on top.
What truly sets this apart as something special is the inclusion of a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean sesame candy called halva. It has a unique, fluffy, crumbly texture that melts in the mouth. It is similar to mazapán--if you're familiar with that peanut-y Mexican confection. I bought mine at the local Middle Eastern/International foods store. If there’s one of those in your town, I guarantee they’ll have halva (sometimes spelled helva, helwa, or something close to that).
I enjoy the flavor by itself, but when baked into this lava cake, it turns into caramel-ly, slightly chewy bites of nutty delight that contrast beautifully with the rich chocolate. Sort of sophisticated riff on a Reese's peanut butter cup.
I found myself hunting for the halva bits with a spoon--the way that I scoop out the cookie dough chunks in a pint of cookie dough ice cream.
It may not win any beauty pageants, but seriously, try this one.
With a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Please and thank you ;)
Hot Chocolate and Halva Cake
from The New Way to Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi
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Hot Chocolate and Halva Pudding
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