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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Chocolate Tahini Bars with Puffed Rice & Crushed Almonds

A Spanish proverb says "Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick" (Las cosas claras y el chocolate espeso), which I am inclined to agree with. Chocolat....What else can I add? It's a compulsion and an addiction...but when you work the tahini paste into the smooth chocolate lava, then it's double jeopardy! :)

As I was going though the Taste of Beirut blog, I came across this mind-blowing Chocolate-Tahini Rice Bars  recipe and I went "wow", this is something I absolutely have to try ASAP.

I love anything Middle Eastern & Lebanese and I read Arabian food blogs; I am always searching for the next delicious dish, ingredient, spice or herbs. I find inspiration and I get an insight into a world I'm fascinated with.

The amazing thing about these smooth delicate chocolate bars is the flavour of halva that the tahini paste delicately imparts.

Chocolate Tahini Bars with Puffed Rice & Almonds

Type of cuisine: Middle Eastern/Fusion

Cooking time: 20 minutes/ 2 hours to set

Difficulty: very easy


I followed Joumana's recipe, with slight alterations, as you will notice. 

2 bars of good quality dark chocolate (preferably use dark, organic chocolate)

a handful of chopped almonds (soaked in water overnight)

40 grams of unsalted butter

2 tbs of tahini paste

4 tbs powder milk dissolved in hot milk

2 tbs Dutch dark cocoa powder

half a cup of puffed rice

sesame seeds for decoration


Melt the chocolate bars, add the warm butter and blend so that the mixture becomes smooth. Add the tahini paste, the crushed almonds, and the puffed rice. Because the almonds and the puffed rice made the mixture a bit rigid, I kind of panicked, so I decided then and there to heat a little milk and dissolve powder milk and cocoa powder and add to my chocolate mix. My heart was racing, to be honest, but it all turned out fine.

I cut out a big square of wax paper onto which I spread the chocolate, using a flat knife to even out the surface. I folded the paper from the sides, down over the chocolate & I set it to cool and harden on the terrace. The weather was cold and wintry, and for the first time in many months I was glad it was so.

 :) It actually makes me smile to think about it, many years ago when I was seven or eight, my mother made ganache to decorate a cake and let it cool on a table in the garden. It was a cold October day and when she went out to get the ganache, it was all gone! The neighbour's dachshund was happily licking his muzzle after such a random and unexpected treat. My mother was furious (she doesn't take waste and damage in her stride). 

*detail* a beautiful mosaic 

dark chocolate, tahini, fresh mint & sesame

After a couple of hours I unwrapped the chocolate, cut it into chunky bars and I called Mike to come and take a first bite and it was 'wow...surreal'. Thank you, Joumana, this is the taste of ancient and today's beautiful Lebanon: smooth, velvety, rich, intense, yet delicate and sweet.

I have never been to Lebanon, but this beautiful and rich country has been etched in my heart for many years...forever. How could I ever forget this exquisite Song of Salmon from the Bible?

'You are altogether beautiful, O girl companion of mine, and there is no defect in you.

'With me from Leb′a‧non, O bride, with me from Leb′a‧non may you come. May you descend from the top of Anti-Leb′a‧non, from the top of Se′nir, even Her′mon, from the lairs of lions, from the mountains of leopards. 

'You have made my heart beat, O my sister, [my] bride, you have made my heart beat by one of your eyes, by one pendant of your necklace. 

'How beautiful your expressions of endearment are, O my sister, my bride! How much better your expressions of endearment are than wine and the fragrance of your oils than all sorts of perfume! 

'With comb honey your lips keep dripping, O [my] bride. Honey and milk are under your tongue, and the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Leb′a‧non. 

'A garden barred in is my sister, [my] bride, a garden barred in, a spring sealed up. 

'Your skin is a paradise of pomegranates, with the choicest fruits, henna plants along with spikenard plants;  spikenard and saffron, cane and cinnamon, along with all sorts of trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, along with all the finest perfumes; [and] a spring of gardens, a well of fresh water, and trickling streams from Leb′a‧non. 

'Awake, O north wind, and come in, O south wind. Breathe upon my garden. Let its perfumes trickle.

'Let my dear one come into his garden and eat its choicest fruits.'


  1. WOW! I just notice this and I love it! Next time I make them I will use your variation. Great post and great creation! Bravo. Love the dong of salmon too.

  2. Thank you for your words, you are an inspiration to me. All my love, xx

  3. Chocolate Tahiti bars with puffed rice recipe has been shared in the article by you. The information given here is good