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Chocolate & Olive Oil Halva

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Greek Halva is more like a semolina pudding than the better known Halva that you find throughout the middle east. Greek Halva is made with semolina and olive oil and, unlike it's middle eastern cousin, doesn't contain tahini or sesame.
This recipe is super quick and made with store cupboard staples, so it's a great recipe for spur-of-the-moment puddings!


  • 130ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 250g semolina
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 400ml water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Peeled rind of 1 lemon
  • 100g chopped almonds, toasted
  • 100g dark chocolate 65%, chopped in small chunks or the equivalent of dark chocolate drops
  • 50g raisins
  • few almond slivers for decoration


  1. Start by making the syrup. Put the sugar, water, cinnamon stick and lemon peel in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to the boil then reduce to a medium heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes until the syrup runs thick off your spoon. Remove lemon peel and cinnamon stick.
  3. Put the olive oil into a deep saucepan.
  4. Mix in the semolina and reduce the heat to medium, allow to slowly brown to a dark golden colour.
  5. Once the semolina is browned, remove from the heat and add the syrup one ladleful at a time. The syrup should be absorbed almost immediately. Keep on stirring until the mixture comes together and doesn’t stick to the sides of your pot.
  6. Fold in the chocolate, toasted chopped almonds and raisins and you are ready.
  7. Transfer the halva to a bundt tin to cool then slice the cold halva before serving. Alternatively, simply place the warm halva in a bowl to cool then scoop out like ice-cream when ready to serve.
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