As a recipe developer, I pay attention to the food trends that are on the move. Some are absurd, like unicorn food, or charcoal in everything. But some flavors rise to the top by just being good. The latest seductive combo I’ve been flirting with is the merger of chocolate and tahini.
Chocolate Tahini is the new Peanut Butter and Chocolate
Is it possible that anything could be as beloved as peanut butter and chocolate? Maybe, maybe not. But in the quest for the new and exciting, chocolate and tahini is pretty cool. Tahini is a little bit more savory, and if you make it the way I do, the spread is not nearly as sweet as most chocolate spreads or sauces. If you want to add more sweet, you can, but I think it’s a little more grown up to enjoy the flavors of sesame and cocoa, with just a hint of sweet.
Banana Bread +Chocolate+Tahini= Yum
The Chocolate Banana Bread in this recipe is rich and moist, almost a cake in its own right. It’s also sweet enough that it doesn’t need a sugary filling. I made extra chocolate Tahini to use as a spread later, just to gild the lily a bit. This bread is also terrific with a fruity spread, like orange marmalade.
Chocolate Tahini is Your New Spread
Once you make some chocolate tahini, you can branch out, too. It’s a fun dip for crisp apple slices and juicy pineapple chunks. Salted pretzel rods and pitas can serve as sturdy vehicles to get the chocolate tahini into your mouth. For a crazy good dessert, use the chocolate tahini over your fave ice cream, or spread it on a cookie. Just imagine a gingersnap with a schmear of chocolate tahini, and your mouth waters, doesn’t it?
Kind of Like Dippable Halvah
Halvah is one of those underappreciated foods in the US, probably because we don’t see anything but packaged, dried out halvah. There’s no reason sesame seeds can’t be a delicious dessert. Just check out my trip to a Halvah store in Amsterdam, and my recipe for Pistachio Halvah Eggs.
All the crazy flavors in that halvah store, including chocolate, work well with tahini, too.
Get in on the Trend Now, Beat the Rush
I’m sure you have some soft bananas in your kitchen, and I hope you have a jar of tahini. You should be set up to make this tasty bread, and see what the flavor-fuss is about.
I promise it will be better than Unicorn Food!
Chocolate-Tahini Banana Bread
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup organic sugar fine (grind in a blender if chunky)
- 2 tablespoons canola or avocado oil
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 cup unbleached flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 1 cup mashed banana
- 1 cup organic brown sugar or finely ground sucanat
- 1/2 cup canola or avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar for topping
- For the smoothest tahini, blend in a Vitamix or other blender. Start by grinding the organic sugar until very fine and powdery, then add the tahini, cocoa, vanilla, salt, sugar and oil and blend, scraping down as needed. (You can just mix it all in a bowl, too.)Measure 1/2 cup for the bread, and transfer the rest to a small jar or bowl for use later.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x5 inch metal loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the flours, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt. Whisk to mix.
- In a cup, combine the non-dairy milk and flax seeds and stir. Let stand to thicken slightly.
- In a medium bowl, thoroughly mash the banana and add the brown sugar, oil and flax mixture and mix well.
- Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture, just until combined.
- Spread about half of the batter in the loaf pan, then drizzle the half cup of chocolate tahini across the batter, keeping most of it centered in the pan. Dollop the remaining batter over the top and spread gently to even the top. Sprinkle with Turbinado sugar.
- Bake for about 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no wet batter clinging to it. Cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Once cooled, keeps tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to a week.