Middle Eastern Inspired Chocolate Tahini Tart with Date Walnut Crust
By: Blanche Shaheen/Arab America Contributing Writer
When creating dishes for holiday entertaining, sometimes simple ingredients can make a big impact, especially when using Middle Eastern-inspired ingredients. Middle Eastern cooking celebrates whole foods with maximum flavor, and today’s recipe features a tart inspired by buttery tahini.
While most westerners associate tahini with hummus, Arabs use tahini as a replacement for peanut butter, often making sandwiches of tahini drizzled with grape molasses. In this tart, tahini blends harmoniously with chocolate, creating a rich, creamy, and mildly nutty filling without the need for extra sugar. There is no sugar required for the crust either, which is made with date paste and walnuts. Date paste is a welcome convenience food in Arab kitchens, as there is no extra work required in pitting and pureeing the dates. Combining the dates with warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg with crunchy walnuts creates a gluten-free crust that doesn’t require any baking. The bonus is dates are full of iron and fiber, so this is a nutrient-dense dessert with no processed ingredients that is true to the healthful middle eastern way of eating.
You can divide this dessert into 4 mini tartlets, or use one 9 inch pie pan for a larger tart instead. Because there is no baking required, you can chill this tart for up to a week until you are ready to serve it anytime.
To see a cooking tutorial on how to make this crust, click on the video below:
- ½ package Ziyad Date Paste – or 7 ounces pureed dates
- 1 ½ cups walnuts
- 2 tbsp almond, cashew, or sun butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 4 oz. milk, white, or dark chocolate (depending on your preference)
- 1/4 cup Ziyad Tahini Sauce
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (or coconut cream for a vegan version)
- Slivered almonds
In a food processor, grind the walnuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg and pulse until the walnuts are coarse. Add the dates and nut butter, and pulse until the mixture forms a pliable dough. Press the walnut mixture into 4 mini tart pans, or one 9 inch pie or tart pan. For the filling, melt the chocolate and cream in a double boiler and stir until melted. You can also use the microwave by setting it at 30 seconds, stirring, then microwaving 30 seconds more. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes, then pour over the date walnut crust. Top with the slivered almonds and refrigerate at least 2 hours to set.
Blanche Shaheen is a journalist, host of the YouTube cooking show called Feast in the Middle East and cookbook author. For more authentic and classical Middle Eastern recipes, you can now purchase her brand new cookbook: “Feast in the Middle East, A Personal Journey of Family and Cuisine” by clicking HERE:https://secure.mybookorders.com/Orderpage/2189
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