This is an easy chocolate banana bread that has both tahini and bits of halva for added flavor. It’s moist, fluffy and gives you tall, beautifully domed muffins, perfect for any time of day.
It combines three, actually four absolutely wonderful ingredients that all meet together to make the perfect fluffy chocolate muffins. Bananas are the underpinning of this soft, moist chocolate bread; you won’t miss that banana flavor here. It’s complemented by a subtle but noticeable edge of tahini/sesame. Dutch process cocoa gives this bread a rich chocolaty flavor and dots of halva add a little sparky sweetness whenever you bite into them.
Plus, this is a one bowl banana bread recipe – as all the best banana breads should be 😉
I might’ve included the same question for tahini (or tahina) if I were writing this a few years ago but tahini, a sesame paste made from ground sesame seeds, its pretty ubiquitous nowadays. Halva perhaps less so.
Halva is basically candied tahini (to know one is to know the other). You’ll find it in most middle eastern grocery stores (esp the lebanese stores but greek stores tend to have it too) and it comes in varieties: plain, pistachio and marbled with chocolate are the most popular.
You can use it in cookies, cakes, babkas, and well it’s just fun to snack on as it is! Also, watch this space as as a self-confessed halva addict there will undoubtedly be more recipes featuring it.
Bananas: ripe, very ripe. The browner the better as they say. Two large bananas should get you what you need for this recipe. If your bananas are small perhaps it’ll take three. If you can, use a digital scale to measure it so you know you are using the right amount.
Tahini: sesame paste, you can find it at almost any well-stocked grocery store. There are different varieties, my personal favorite is Beirut Brand. Different brands source their seeds from different areas and so some are more or less bitter. Whichever you choose, stir it well so you aren’t getting too much oil or too little.
All Purpose Flour: I think a gf flour (which says it’s a 1 to 1 swap for AP flour) would work just fine here.
Dutch Process Cocoa: For a deep rich chocolate taste use dutch.
Halva: I love a Lebanese marbled halva and get mine from a local middle eastern store. If you’re struggling to find some check online or trader joe’s.
Brown Sugar: Light or dark is fine here. Granulated won’t give these the rise we need and lacks moisture.
Eggs: Large eggs, no substitutes here. If you are looking for an egg-free banana bread recipe I’m sure a google search would yield plenty results.
Oil: I use canola oil but vegetable oil would work fine. If you want to lean into the sesame flavor perhaps an untoasted sesame oil would be your choice.
Basically, mash the bananas then whisk with the sugars and oil. Stir in the remaining ingredients and fold in the halva! If you want a little bit of halva to peek out at the top you can add some after you fill the muffin liners. Don’t add too much, it can burn on top.
Can I turn this into a loaf?
Yep, it’ll make one tall loaf. Use a 9×5 inch pan and bake it for an hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
Can I halve this recipe?
Yep, it’ll make a dozen muffins just halve all the ingredients.
How best to store the muffins?
In an airtight container to keep them from drying out.
Can I substitute the Tahini with something else?
In theory yes, although I haven’t tried it I think almond butter could work. And if you are subbing the tahini because of a sesame allergy then you’ll skip the halva as well.
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