Tahini Caramel Tart

Take a bite of this Tahini Caramel Tart! Right through the screen!

Tahini, a sesame seed paste that has long satisfied the Mediterranean palate is finding a much wider audience. It has the potential to rival peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter.

According to Adeena Sussman, an expert in Israeli cooking and author of Sababa, where this recipe is featured, “Tahini is made from sesame seeds that are soaked in water (sometimes salted), then crushed so the hull separates from the tender inner germ. The seeds are then run through a centrifuge to separate and dispose of the waste before being roasted and finally ground between huge millstones to produce the tahini everyone in Israel knows.”

In a regular supermarket, among the many brands of tahini available nowadays, you will find Joyva Sesame Tahini, Seed & Mill Organic Tahini, Ziiyad All-Natural Tahini, and Roland Organic Tahini. Whole Foods has also created its own 365 Organic version.

Smooth tahini paste has become a favorite among chefs and home cooks, as Israeli cuisine is gaining more popularity. Not surprisingly, it is on the menu at places that specialize in Mediterranean cooking and home cooks are discovering that it is as handy to have in the kitchen as peanut butter.

It’s also turning up in sweet dishes, like this delicious Tahini Caramel Tart. Caramel Tarts started to show up a good 20 years ago, but this one, made with tahini in the caramel is pretty special. As you see in the recipe, it calls for ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Use it. The caramel really needs this whole amount of salt, or else, it’s going to be too sweet.

When I first made this tart and photographed it for this blog, I ended up skipping the Labaneh whipped cream. Since then, I made this tart a few more times, including the whipped cream, which does add a good complement. As you can tell, this recipe quickly became a regular in my kitchen, and I hope it becomes a regular in your kitchen too.

I’m slowly working my way through Sussman’s book. You might also like this recipe for Eggplant and Tomato Galette from Adeena Sussman’s Sababa.

 

Tahini Caramel Tart Cooking Show

Tahini Caramel Tart

Adapted from Sababa by Adeena Sussman

Serves 12 to 14

 

Chocolate Shortbread Crust

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened

½ cup confectioner’s sugar

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

3 tablespoons sesame seeds

 

Tahini Caramel

½ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup heavy cream

½ cup lightly packed light brown sugar

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

3 tablespoons Asian (date syrup)

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1/3 cup pure tahini paste

 

Labaneh Whipped Cream

2/3 cup heavy cream

½ cup 4-Hour Labaneh, or Greek Yogurt

1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

 

Make the Crust: Preheat the oven to 325˚F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confection sugar at medium-high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary, until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and sesame seeds. And beat until just incorporated 15 to 20 seconds. Gather the dough, then press it into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Freeze for 10 minutes, then bake until the crust is golden and flaky but still soft, 25 minutes. Cool Completely.

While the tart is cooling, make the caramel: Place the granulated sugar in a medium saucepan (try to use one with a few inches headroom) and sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water on top of it. Turn the heat to medium, bring to a boil, then increase the heat to medium-high and boil until the sugar turns syrupy and the color of light caramel, about 7 minutes ( be careful here; it can burn, so take it off the heat a few seconds early if you’re in doubt and swirl gently if one area begins to darken more than others). Remove the syrup from the heat, then immediately add the cream, brown sugar, butter, and silan and stir until the butter is melted. The mixture will sputter, then may harden in parts, but don’t worry. Place the saucepan back on the stove. Bring the mixture to a low simmer over low heat and simmer until it’s a deep mahogany color, 11 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, whisk in the salt and then the tahini until smooth, and pour into the baked tart crust. Cool slightly, then chill until the tart is set, at least 4 hours (but overnight is best).

Make the Whipped Cream: just before serving, in a stand mixer fitted with the whish attachment, whip the cream until soft peaks form, 2 minutes. Add the labaneh and confectioner’s sugar and whip until soft peaks return, 1 minute. Remove the tart from the fridge, slice, and serve with the whipped cream.

 

More Israeli Recipes:

Jeweled Rice with Carrots

Passover Brisket with Prunes & Carrots

Short Ribs with Eggplant, Silan, and Nigela Seeds

Matzo Buttercrunch

 

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Eggplant and Tomato Galette

Eggplant and Tomato Galette

She called it Smokey Eggplant and Feta Galette with Garlicky Roasted Red Pepper Salad; I shortened the title a bit and called it simply Eggplant and Tomato Galette.

Adeena Sussman an American-Israeli food stylist, food writer and cookbook author. Born is Palo Alto, CA, Sussman has written more than 12 cookbooks including books with celebrities like Crissy Tiggen and Ellie Krieger.

She was living in New York and rocking the culinary world. One fine day, she met Jay, her now husband, and decided to move to Tel Aviv to be with him. She would continue rocking from Israel.

Living in the shadows of Shuk HaCarmel, the city’s main food market, she decided it was time to fly solo, sharing her passion for Israeli cuisine, something that has always been a part of her life anyway.

This recipe for Eggplant and Tomato Galette is inspired by her new cookbook Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen.  She serves it with a Garlic Roasted Red Pepper Salad on the side, which I ended skipping because I used a green salad instead. This galette is amazing even plain! Ever since the book arrived in my hands, I’ve been savoring the pages of this gorgeously produced and beautifully written book.

With more than 120 recipes, Sussman delights us with her personal spin and shows us how to incorporate many staples of Israeli cuisine our own kitchens. It doesn’t matter much in what part of the world you live right now; this book unlock the secrets to this incredible cuisine!

This recipe is just one of the many that I already cooked from her book. I hope you’ll find it as delicious as I have.

Don’t worry, I’ll continue to post more recipes featured at Sababa in future posts, as cooking with Adeena Sussman really makes us feel like traveling to Israel, via the stove!

Thanks for your work Adeena!

Sending lots of love!

Eggplant and Tomato Galette

Eggplant and Tomato Galette

Adapted from Adeena Sussman’s Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen

Serves 6

 

For the Dough:

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring your hands

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon vinegar

 

For the Filling:

1 jumbo or 2 medium Italian eggplants (1½ pounds)

1 cup (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small jalapeno, seeded and sliced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon fresh black pepper

 

For the Topping:

1 large egg, whisked with ½ teaspoon water and a pinch of salt

½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1 small Roma tomato, sliced into thin rounds

 

Make the Filling:

Chop the charred eggplant until chunky and transfer to a large bowl. Gently fold in the feta, dill, olive oil, jalapeno, sand and pepper until incorporated.

 

Make the Dough:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable oil, 2/3 cup water and salt to a boil over high heat (the water will form a ½-inch bubbles that begin to pop through the oil; that’s what’s boiling looks like here. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the vinegar, then add the flour mixture all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the flour drinks up the liquid and a unified, velvety dough forms; let the dough cool for 10 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F.

Set a large piece of parchment paper on the counter. Using lightly floured hands, form the dough into a ball. Place in the center of the parchment paper and gently roll it into a 12-inch round about ¼ inch thick (the dough is soft, go easy on it). Transfer the dough topped parchment paper to a baking sheet.

To Assemble and Bake: dollop the filling into the center of the dough round and spread it out, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Fold the dough up and over the filling (if you’ve ever made a galette, it’s the same idea—very rustic!) so that the dough forms a 1-inch frame around the filling. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg mixture, then sprinkle the edges with cheese. Arrange the tomato slices and olives on top of the galette and bake until the tomatoes are wilted and the dough is golden and flaky, 35 to 40 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

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