Almond Halvah | Badem Helvasi
This is an adaptation of a recipe we enjoyed while visiting Turkey.
1⁄2 cup high-protein all-purpose flour, such as King Arthur
1⁄2 cup whole wheat flour
3 tbsp. blanched almond halves, toasted
1⁄4 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. rose water
1. Stir together flours, 2 1⁄2 tbsp. of the almonds, and salt in a medium bowl. Melt butter in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture darkens slightly and looks moist, about 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, put sugar and 1 2⁄3 cups water into a small pot; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Allow syrup to boil for 2 minutes; remove from heat. Add syrup to flour–almond mixture and stir until well combined (the result should look like cookie dough). Cover pot and cook over low heat for 8 minutes. Uncover pot, transfer mixture to a serving plate, and smooth into a 7"–8" round with the back of a spoon. With a large soup spoon, press indentations around the edges of the almond halvah to form a decorative pattern, then sprinkle with rose water. Gently press the remaining almonds into the center of the halvah in a radiating flower pattern. Serve, warm or at room temperature, in scoops with Turkish Coffee, if you like.
This recipe was first published in Saveur in Issue #95