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Coffee Halvah

Coffee Halvah

The key to this halvah is cooking the sugar to the right temperature and not overbeating it. It sounds difficult but really it isn’t hard. Half an hour and some cooling time are all that stands between you and delicious homemade halvah.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 12 ServingsServings


  • 1 tablespoon whole coffee beans
  • 1 pound granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) cold water
  • 1 pound pure sesame tehini (make sure there is no added salt)
  • 1 tablespoon good quality instant coffee (such as Elite) dissolved in 2 teaspoons water


Line a loaf pan or other mold with plastic wrap leaving a generous overhang on each side.  Sprinkle the bottom evenly with the whole coffee beans. Set aside.

Place the water, sugar, and salt in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the sugar is all dissolving. Once the mixture comes to a boil do not stir it again. Place a candy thermometer in the sugar mixture and cook to 248 Fahrenheit. While it is cooking use a pastry brush dipped in water to periodically brush down the sides of the pan to wash down any sugar crystals.

While the sugar syrup is cooking place the tehini in a small sauce pan and heat to 120 Fahrenheit. (If you do not have a second thermometer just heat it until it is quite warm to the touch but not hot.) Stir frequently to prevent it from burning. Transfer the warm tehini to the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a mixing paddle. Add the dissolved instant coffee.

Once the sugar has come to temperature, immediately pour it into the mixing bowl. Turn it on the lowest setting and mix just until the mixture starts to look a bit grainy and loses some of its shine. This should take no more than a minute.  Be careful not to overbeat the mixture or it will set in the bowl yielding a crumbly mess rather than a creamy finished candy. Working quickly, transfer the mixture to the prepared mold. Smooth down the top with a spatula and fold the plastic wrap over the top. Let cool at room temperature until set, approximately one hour. Store, well wrapped in plastic, in an airtight container in the refrigerator.