From your hummus to your vegan soup, there are endless uses for tahini — but have you ever considered stirring it into your hot cocoa? Outside of halva, tahini and sesame pastes are mostly saved for the savory side of the menu — think hot, fried falafel, cold sesame noodles, and warm grain bowls. But, there are exceptions to that. Tahini can add a nutty flavor twist and velvety texture to your chocolate chip cookies, swirled brownies, and carrot cake. So, who says it can't do the same for your cocoa?
Being a seed butter at heart, tahini is a natural alternative to peanut butter — and just like it, when you pair tahini with chocolate, you get a match made in heaven. But, a dollop of tahini in your hot cocoa does more than enhance the flavor by adding both depth and contrast; it's also an efficient thickening agent. Just like with your baked goods and soups, tahini has a consistency that can transform your brownies from cakey to fudgy, your tomato soup from brothy to thick, and your hot chocolate from creamy, to creamier.
For a hot cocoa that rivals the cup you had in France — without the need for extra dairy — take your usual hot chocolate recipe and start by stirring a tablespoon or two into the pot and taste as you go. When you've achieved the ideal texture and flavor balance, you'll know.
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Expanding Upon Your Tahini Hot Chocolate
A bit of tahini goes a long way for your cocoa, giving it an extra layer of rich, nutty indulgence. And while it will pair just as well with your usual whipped cream or baby marshmallow choices for toppings, it does invite some room for imagination. The twist from the tahini can be complemented with other turns — and there are many ways to upgrade your hot chocolate. The first, and most obvious way, would be to add some booze.
To play off the tahini in this cocoa, you could add a splash of peanut butter whiskey to your mug. Of course, the usual rum and Kahlua are also an option. There are non-alcoholic enhancements, however, and they're not by any means extravagant. The simple step of roasting your marshmallows before adding them to your cup will bring a smokey, smores-y element to your tahini hot chocolate, as well as dropping in a hunk of your favorite chocolate bar.
Other additions include a shot of espresso or vanilla flavoring, and there's always the option of whipping up you're own whipped cream. This way, you can infuse it with any flavors like cardamom and rose — to play on tahini's Middle Eastern flare — or coffee, peanut butter, chocolate, or cinnamon. But, honestly, twisted with a bit of nutty and rich tahini, this hot chocolate is as good as it is.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.