In the circles I move in, or at least the online ones, tahini is having a little moment. First I saw this rendition of Ottolenghi's Tahini Soup, then I saw this Turkish Tahini Cake. Then, as if to prove that tahini's time had come in real life too, I had a lengthy discussion with two friends about whether or not the tahini available in the Middle East is different to the stuff we can buy here. (We didn't reach any kind of conclusion. Your thoughts on this important matter are very welcome.)
Anyway, all this tahini talk reminded me of two things. One, it's easy to make your own. Two, it's even easier to make these gorgeous oaty bars.
These started life as a sort of biscuity thing, but I wasn't that happy with them. They're much better this way - richy, chewy and not too sweet. Vary the extras - the chocolate, nuts and fruit - to suit your cupboards. I think it's best to opt for very dark chocolate and tangy fruit, such as apricots and cranberries.
125ml (1/2 cup) tahini
80g (three generous tablespoons) golden syrup
80g (three generous tablespoons) honey
1 1/2 cups (300g) rolled oats
50-70g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
50g (about 1/3 of a cup) dried apricots, roughly chopped
50g (about 1/3 of a cup) dates, roughly chopped
50g (about 1/3 of a cup) almonds or sunflower seeds, roughly chopped
Heat the oven to 180C. Line a brownie pan (measuring about 20 x 20cm) with baking paper.
Put the tahini and honey in a large bowl and stir well, then tip in the other ingredients. Mix well, then press into the prepared pan. It may not be enough to fill the pan, but don't panic. Just press it out until it's about 1cm thick.
Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. It will still be soft, but it will harden as it cools. Mark out the bars while it's still warm. Store in an airtight container when cold. Makes about 18 bars.
Have a great weekend, everyone. Do share a link to your favourite tahini-related recipe in the comments below.