For the basic halvah:
If you have a Vita-Mix blender with a square dry blade, use it to grind the sesame seeds in two batches. You will need to use the plastic plunger that comes with it, too, to keep pushing the seeds into the blades. If you don’t have the dry blade, or a Vita-Mix, you can grind them in small batches in a spice or coffee grinder-either way, be sure that no whole seeds remain.
Transfer the ground sesame to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients, taking care to sift the date sugar.
Mix thoroughly by hand and shape into a 1-inch-thick rectangular slab.
Refrigerate the halvah until solid (1 to 2 hours) and cut into approximately 25 cubes. Store the halvah covered in the refrigerator.
For the carob-marbled halvah:
Prepare the dough for the basic halvah recipe.
Roll 2/3 of the dough into a rope approximately 2 inches thick.
Knead the carob powder into the remaining ½ of the dough until very thoroughly mixed. Roll the carob halvah into a rope equal in length to the plain halvah rope.
Fold and twist the ropes together until marbled, then shape into a 1-inch-thick rectangular slab.
Refrigerate the halvah until solid (1 to 2 hours)’ and cut it into approximately 25 cubes.
For the chocolate-covered pistachio halvah:
Place the pistachios in a small bowl or container with the orange-flower water and add enough water to cover. Allow the nuts to soak overnight.
Drain the nuts, place them on a mesh-lined tray, and dehydrate for 1 or 2 days, or until dry and crunchy.
Coarsely chop 1 cup of the dehydrated pistachios and knead them into the halvah until evenly distributed. Reserve the remaining ½ cup of the whole nuts for the garnish.
Shape the halvah into a 1-inch-thick rectangular slab.
Refrigerate it until solid (1 to 2 hours), and cut it into approximately 25 cubes.
Coat each piece with chocolate oil. Top with a pistachio and place in the refrigerator to set the chocolate.
For the chocolate oil
With a higher proportion of coconut butter/oil, this chocolate oil will harden nicely as a coating on cakes, tarts, cookies, bars, chocolates, nuts, bananas, or other fruits. Dip fresh stemmed strawberries in chocolate oil, then refrigerate for an easy fast, and sexy dessert.
1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and fully emulsified.
2. Store covered in the refrigerator. To soften before use, place it in the dehydrator or in a hot water bath. (If the room is warm, simply let the chocolate oil sit at room temperature.)