Halva is a crumbly Middle Eastern confectionery made from ground sesame seeds and sugar. We’ve teamed it up with other traditional Middle-Eastern cake ingredients – honey, nuts, spices and carrots – for a flavour-packed cake. Serve the cake with some poached fruit and yoghurt, if you like.
1.Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F. Grease a 22cm (9-inch) springform pan; line base and side with three layers of baking paper, extending the paper 5cm (2 inches) over the side.
2.Sift flours, soda and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in carrot. Whisk oil, eggs, sugar, honey and vanilla in a medium jug or bowl until combined. Add to flour mixture; mix until just combined. Pour mixture into pan.
3.Combine halva, walnuts, pistachios and seeds in a medium bowl. Sprinkle evenly over cake mixture.
4.Bake cake for 1 hour 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean; cover cake loosely with foil if it starts to over-brown. Leave cake in pan for 10 minutes before transferring, top-side up, to a wire rack to cool.
Tip The halva will melt in the oven, then firm up again on cooling to set the nuts and seeds into a delicious caramelised topping. Halva is available from some delicatessens and Middle Eastern food stores.
Serving suggestion Serve with thick vanilla bean yoghurt, dusted with sifted icing sugar, if you like.