Tahini Fudge (Maltese Helwa Tat-Tork)

Food Blogger Casa Costello posted a recipe just after I’d randomly bought a jar of tahini. I found tahini in a small-town supermarket, so you should find it easily, too. This fudge is dairy-free.

Sesame seeds are naturally gluten-free; but do check your tahini’s label to ensure the factory and/or seeds are not contaminated by gluten products if making for coeliacs.

Makes: 20-30 depending on size


  • 80g whole skinned almonds, chopped into halves or thirds
    (for shop-bought pre-toasted, skip Steps 1 & 2)
  • 4 & 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 300g tahini (sesame paste)
  • 230g caster sugar – golden tastes nicer, but white will suffice
  • 210ml (210g if weighing) water


  • A sharp knife, and a chopping board
  • A medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan
  • A sugar thermometer (if you lack this, see Step 3)
  • 1 baking tray, lined with baking/parchment paper (see Alternate Kit footnote)
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • A wooden spoon


  1. If you have untoasted almonds, preheat oven to 200 C (180 C fan assisted). Spread the chopped almonds in one layer on the lined baking tray.
  2. Bake the almonds for 3-5 minutes until they are toasted light brown, flipping/stirring them around once per minute. Remove the tray from the oven and pour the almonds into a large mixing bowl; cool 5-10 minutes. (Turn off your oven.) Start the next step whilst they’re cooling.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar and water over a medium-high heat to hard-ball stage (almost 130 C). If you don’t have a thermometer, use the syrup-drop-in-cold-water method (see this helpful guide). Leave this to heat whilst you get on with the rest of the steps, but keep a close eye on the sugar.
  4. In the bowl with the cooled toasted almonds, mix the vanilla and tahini with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  5. Pour the hot sugar mixture into your tahini bowl, and stir quickly until you have a stiff dough.
  6. Pour the mixture onto your baking tray. Using your wooden spoon, shape it into a rectangle, keeping the height to about 1/2″ – 3/4″ (see Alternate Kit footnote).
  7. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then chop into bite-sized pieces. Leave to cool until fully cold.
  8. This fudge can keep on the counter in an airtight container for a couple of days.

Alternate Kit
You could line a 7″ (18cm) square tin with parchment and pour the fudge into that. I used a 9.5″ (24cm) square tin and as you can see from the picture in Step 6, for a decent height I only filled 2/3 of it.

Also, you could toast the almonds in a large, dry, very hot frying pan instead of using the oven.

Nut Variations
Pistachios would be a wonderful substitute in this fudge (although I probably wouldn’t toast them, myself). And whilst we’re going totally off-piste from traditional Helwa Tat-Tork – hazelnuts or macadamia nuts could work, too.


2 thoughts on “Tahini Fudge (Maltese Helwa Tat-Tork)

  1. Thanks! I got a new picture with a truer colour at the church when I delivered them this morning, I’ll show you on Twitter.
    Thank you for the recipe – everyone really loved them (and they’re all OAPs with very ‘conservative’ taste buds, so that’s saying something!).

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