If you haven’t jumped on the tahini + chocolate bandwagon yet, then this is the recipe for you! But also, if you love tahini desserts then this is also the recipe for you. These brownies are ultra fudgy with just the right amount of melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and tahini. All topped with a beautiful tahini swirl! I mean, look at it.
When I set out to make these brownies, I wanted to come up with a totally fudgy, not-too-rich brownie that was free of grains, dairy, and oil. And then, of course, I sweetened them with coconut sugar (along with the chocolate chips) to make these indulgent babies a little bit better for you.
The method that I like best when baking brownies is to use melted chocolate with an oil (in this case, the tahini) and some cocoa powder, and then whisk the eggs and sugar until they’re nice and fluffy. The whisking is what gives these brownies a bit of lift, and all the wet ingredients help them stay totally fudgy.
For this recipe, I took my love for sesame a bit further than your typical tahini brownie by adding a bit of toasted black sesame powder. I highly recommend you make your way to the nearest Asian market, buy a big (and cheap!) bag of black sesame seeds, and spend 10 minutes making the powder. It’s affordable, easy, and adds another element of nuttiness to these brownies. And if you haven’t toasted black sesame seeds before, then you’re in for a treat, because the smell is divine.
Some of the ingredients I love for this recipe:
Chocolate chips add a ton of moisture, flavor, and sweetness to these brownies. In my experience, with this specific recipe, they also lend a hand to the shiny top crust of the brownies.
Tahini is simply ground sesame seeds – think “peanut butter” but with sesame seeds instead of peanuts. It’s delicious in savory dishes and desserts. I especially love how it pairs with chocolate, and anyone who has ever tasted a tahini dessert from me has loved it!
Dutch-process cocoa powder has a deeper chocolate flavor than natural cocoa powder. I like to use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa because it’s affordable and easy to find. They recently switched from a 50/50 dutched/natural mix to all dutch-process for their Special Dark Cocoa, so check your labels.
Coconut sugar is an unrefined, low GI sweetener. It doesn’t taste like coconut, and since it’s low GI, it doesn’t spike blood sugar as high as white sugar, honey, or maple syrup would.
Arrowroot starch is a corn allergy-friendly thickener, but if you don’t have this on hand, feel free to use corn starch.
Toasted black sesame powder is simply toasted black sesame seeds that have been ground up in a blender or food processor. It’s aromatic and nutty and elevates the delicious sesame flavor in these brownies.
- 1 ½ cups dairy-free chocolate chips
- ¾ cup tahini
- 2 Tbsp dutch-process cocoa powder
- 3 large eggs, room temp
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 ½ Tbsp arrowroot starch
- ¼ cup toasted black sesame powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Make your toasted black sesame powder by toasting ½ cup of black sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat (I highly recommend getting these at your local Asian market/grocery store to save money!) . Stir constantly until seeds are toasted - you'll begin to smell a very aromatic nutty scent. Add the toasted seeds to a blender or food processor and blend until a powder forms.
- Bring your eggs to room temperature by placing them in a glass of warm water for around 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 325°F. Prepare your baking dish by spraying it with olive oil and then lining the bottom + 2 sides with a long strip of parchment paper. Crease the excess parchment paper over the sides.
- Using the double boiler method (place heatproof bowl over a pot with 1" of water on medium heat, making sure bowl doesn't touch the water), melt the chocolate chips and tahini in a medium bowl until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder; set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the coconut sugar and eggs. Begin whisking on medium-high speed and add the vanilla extract. Continue whisking until the mixture becomes thick and light brown in color. It will look very bubbly.
- Add the chocolate mixture to the whisked eggs and sugar. Gently fold the chocolate in - this will take a few minutes. Then fold in the arrowroot starch, black sesame powder, and salt until totally combined. The batter will be thick.
- Scrape batter into your prepared baking dish and use a spatula to smooth out the top.
- In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ¼ cup of tahini with 2 Tbsp of agave. Drop spoonfuls of the tahini mixture onto the top of the brownie batter, creating 9 blobs - 3 across and 3 down (see photo). Use a chopstick (or wooden skewer) to drag and swirl the tahini into the top of the batter. Be careful not to over-swirl or you won't have the defined swirls.
- Bake brownies at 325°F for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with a bit of batter. You want to under-bake these a bit for maximum fudginess, but feel free to bake them a little longer if you like your brownies less fudgy.
- Allow brownies to cool completely in the dish (I like to sit mine on top of a cooling rack). Run a butter knife along the edges without parchment paper, and then use the parchment paper overhang to pull the brownies up and out of the dish. Slice into 16 squares, wiping your knife between each slice for a cleaner look.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
The toasted black sesame powder adds to the delicious sesame flavor in these brownies, but you can replace the powder with ¼ cup of cocoa powder if need be. Your brownies will be more rich and taste less sweet.
Arrowroot starch can be replaced with corn starch.
Dutch-process cocoa can be replaced with natural cocoa powder since this recipe contains no leavening agents (baking soda, etc).
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Serving Size:1 brownie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 238Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 94mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 5g