Glossy and luxurious, this dark chocolate tahini spread will have you dunking your spoon in for another bite over... And over... And over.
Reminiscent of a certain chocolate hazelnut spread, this homemade variation uses a tahini base. And, instead of loading it with a ton of sugars and syrups, it's paleo, gluten free, keto-friendly and vegan!
Author's note: This recipe was originally published 4/20/18 and has been updated on 2/8/22.
What is tahini?
Most nut and seed butters just take their name from the nut or seed used (see: almond butter) but tahini is an exception because of its roots in Middle Eastern cuisine.
Traiditionally, tahini is a dip or spread made from toasted sesame seeds ground down into a paste. It's that simple!
Ingredients you'll need for this chocolate tahini spread
One of my goals while making this treat was to keep the ingredients list relatively short. After all, if I make a nut or seet butter from scratch, the steps beyond that shouldn't be too challenging or I'll end up eating the batch of nut butter before the recipe's done.
So for chocolate tahini spread, make sure you have these ingredients ready:
- hulled white sesame seeds
- cocoa powder
- vanilla bean
- sea salt
- coconut sugar (or maple sugar)
- extra virgin olive oil
In addition, if making homemade nut or seed butters, you need a high-powered blender or food processer. My Vitamix is my go-to!
How to make tahini spread
To start with, make the tahini.
Whenever I make nut or seed butters, I toast the nuts or seeds first. (See: Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter) This helps draw out the oils and brings out the nutty flavors. Overall, it makes getting a smooth butter that much easier!
Add the toasted sesame seeds to a high-powered blender. Start on low and gradually increase to high, using the tamper to help distribute the seeds down towards the blades. If using a food processor, stop processing and use a spatula to scrape down the sides occasionally.
Troubleshooting homemade nut and seed butters
Making a truly smooth nut/seed butter takes some time, so don't get frustrated if it's not immediately coming together.
I find tahini blends relatively quickly, but if you're having trouble, turn off the blender or food processor, leave the cover on, and walk away for 5-10 minutes. This gives the oils further time to release from the nuts or seeds.
Oftentimes, by walking away from half-blended nuts and giving them time to breathe, you'll get the SMOOTHEST nut butter of your life! And without having to add extra oil!
My number 1 tip for homemade nut butter creations
To make truly awesome nut butter creations, there's one tip you have to keep in mind. You can't just add everything to the blender and blend. It rarely ever works!
Instead, add it all later and blend just until incorporated.
Sonia, the Healthy Foodie, taught me this trick in her cookbook Paleo Home Cooking (which is marvelous, by the way). Water is the worst enemy of incredibly smooth nut and seed butters (water and oil don't mix!), so introducing outside moisture from additional ingredients while blending can cause the nut/seed butter to seize up!
Your best bet is to mix the extras separately, then add to the blender after you already have perfect tahini texture.
Give it a quick blend to pulverize that vanilla bean and mix all the ingredients. And you're left with perfectly pourable, luscious chocolate tahini spread!
Keep in mind that the more coconut sugar you add, the less smooth your tahini will be. You could separately blend your coconut sugar into powder, but who's got time for that?
Anyway, I've found that after sitting for a day or two, the coconut sugar tends to dissolve on its own. But I haven't tested that with extra coconut sugar, so kick up the sweetness at your own risk!
How to store this chocolate tahini spread
Sesame seeds can go rancid fairly quickly, so keep this chocolate tahini spread in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 months.
Stuck on tahini? Try these tahini recipes!
- Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Tahini Matcha Latte
- Tahini Panna Cotta with Persimmon Puree
- Halvah (Tahini) Cookies
- Homemade Paleo Halva
This paleo and vegan chocolate tahini spread makes quite the treat! Eat it with a spoon, use as a dip for fruit, or spread on toast.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread sesame seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Add the toasted sesame seeds to a high powered blender or food processor. If you’re using a Vitamix, start on low and increase speed very slowly over the course of 8 minutes. Blend until super smooth. If you’ve ever made nut butter before, you know this can take quite a while! See THIS POST for more tips.
- Meanwhile, add the cocoa powder, sea salt, coconut sugar, and avocado oil to a medium bowl and stir until a thick paste is formed. Add the cocoa mixture and vanilla bean to the tahini and blend until smooth.
- Store in the fridge, as sesame seed oil can easily go rancid. In the fridge, it will keep for months!
Don't want to make your own tahini? Just skip the first step and use 2 cups of store-bought tahini.
Keywords: chocolate tahini spread, tahini, chocolate butter, sesame seed paste