Here in the Middle East, Christmas is not as predominant as the main religion is Islam. Nevertheless, as there is a huge expatriate community here in Dubai, all sorts of Christmas stuff (from trees…plastic though…. over turkey to sweets and whatever else you fancy) is widely available.
I am still sort of grateful to the fact that I don’t get completely bombarded with Christmas songs and sweets and things from end of October on (I remember this being the case back home in Germany). Especially the food side of Christmas can be quite overloading if you know what I mean.
Anyway, here in Dubai I managed to stay clear of stuffing myself  with Christmas sweets. Instead I was looking for alternative recipes (hopefully to be made at home) that can combine Christmas with typical Middle Eastern ingredients.
Then I found tahini. Tahini is sesame paste. I searched some sweet recipes made of tahini and these tahini-based chocolate truffles are exactly what I was looking for: some decadent and very rich little sweets. You only eat one (or two) at a time and they make you absolutely happy. Isn’t that the perfect sweet? On top of that, it only has four ingredients and it is naturally sweet without any added sugar. It doesn’t need cooking or baking. It keeps in the fridge for ages. Although I can promise you that they will be eaten faster than you might imagine.



(Print Recipe)

2 cups tahini (sesame paste)
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup pitted dried dates
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
agave syrup (optional)
finely chopped almonds
finely chopped pistachios
sesame seeds
desiccated coconut
Yields ca. 25-30


Combine tahini, raisins, dates and cocoa powder in a food processor and blend until very smooth. If the mixture is too crumbly add water by the tablespoon. If the batter is not sweet enough, add some agave syrup.
Roll the batter into small balls. Coat each ball with either coconut, sesame seeds or chopped nuts. Refrigerate or freeze the balls for at least an hour before serving.

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