Zaynab Issa's Decadent Salted Tahini Brownies

Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favourite home cooks. For this instalment, New York-based chef and Bon Appetit food editor Zaynab Issa shares her recipe for decadent salted tahini brownies.

It's not often that you find someone who doesn't enjoy a brownie. The very definition of a crowd-pleasing treat, these tasty baked-goods are a fantastic food to whip out at any occasion, be it at the end of a dinner party or for a colleagues birthday. 

Previously, we've shared Zaynab Issa's recipe for a healthy and hearty white bean and kale soup, and now we're moving to the more decadent end of the spectrum and dishing out her recipe for salted tahini brownies.

And while there are a surplus of brownie renditions out there, we think this one takes the cake. With its deliciously fudgy and rich chocolate flavour perfectly contrasted and enhanced by the tahini swirl and kosher salt flakes, it's an absolute winner at any event.


  • 175g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped, divided 
  • 170g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup  
  • Flaky sea salt 



Preheat oven to 180 degree Celcius.

Melt 110g semi-sweet chocolate in the microwave until smooth. Use 30 second increments, stirring between, to prevent the chocolate from burning. 

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or electric beaters, mix the sugar and melted butter together in a large bowl until well combined.

Add the eggs and mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy for approximately 4 minutes.

Add the melted chocolate to the butter mixture and mix to combine.

Add the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt to a medium-sized bowl and use a whisk to combine. 

Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, add the dry ingredients, and mix gently by hand using a rubber spatula to prevent over-mixing. Just before the dry ingredients are entirely incorporated, add in the remaining 60g chopped chocolate and fold.

Transfer batter into a parchment-lined, 20cm square, metal baking pan, and spread the batter evenly to level. 

Add tahini and maple syrup to a small bowl, and whisk to combine.

Dollop the tahini mixture onto the brownie batter and drag a toothpick or butter knife through the dollops repeatedly to create swirls.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Cool on the counter for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack or cutting board.

Sprinkle with more flaky salt before serving. 

Shop Zaynab's look with our Mineral Tablecloth, Lavender Placemats, and Oatmeal Napkins.

For more from Zaynab, follow her on Instagram @zaynab_issa

Photography by Meghan Marin, Styling by Laura Woolf

Hungry for more? Explore more recipes from our favourite home cooks here.

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