Almond and Sesame Seed Brittle

almond and sesame seed brittle
Photo: Marc Hoberman

Toasted sesame seeds, honey and almonds make a deep-golden, chewy treat.  Popular at any celebration, this ancient confection is traditionally offered over the Festivals of Purimand Hanukkah (Festival of Lights). These petite treats, not unlike the nut bars that are popular today, are utterly addictive

5 cups hulled sesame seeds
1 tablespoon plain (all-purpose) flour
6 ounces (170g) blanched split almonds, toasted
1 ½ cups clear honey
1 ½ cups hot water
1½ cups sugar
  • Sprinkle 1 cup of sesame seeds with a pinch of flour and toast lightly in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat for 4 minutes or until lightly golden. Shake the pan often and stir with a wooden spoon. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat this process, 1 cup at a time, with the remaining four cups of sesame seeds.
  • Heat the honey, water and sugar in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until it thickens and reaches the soft ball stage*. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into a very large, heatproof bowl.
  • Add the almonds and 3 cups of sesame seeds and stir together vigorously with a wooden spoon. Spread the hot mixture onto an oiled worktop. Sprinkle in the remaining 2 cups of sesame seeds, working it a little at a time into the mixture. Dampen your hands with cold water and roll into four ropes about 1-inch (2.5cm) in diameter. Cut diagonally into 1-inch (2.5cm) sections using a sharp knife dipped into hot water. Allow to cool at room temperature until hardened.