Imagine spending an afternoon dripping molten gold off a spoon, watching it harden into little golden ball bearings, or spinning fine blonde whiskers between the spoon and your mouth. Imagine that all this gilded glory could be yours for the price of a quarter of a cup of honey, and that you could end up eating it, and licking a spoon that has turned from stainless steel into pure gold.
That’s why people make sesame seed brittle. It’s a lot of fun. I got my recipe, slightly amended in the light of my experiments, from the BeesOnline cookbook.
1.5 cups sugar
0.25 cup water
0.25 cup honey (I used the Georgian honey I bought last month but I wished I’d used something sweeter)
2 cups sesame seeds
Line a Swiss roll tin with baking paper. Combine the sugar, water and honey in a medium pan. Stir over low heat, without boiling, until all the sugar is dissolved. Then increase the heat and bring to the boil. Boil uncovered without stirring until the mixture is hot enough that a teaspoon of mixture will form a soft ball when dropped in a cup of cold water. Remove from heat and allow bubbles to subside, then gently stir in the sesame seeds. Return the mixture to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the bubbles to subside then pour into the prepared tin. Stand for 10 minutes, then mark into desired shapes. When completely cold, break into pieces.
Can be used as a accompaniment to ice-cream, or as a healthy sweet snack whose toasted sesame flavours and textures prevent it from being cloying.
For more recipes and adventures in honey tasting, read my Travels in Blood and Honey; becoming a beekeeper in Kosovo, published last year by Signal Books