A crunchy, nutty black sesame brittle that fills your mouth with aroma of toasty black sesame and the taste of caramel. It’s fast and easy with only 5 ingredients(counting salt and water). It’s a great snack as black sesame is super high in calcium, and making it yourself lets you control how much sugar you add to it.
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I was never a kid who loves sweets, actually I avoided it as much as I could, weird kid, huh? But the black sesame brittle has a special place in my heart, I think of my mom whenever I have one. We don’t buy candies like most other families in Taiwan during Chinese new year, but my mom LOVES these black sesame brittle. She loves the flavor of black sesame, and she believes that it’s super healthy and helps keep your hair black(most Asians have dark hair)- which is essential if your head is starting to turn silver. For that reason I actually avoided eating black sesame because I wanted lighter colored hair. It’s pretty hilarious thinking about it.
You can easily make this sesame brittle by using white sesame as well or half and half even. We prefer black sesame because of it’s deeper aroma and it’s high in protein, vitamin b, fiber and contains more calcium and iron than white sesame. Two things I desperately need in winter. In Taiwan a malt syrup is used as part of the sweetener but it’s not as easy to find in the US so honey is used to replace the malt syrup. However honey is much sweeter than malt syrup, so less of it is used in this recipe.
I usually purchase my black sesame seeds raw and unhulled, I find them to be more flavorful but it takes a bit more work to prep. In order to really release the flavors and aromas of black sesame, the seeds have to be washed then drained then toasted before it is used. I prefer toasting black sesame in a pan or wok. White sesame seeds can be toasted in the oven at 300F (150C) for about 7 minutes or until golden but when it comes to black sesame it’s hard to tell the difference in color. Add the washed and drained sesame to a wok, turn the heat to medium-high and stir occasionally. After the water has all evaporated, stir constantly until the black sesame seeds start popping. Remove from heat when the sesame starts popping every 2 seconds and let cool, over-roasting it will make the seeds bitter and affect the taste of your sesame brittle.
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Black Sesame seeds
- 2 C Black Sesame Seeds Toasted
- 1/3 C Water
- 1/3 C Brown sugar
- 1/4 C Sugar
- 1/4 C Honey
- 1/4 t Salt Omit if using salted butter
- 1/2 TBsp Butter
Toasting Sesame Seeds if Raw
- White sesame seeds can be toasted in the oven at 300F (150C) for about 7 minutes or until golden but when it comes to black sesame it's hard to tell the difference in color. Wash and drain sesame into a wok, turn the heat to medium high and stir occasionally. After the water has all evaporated, stir constantly until the black sesame seeds start popping. Remove from heat when the sesame starts popping every 2 seconds and let cool, over roasting it will make the seeds bitter and effect the taste of your sesame brittle.
Making Sesame brittle
- Add 1/3C Water 1/3C Brown Sugar 1/4C Sugar 1/4C Honey to a pot or pan and turn the heat to medium high, bring to a boil
- Stirring with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula occasionally, cook and boil until the syrup forms large bubbles. Prepare a cup of cold water, drop one drop of syrup into the cold water if you're unsure of the stage of your syrup. The dropped syrup should turn into a hard, crunchy little ball.
- Turn the heat down to low just to keep it warm so it's easy to work with. Add 1/4t Salt 2 C Toasted Sesame Seeds 1/2 TBsp Butter Mix well
- Remove the sesame mixture to a parchment paper or silicone mat, cover with another piece of parchment paper and roll it out to about 0.5cm thick. Move to the cutting board and cut into 1" x 1" pieces before the brittle cools or break them into uneven pieces after it's cooled.
Prepping for Chinese New Year? Here are some other recipes you might be interested in: