Sesame Brittle | #yotamottolenghi

Black Friday, cyber Monday and now giving Tuesday. There are much to do at this time of the year. Furthermore, you can always go an extra mile making food more festive on the holidays table. My idea is a sesame brittle. Extravaganza meets simplicity. The brittle is simple enough to put together that garnishes all sorts of dessert, or simply to snack on.

My daughter suggested putting a small shard of sesame brittle on green tea ice cream. You can play around with the size and shape to garnish a mousse, panna cotta or mini tarts. The holiday decorating spirits surge with these playful, lovely and addictive sesame brittle.

Since I ran out of parchment paper, I did not roll the sesame caramel between sheets of paper. I was concerned I may not be able to roll out the brittle as thinly as 1/8 of an inch. I used a silicone mat instead and smoothed out the caramel with a spatula. It spread and thinned out after 15-20 minutes in the oven. The resulting brittle is very delicate and thin. Thin enough you have to gingerly pick it up; it cracks easily when eaten. A success!

The brittle is made with very few ingredients: combination of white and black sesame seeds, sugar, maple syrup (I don’t have corn syrup on hand) and butter. You can make the brittle within half an hour. This is a quick garnish trick that I’d surely repeat for its dramatic effect when I need height and texture for some otherwise plain-looking food.

Another perfect recipe from Ottolenghi new book Sweet. As I turn the pages through Sweet, I have a strong urge to make every recipe in the book. All the cakes, mini-cakes, cheesecakes, tarts and desserts feed my imagination and desire to make and taste them. I thought I was cutting down on sweets. I need to find more ways to give them away what I make. This is the season to do just that.

This post is linked to IHCC where other potluck dishes are presented this week.


Sesame brittle

Print Recipe
Serves: Makes 20


  • 1/4 cup/35 g black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp/90 g white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup/100 g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp/100 g light corn syrup or maple syrup
  • 3 1/2 tbsp/50 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp salt



Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.


Spread all the sesame seeds out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through, until golden brown. Keep the seeds warm in a low oven while you make the syrup.


Cut four pieces of parchment paper to fit on two large baking sheets. Set aside. Silpat would work well too.


Place the sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a small saucepan over high heat and stir continuously until the mixture is combined and coming to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the warm sesame seeds and stir through.


Place two of the pieces of parchment paper on a heatproof surface and pour half of the sesame caramel onto each sheet. Cover with the other pieces of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to spread the caramel until 1/8 inch/3 mm thick.


Slide the paper and caramel onto the baking sheets, then remove the top layer of parchment; if any caramel sticks to the top layer of paper, just scrape it back down. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool before breaking into shards.


Adapted from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh


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  • Reply
    Diane Zwang
    December 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    The sesame brittle looks good especially with your green tea ice cream. It does not surprise me that you want to make all of Ottolenghi’s recipes. His cookbooks are so good.

  • Reply
    Kim Tracy
    December 3, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    I love your daughter’s idea of topping the green tea ice cream with this! She sounds like someone you want to keep around:) That is a perfect pairing. Not to mention, the green ice cream is super festive.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I really love the mixed colors of the sesame seeds. So glad to hear maple syrup can be used to make the brittle. It would be pretty on so many desserts.

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