Nut brittle is one candy who’s origin depends on which type of nut you put in it.Put peanuts, and the Filipino’s are likely to call it theirs.
Put some finely sliced almonds and a couple of other additions (butter!), and the French name it florentines.
Put sesame seeds (سمسمية), however, and the entire Arab world claims rights to it!
And rightfully so. We grew up with this sesame brittle.
I’m going to make an bold claim based on Ali Baba’s Open Sesame (افتح يا سمسم) and claim this brittle as Iraqi!
This brittle is delicious accompanying a Turkish coffee, or topping something creamy like chocolate mousse, or pulverized to a powder and sprinkled over some ice cream, like pistachio or sahlab ice cream.
A word of warning: avoid direct contact with the boiling mixture as it is beyond scalding and it will burn severely. Keep children and pets far away and give yourself plenty of space and calm to work.
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups sesame seeds
Place a large sheet of aluminum foil on a table surface and lightly oil it.
Bring the sugar and water to a boil without stirring, simply swirling the pot when needed.
Watch the boiling sugar carefully and wait until it starts to turn light amber.
Add the sesame seeds in one batch and stir to combine.
Boil one minute further.
Pour the mixture on a large sheet of oiled aluminum foil.
Working quickly and using an oiled back of a spoon, spread the mixture to 0.5 centimeters thick.
It will already begin to harden by now.
Using a large oiled chef’s knife, make indentures into the slab as per the shape you want it ultimately to take.
Let cool and harden completely, about 20 minutes.
Break the sesame brittle using the indents as a guideline.