Almond and Sesame Seed Brittle
Boulokonio (almonds and sesame brittle) makes an irresistible crunchy gluten-free sweet treat. This golden, chewy handcrafted confection that has been passed down for generations from Medieval Spain is utterly addictive. Boulokonio is traditionally served by the Rhodeslis at Purim and Hanukkah.
For the brittle:
5 cups hulled sesame seeds;
1 tablespoon plain (all-purpose) flour;
6 ounces (170g) blanched split almonds, toasted
For the syrup:
1 1⁄2 cups clear honey
1 1⁄2 cups hot water
11⁄2 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.
*The soft ball stage is reached when a small drop of syrup forms into a little ball at the bottom of a cup of cold water. It will flatten and feel soft and pliable.
To store: Place the brittle between layers of baking paper and store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.