Recipe Review: Sesame Snaps by Not quite Nigella.

Sesame snaps are one of those treats that are addictive...immensely so.

Not quite nigella sesame snaps

My introduction to sesame seeds came when I was very young. My mother would buy roasted sesame seeds for my brothers and me, we would eat them with roasted groundnuts. I thought they were beniseeds for the longest time.

I tried sesame snaps for the first time while I was getting my master’s degree in Coventry, UK. My aunt who worked in the area took me to the stores in the morning and showed me a roll of sesame snaps. As we were leaving, she gave me a packet and, my love for sesame snaps was born.
For those who do not know what sesame snaps are, these are toasted sesame seeds mixed with caramelized sugar (sometimes honey).

This mixture is rolled thin and cut before it gets cold. After it cools down you are left with a brittle that has a snap (sound) to it when you bite or crack it. Sesame snaps I believe can be called sesame brittle too.

After leaving the United Kingdom, I craved sesame snaps and decided to make them myself. My first attempt was using a recipe from  Not Quite Nigella .

sesame snaps

The recipe

The sesame snap recipe was simple, and the instruction was quite easy to follow. After caramelizing the sugar, add the sesame seeds to the sugar and stir. After it is fully incorporated, pour the mixture onto a baking sheet and spread it out quickly. Cut your sesame sheet into squares or wait till your sesame sheet is cool and break it into shards.

The texture

These sesame snaps are crunchy and crisp. The cooked sugar makes this brittle and the sesame seeds provide the crunch. If you do not caramelize the sugar properly, your sesame snaps will have a leathery texture that does not have the signature snap. The thinner you make these, the better the texture in my opinion.

The Flavor

The flavors of these sesame snaps are quite distinct. It is Sweet yet very slightly bitter from the caramelized sugar. The nuttiness of the sesame seeds and the hint of vanilla pair beautifully together. For a deeper flavor profile that is not cloyingly sweet, toast your sesame seeds before using it and caramelize your sugar till it is a dark golden brown but not burnt.
Side note: I loved the results I got when I made these for the first time. However, my sugar and sesame mixture cooled quickly the first time I made these leaving me with sesame snaps thicker than I like them. 

My second attempt was a breeze, and I had very thin sesame snaps this time. The sesame snaps I made with this recipe were sweet. My brother had one, then another and after 30 minutes of sitting by the dish, he said that he was tired of chewing but just could not leave the snaps alone. I did notice however that these sesame snaps remain a bit sticky. 

If not all the snaps are eaten on the same day, I recommend wrapping each the brittle in parchment paper and putting them in an airtight container.

Note: This recipe called for orange blossom water, I did not have any and was not going to buy any because of 1 recipe so I used vanilla as recommended and it was amazing.

After making these snaps a few more times, here are some tips I have picked up that will ensure success in your sesame snap making ventures:

  • Use a heavy-bottomed saucepan: The use of a heavy-bottomed saucepan is essential any time you are cooking sugar as it provides even heating and reduces it the possibility of hot spots which could lead to burnt sugar on a side of the pot and not on the other.
  • Never walk away: Sugar burns so quickly do not walk away.
  • Prepare all your tools before you start: When working with sugar, you should prepare all the equipment beforehand. This reduces the possibility of burning sugar or sesame seeds while prepping.
  • If you wish to get a very thin sesame sap, heat a large flat oven tray in the oven. When you are done mixing your sugar and sesame. Bring the oven tray out of the oven, place a parchment sheet on top it and pour your sesame snap mixture onto the parchment. Place another parchment sheet on top the sesame snap mix (it will be incredibly hot, be careful). Quickly roll the sesame snaps between the two sheets of parchment paper, the hot tray underneath will allow the sugar, sesame mix stays hot longer and this will give you a bit more time to work on your snaps.
  • Try the wet caramel method, if you want more control over how fast your sugar caramelizes, the wet caramel method is ideal. Check out other benefits out using the wet caramel method in this post.

Do I recommend this recipe?

Yes, I do, this is a must-try for all sesame snap lovers. Eat them as they are, use them as a topping or use them to infuse ice cream base, these treats are lovely and loved by many. 

Get the Sesame Snap recipe here

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