by Karen Swan
I used to buy those delicious, caramelly and chewy Sesame Bars as a way of fooling myself that I hadn’t bought a chocolate bar and was therefore having a healthy treat!
Then I was diagnosed coeliac and that put and end to that!
Until my Greek husband introduced me to Pastelli; soft and gooey sesame bars, less caramelly (I’ve invented that word officially now that I’ve used it twice), but just as sweet and satisfying as the store bought kind.
Really, it couldn’t be more simple to make and it tastes spectacular!
A few notes:
*It’s a very chewy bar, so don’t expect a ‘snap’ consistency (though if you continued to cook the honey you might get there! But you’ll have to work super, duper fast!
*Use a bigger saucepan than you think you’ll need to boil the honey! It bubbles like a volcano!
*The wonderful Tessa Kiros has a more complex recipe for Pastelli in her “Food From Many Greek Kitchens” using sugar and honey. A book definitely worth checking out!
1 cup honey
2 cups sesame seeds (raw or toasted)
Line a large, flat biscuit tray with baking paper.
In a medium sized saucepan, bring the honey to a boil and, using a sugar thermometer, heat it to 115 degrees C.
When it reaches temperature, quickly add the 2 cups of sesame seeds and stir well.
Pour over the baking paper and spread to a fairly thin and even consistency.
They are VERY sticky, so wrap them in baking paper and store in the freezer.
*Addition: these are great with some chopped nuts added to the mix. Substitute a quarter of a cup of the sesame seeds with the nuts of your choice.
Benefits of sesame seeds, here.
**adapted from here