Wednesday, February 2, 2011

sesame orange ginger candy

A bus ride conversation lead to my mouth-mind wondering to sesame candies. There are the super thin, crisp version from the Asian markets, and then the tiny rectangles I could find in the supermarket penny candy section. (Not to mention the sesame pita with honey that we used to get from the Lebanese place in Lawrence, MA... if anyone knows what that is called - PLEASE SHARE!)

I like both versions, but I went for the crisp-turned-chewy kind here. With the solid suggest from my friend Joe, I added in both grated ginger and orange peel. The resulting candies are good, but I think they should be thinner, and you can see that more sesame seeds are needed to accommodate the honey.

I used this SeriousEats recipe, and tinkered with the flavor.

Sesame Orange Ginger Candy
1 cup of honey
1 cup of sesame seeds
1/4 tsp salt
zest of two oranges (no pith!)
1" of fresh ginger grated super fine
candy thermometer is KEY, well unless you want to do the "drop hot candy into water" test, which is totally valid, I support you
Oil or cooking spray
wax paper or cellophane for wrapping the candies

1. In a skillet, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat until the become fragrant and begin to pop. (could of minutes)
2. Remove the seeds and set them aside in a bowl to cool.
3. Place the honey, salt, peel and ginger in a deep saucepan with the candy thermometer attached.
*To measure the honey, spray a little cooking spray on the inside of your liquid measuring cup - it will make it a lot easier (awesome trick for molasses too). Better yet, if you have a kitchen scale, tare your saucepan and add 340 grams of honey. One less thing to wash!
4. Cook over medium-high heat till the candy thermometer reads 280F.
5. Turn off the heat and stir in the sesame seeds.
6. Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined and greased pan. (I used an 8x8, but the candy came out a little too thick, I would recommend going with a larger pan... unless you have an awesome dental plan.)
7. Allow to cool for 40-60 minutes.
8. Turn the candies out on to a cutting board and cut with a well oiled knife. carefully
9. Wrap each piece with cellophane or wax paper.
Store in an air tight container.

This made about 100 pieces, though some were bigger than others. I realized that the candies were taller than I expected... I think they should be thinner so they are easier to chew. The orange really comes through, but the ginger is pretty subtle. I would add more or use ground ginger next time.

Thanks to Paul for the inspiration! 

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