Black Sesame Brittle


Ultra high gloss three-ingredient black sesame brittle. It’s crunchy and sweet with a deep roasted nutty flavor, and makes a great edible gift or sweet snack (like folded into coconut matcha ice cream, for example)!

Black Sesame Brittle

I’m taking a break from my regularly scheduled Matcha March programming for this black sesame brittle. If you’ve been following along this month, don’t worry (lol), we’re gonna crush up this brittle and fold it into coconut matcha ice cream later in the week. But first, this black sesame brittle is so downright addicting on its own that it deserves a moment.

While we agree on most flavors, Lucas loathes black sesame (I will never understand). But it isn’t his birthday this weekend, it’s mine. And I can think of no other dessert flavor combo I’d rather eat to celebrate than coconut, matcha, and black sesame. I also plan to make another batch of this brittle to cover in dark chocolate because WHY NOT?

Black Sesame Brittle

I’d like to say I’m looking forward to my birthday – we’re going to the Cat Town Cafe, after all, but the truth is, I’m struggling. At the moment I sat down to write this post, my baby (pre-toddler?) woke up from her much-too-short nap, crying out for me. I’m so exhausted from trying to accomplish too many things that I’ve reached my current limit on being needed. I’ve got a sinkful of dishes, work to be done, dinner to be made, laundry to be washed. And she needs me.

My girl friend is here this week to hang out with Zo in between her two naps so I can work for a few hours (from home), but as soon as Zo sees me she wants only me. I irrationally resent her for wanting me and then feel immensely guilty for resenting her because it’s my job as her mama to be there for her. I’m a mama – this is what I signed up for – but that’s not all I am and I’m trying to find that piece for myself. She’s awake for 12.5 hours a day and for all but one of those hours, everything defaults to me. Right now it feels like there isn’t time for me. And I’m struggling.

Then the cat meows at me to pet him and I lose it.

Note: I’m not sharing this for sympathies, but just in hopes that opening up about it helps to overcome it and to perhaps connect with others feeling the same. Hopefully with daycare starting next month, I’ll begin to feel like a thinking, creative human again. A human who has room for that and being needed.

Black Sesame BrittleBlack Sesame Brittle

For now I’ll eat my feelings. I’ll eat them every time I walk by the bowl of brittle bits in the kitchen. I’m a sucker for those honey sesame crunch bites – I’ve got the bulk bin number memorized. This black sesame version similarly fulfills that craving – it’s crunchy and sweet with a deep roasted nutty flavor.

Get the recipe for the black sesame brittle studded coconut matcha ice cream here!

Update: My friend Lily has a black sesame maple brittle studded ice cream in her upcoming cookbook – I can’t wait to make her lemongrass basil coconut version as soon as I get my hands on that baby. Did you pre-order yet??

Black Sesame Brittle

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Black Sesame Brittle
Yields: 2 cups brittle
  • 1½ cups cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup + 3 tablespoons roasted black sesame seeds
  • Pinch salt
  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
  2. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until uniformly mixed, then cook, until mixture bubbles steadily. It will first look like there is crystallized sugar on top and like it won't get smooth, but give it time and using a clean wooden spoon or spatula, stir occasionally, until it turns dark golden brown (at least 305°F on a candy thermometer) and, this is important) there are absolutely no crystallized white spots left (use the spoon to stir to break any up!).
  3. Working quickly, stir in salt and the black sesame seeds, ¼ cup at a time.
  4. Pour onto baking sheet and spread out into a thin even layer, about ⅛-inch to ¼-inch thick. Cool for about 15-30 minutes. Tap gently with a mallet or knife to break it into pieces.
  5. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. (Or fold it into ice cream)


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  1. janet says:

    When my first baby was this age, ladies who seemed old and well beyond understanding what I was going through (didn’t they do it differently in their time?) would tell me, the days are long and the years are short. THE DAYS WERE SO LONG, and I felt like i was having an affair with myself, sneaking around (like actually one time crawling past a doorway) (okay maybe more than one time) to grab thinking time and solitary pee time without being seen because if she saw me it was ALL OVER.

    Now that baby of mine is about to turn 21, her sister 17 and her brother 12. The years were so short. I am tempted, old-ish lady that I now am, to say the same thing to you that was said to me. But it is and isn’t helpful–not helpful if taken to mean, what is wrong with me that I am not enjoying the heckadeedle out of every moment of this precious, fleeting time? Helpful only if it creates space for one deep breath to remind yourself, it’s all a balancing act. Do what’s right for you to create just enough hours (minutes?) in the day to keep your sense of you alive and trust the math will eventually even out. Let yourself be however and whoever and wherever you are, without always thinking about the thing you are not doing. You are definitely not alone–the woods are full of mamas wrestling this stuff out, no matter the age of their kiddos. Go visit my friend Suzi Baum–she has a treasure trove of writing by mamas (herself and others) about how to be and be a mama.

    Wishing you sleep and at least one pee a day by yourself. :)

    • Carla says:

      I’m not a mama so I don’t “know” any of these feelings intimately, but I just love love love this reply and it feels really good to me. <3

  2. Sarah, love. I’m so glad to hear your honest experience in the midst of the craziness of mothering—I’m always in awe of mothers, and I know I’ll never understand what it’s really like until I’m in it myself. I’m glad you’re doggedly committed to finding time for yourself. And for this brittle. And you know what?!! I have a black sesame brittle with a green ice cream in the #kaleandcaramelcookbook!! Different ice cream. I WANT YOURS!! Going to make. Very excited.

    • Your support in this whole motherhood journey has meant EVERYTHING to me – I mean that! I seem to have blinked and she’s a TODDLER now and I’m a little bit losing my mind again…But thank you for always being here for me <3

  3. Veronica says:

    Lovely Sarah, I had the pleasure of watching you work on you wonderful blog and food styling! I am so impressed with your love for healthy cooking. Zo is getting the best meals from her Mama for her growing little body! When I had Daniela who is now 35 years old I didn’t know it then but I was stressed out and over whelmed! I worked in the city and took the train every day until I had that baby! I discovered in my last month that I was suffering from Preeclampsia and had to have an emergency C-section! Nothing had worked out the way I planned! I took her home scared to death something else could go wrong. I couldn’t wait for Roy to come home to take over! I felt like the worst mother ever and now my boss was calling me to come back to work! Every woman has to find out what works best for them; for me it was telling my boss I was quitting my job and staying home with my baby! It was hard because I loved my job! I joined a Mommy group just to have someone to talk things over with. I am a neat freak so it bothered me to have baby stuff all over the place until I visited another Mom and she showed me her tricks to keeping things picked up. It took some time but little by little I started to feel more confident in being Dani’s Mom! I am not perfect and boy I don’t want to be it will drive you crazy! I had lots of folks telling me how to run my life but I followed my heart and did what was best for my Family! Eventually I went back to work first part-time and then full-time! Allow friends and family to help out! Also talk to your doctor about what is going on she may have some helpful suggestions! Call me anytime to talk! Love Mama V

  4. Alanna says:

    This brittle is just stunning! I can only imagine how intense it is to be needed so much (looking at you, Catamus). But don’t worry, I’ll snuggle Arti for you. Can’t wait to celebrate YOU this Saturday in the manner most appropriate – by hugging all the cats. Thanks for being my mama sometimes, too. <3 <3 <3

  5. Oh mama, sorry to hear you are struggling. I hope you get to take some time off this weekend to celebrate all the wonderful things about you! We are almost birthday twins too! Mine is next week! I am sure a big load of this gorgeous lacquered sesame brittle will go down a treat at my birthday party, although I’m not sure if I am going to share! Can’t wait to see it folded into luscious ice cream too. Gah….now I’m drooling on my keyboard ;)

  6. I agree with everything Janet said! the days are long and before you know it she’s 6 years old and reading to you. And a whole day can pass and you realize you haven’t really interacted with her much, and then the mommy guilt kicks in. but i hear you on those early years. they are tough.

  7. I can’t imagine suddenly having a little human to look after and be completely responsible for, 24 hours a day, and them suddenly being number 1 priority, rather than yourself. It’s such a massive life change that I suspect it is impossible for anyone to prepare for! So I can’t offer any advice, but I am in awe of all that you do with your incredible blog and your work as a Mum <3
    And this black sesame brittle looks incredible – can't wait to see how you use it with matcha soon!! x

    • I couldn’t really imagine it until I was in it. I’ve got one very very needy cat who meows at me all night long until I snuggle him and sometimes even THAT is too much neediness lol. Thank you so much for always supporting me and my blog – you’re so so sweet! <3

  8. Carla says:

    I brain know and heart know that ZO KNOWS. She is SO happy and I’m sorry it’s hard and also EVERYONE GETS A BIRTHDAY, SNIXY so I’ll just be over here getting excited for the both of us. Let’s consider this Festive Preparatory (*GORGEOUS*) Brittle.

    • I just found the last little bit of this ice cream in my freezer and ate it. It’s still my birthday. (Also, Zo is so lucky to have a friend like you. One day she’s gonna be all “bye mama, Carla’s picking me up!”

  9. Ooh GIRL. You are ready for daycare. I’ve felt all of these things! And when you said the exact number of hours she’s awake each day, THAT’S how I know you need daycare. Hang in there, Mama! Your life is going to get amazing soon–and also, Zo is going to love it, too. Ok, maybe not at first. But then she’ll bond with a daycare lady, a toy, a routine, and all will be well.
    And even if it’s just a few hours-it will help immensely! Right now, Camille is at daycare for 3 hours, and it’s glorious for me (enough time for me to miss her!) I work before she wakes up (she sleeps til 8), I work while she’s at daycare, while she naps, and after she goes to bed. As for the rest, hire a housekeeper and get the hubs to help with laundry. Or at least only do it on the weekends or something!
    Hang in there. You got this. Love you, babe!

  10. Georgina says:

    Only just got around to reading your post Sarah as I’m completely backed up in my inbox and you’ll understand why when I explain that I too am a food blogger and have a baby who is 21 months – so a little older than Zoella. I can completely empathise with your situation as it’s how I feel all the time. Cole is not a good napper so there are days when I’m up at 5.30am with him and entertaining him, feeding him, trying to settle him, ferrying him around to baby classes and playdates every second of the day until he’s in bed at 7pm and I am fit to drop dead of exhaustion. Then I start working/ make dinner / do the laundry / tidy up. My family doesn’t live nearby and my husband has a very demanding job with long hours. But Cole goes into nursery two days a week which is when I can focus on work and those are the days I love, I miss him desperately but I can drink tea, have my own lunch without having him demand some and catch up on my own life. I’m sure you will really notice the difference when Zoella starts daycare. In the meantime, as other commenters have said, just be comforted in the knowledge that you are not alone in feeling guilty resentment and being pulled a hundred different ways. You are a brilliant mother it’s clear to see and she is so lucky to have you. I only started subscribing coincidentally to your blog posts around the time you had Zoella and have loved reading your posts about being a mum. Your Black Sesame Brittle looks amazing too, like all your recipes, and I’m excited to try it.

    • It only took me a MONTH to respond – lol. I’m so glad that I’m not alone in this. I’m a fit of drop dead exhaustion almost every night too – it’s so much! And I’ve just now added daycare three days a week and it’s making SUCH a big difference (and this is the first week she’s stopped crying at drop off, so I’m feeling less guilty about it too!). Thank you so much for your sweet words – I read your comment when you left it and again just now it feels like just what I needed to hear.

  11. Stephen Perigaux says:

    Looks amazing but I’m confused !? In the photos the brittle appears to be utterly black whilst the seeds appear to be normal sesame ?

    • Hi! It’s all roasted black sesame seeds but as you toss the seeds in the caramelized sugar and break the brittle some of the hulls come off and look like white sesame. I thought that was crazy too but I promise it’s all black sesame seeds:)

  12. Just made this now, I’ll admit I was terrified of the sugar not caramelizing but it all worked out beautifully! I wasn’t able to get the same deep black color you did but it sure was delicious😊

  13. Kathy says:

    Wow. How do all us mommas experience the same thing yet we never talk about it! So thank you! I’m at 19 months and I feel
    THE EXACT SAME. It’s hard to find the balance. It really is. Especially when you’re working from home and especially when it’s creative work. Some days I simply can’t get anything done save for being a mom. And that’s ok too. And day care will be everything! We’re doing part time and it has really changed the game for me. It will get better momma. We got your back.

    • I’m already feeling more human with daycare! Thank you so much for your kind comment – I’m so glad to know there are others out there feeling the same way! xo!

  14. Liz says:

    Do you use raw or toasted seeds?

    Thank you!

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