All good things must come to an end, and now here I am back in my kitchen, in my pajamas, my hair in tangles, listening to the chickpeas boil on the stove. I rub my eyes- was it all a dream?
I am physically back from Rome where I’ve spent the last seven days playing Maid of Honor at my cousin Mel’s fairytale wedding. Being a maid has never been so fun! It’s been hard getting back into the groove after such an extravagant time.
(picture courtesy of Jerry Ghionis)
I spent the last seven days being lavishly pampered and courteously waited on. Hair and make-up was professionally done, with no exaggeration, twice a day. Exquisite dresses and gowns were draped on, before we were ushered away to smart lunches and 7-course dinners at some of the most beautiful & historic spots in Rome. One of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had was the spectacular dinner at Villa Medici. Need I say more? All this while succumbing to the mighty photographic powers of the ever so brilliant, Jerry Ghionis. The only other surreal experience I can compare this to was Miss World 2002. I have to say this topped it for many reasons but primarily being my cousin’s wedding.
If you read my last post you will know that the reason this recipe comes a little bit after Valentine is because I managed to forget my recipe book at home and didn’t realize it till I got to Rome. Let’s not get into the details of all that, O.K?
I’m not much of a fan of rosewater usually, always preferring to use orange blossom water. However, in Lebanon, we have a rosewater ice cream that I’ve never been able to resist. I also love semsimiyeh or sesame candy. It’s sweet and crunchy and so moreish that I warn you: Make at your own peril or welfare if you’re anything like me! The combination of the two could, well, perhaps, maybe soothe the withdrawals I’ve been nursing.
- 350g or around 2 cups of mascarpone
- 30ml or about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 107g or ½ cup of sugar
- 60ml or ¼ cup of golden or corn syrup
- 250ml or 1 cup of water
- 15ml or 2 tablespoons of Rose water
- 125g or 1 cup of sesame seeds
- 100g or ½ cup of sugar
- 125ml or ½ cup of water
- 25ml or ½ teaspoon of lemon juice
- 12’x9? thin baking tray slightly oiled with sesame oil (see below)
- about 1 teaspoon of sesame seed oil
- Begin by adding water, sugar, syrup, rosewater and lemon juice to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat on medium flame and stir occasionally till the sugar dissolves. Now, increase the heat and bring it to a boil. Remove and leave to cool.
- Once it has cooled add it to the mascarpone, mix well and place in the freezer or if you have an ice cream machine then use according to machine directions.
- If you are going to churn by hand then follow this method: After 45 minutes remove from freezer and mix well making sure to break up all the ice crystals to get a creamy end result. Return to the fridge and then after 30 minutes remove and repeat the process again, breaking up all the ice crystals that have developed. Repeat 2-3 more times.
- Begin by toasting the sesame seeds in a heavy-bottomed chef pan, stirring continuously. this should take no longer than 5 minutes and be sure not to take your eyes off them. Once toasted remove and set aside in a bowl, allowing them to cool down.
- In the mean time, add the sugar, water, lemon juice to a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and bring to a bowl and then lower to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add the syrup to the toasted sesame seeds, mix well and quickly spread thinly on a oiled baking tray. You will need to use a spoon as well as your hands to help push the syrupy sesame seeds into place. Once they are spread evenly across take a sharp knife and score them. First cut a line through the center vertically then continue with scoring triangles from each half. Leave out to cool about 15-30 minutes. The end result will be crispy sesame triangle candies.