Tahini Chocolate Icebox Cake with Sesame Brittle
For the Sesame Brittle:
- 1 cup raw sesame seeds
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
For the Tahini Whipped Cream:
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup tahini stirred to incorporate
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tsps pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
For Cake Assembly:
- 60 two-inch thin chocolate wafer cookies 13 ounces
To make the brittle:
- Preheat the oven – or use your toaster oven! – to 350°F. Place the sesame seeds on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes until browned, shaking the sheet half way-through the baking time, for even toasting. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook the mixture, without stirring, until it is a deep amber color, about 15 minutes.
- Off the heat, and working quickly, add the seeds, baking soda, vanilla and butter to the pan, stirring to combine.
- Pour the mixture onto the prepared sheet and use a small offset spatula or butter knife to spread the brittle as thinly as possible. Let cool to room temperature, about two hours. To store the brittle, break it into small pieces and place in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to a week.
To make the whipped cream:
- Refrigerate the bowl of a stand mixer and the whisk attachment (or a medium metal bowl and beaters from a hand mixer) until quite cold, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the bowl and whisk from the refrigerator, add the cream, and whip it on medium speed until it is just thickened.
- Add the tahini, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and salt, and, on medium-high speed, whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks that stand upright when the whisk is raised. The stiff cream helps the cake structurally when you begin layering it.
To assemble the cake:
- Line a 9-x-5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Add about 3/4 cup of cream to the bottom of the pan, and spread with the back of a spoon. The plastic wrap makes this a tiny bit tricky, but just be patient. Cover the cream in a layer of wafers, breaking them if necessary to create a solid layer of cookies. Add another 3/4 cup of cream and continue layering wafers and cream in this manner until you reach the top of the pan, creating a final layer of cookies. You will likely have a bit of leftover cream. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours, or preferably overnight.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator, take off the plastic wrap and flip the cake over onto a serving plate. Lift off the pan, and then the plastic wrap lining and sprinkle with sesame brittle, or leave the cake naked, and place a piece of brittle on each plate. Using a large serrated knife, cut into slices and serve. Warming the knife in hot water in between slices will make for prettier pieces of cake.
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