The trick is to simmer the honey mixture long enough to strengthen the bond of the honey glue – too short a simmer and your bars will be soft, not crunchy (though still delicious). The peanuts can be swapped for almonds, macadamias, pistachios or cashews, or you can omit the nuts altogether and double the sesame quantity for a nut-free version.
If you love a bit of crunch, these bars are for you. They are very simple to prepare with few ingredients, but mastering the perfect crunch can be elusive.
- 500 g unsalted peanuts
- 500 g sesame seeds
- 175 g (½ cup) honey
- 115 g (½ cup) caster sugar
- pinch of sea salt flakes
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan-forced) and line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
2. Spread out the peanuts and sesame seeds on a large baking tray and toast in the oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden, tossing occasionally to ensure even browning. Remove and set aside.
3. Place the honey, sugar and salt in a large saucepan and stir over low heat until melted and combined. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture turns golden – it will become foamy as it simmers.
4. Add the peanuts and sesame seeds and stir to combine. Tip the mixture onto the prepared sheet, using a spatula to scrape the nuts and seeds out of the pan. Immediately place another sheet of baking paper on top and roll out to a rectangular slab roughly 40 cm × 25 cm and 1 cm thick.
5. Peel away the top layer of baking paper and, while the pasteli is still warm, cut the slab into bars (the slab will completely harden when it cools so you must slice it before it does). Leave the bars to cool and set, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2–3 weeks.
Recipe extract from Easy Gluten Free by Helen Tzouganatos, Published by Plum, RRP $39.99, Photography by Jeremy Simons