BASIL POACHED PEACHES WITH RASPBERRY SAUCE
3 strips of lemon peel
60ml lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
4 dessert peaches
125ml basil leaves, roughly chopped
60ml icing sugar
Combine the water, sugar, lemon peel, juice and cinnamon stick. Heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the whole peaches and simmer gently until the peaches are tender. Remove the peaches with a slotted spoon and place on a plate.
Bring the cooking liquid to the boil and boil rapidly until reduced to a thick syrup. Remove from the heat and add the basil. Leave to cool.
Strain the syrup through a sieve to remove the basil. Carefully peel the peaches and refrigerate until serving.
RASPBERRY SAUCE: Purée the raspberries in a blender, add icing sugar to taste.
Serve each peach with some of the basil syrup and raspberry sauce.
* Poaching the peaches with their skins on gives the syrup a lovely pink colour.
CARAMEL MANGO STICKY BUNS
4 x 250ml flour
60ml castor sugar
10g instant yeast
60g butter, melted
300-400ml warm water
310ml soft brown sugar
5ml ground cinnamon
3ml ground allspice
125g softened butter
500ml diced mango
50g macadamia nuts, lightly toasted and chopped
Combine the flour, salt, castor sugar and yeast in a bowl. Add the melted butter and enough water to make a dough that is soft but not sticky.
Knead well until smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in an oiled plastic bag and leave to rise until it has doubled in size.
Combine the sugar, cinnamon and allspice. Remove 250ml and place it in a small pot. Add 80g of the butter.
Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Add the mango and cook for a few minutes.
Spread the mixture into the base of a 20 x 30cm oven pan and sprinkle over the nuts.
Combine the remaining butter and sugar and mix well.
Remove the dough from the bag and knead gently. Roll out the dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
Spread the sugar and butter mixture over the dough and roll up to form a log. Cut the dough into slices and place into the baking pan. Cover and leave to rise for about 30 minutes.
Bake at 180°C for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
Remove and stand for 10 minutes before inverting on to a serving platter.
CHICKEN AND PLUM ASIAN SALAD
4 firm plums, halved and pitted
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
60ml castor sugar
5ml crushed garlic
1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
30ml Asian plum sauce
30ml peanut oil
15ml lime juice
60ml picked coriander leaves
60ml picked mint leaves
a small punnet of micro herbs
250ml bean sprouts
a small bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
½ red onion, cut into thin wedges
2 roasted chicken breasts, skinned and cubed
60ml roasted peanuts, chopped
Put the plum halves into a baking dish. Add the star anise, cinnamon stick and water. Sprinkle over the sugar and roast at 180ºC for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cover with foil. Set aside to cool. Peel and cut into wedges.
Remove 60ml of the plum cooking liquid. Add the garlic, chilli, plum sauce, peanut oil, honey and lime juice and mix well.
Put the herbs, bean sprouts, spring onion and red onion in a bowl and toss to combine.
Add the chicken and mix in. Put into a serving dish. Scatter over peanusts and drizzle over the dressing. Serve immediately.
* Micro herbs are mini version of herbs like coriander, parsley, rocket and beetroot shoots. They have an intense flavour and are perfect for mixing with other salad leaves to add colour and a burst of flavour. They are available at most large supermarkets and vegetable shops.
TIP: Use a melon baller to remove the plum pips.
RASPBERRY AND SPINACH SALAD
120g baby spinach leaves
A small punnet of micro herbs
120g fresh raspberries
50g lightly toasted pecan nuts, roughly chopped
100g feta cheese, cubed
50ml olive oil
15ml red wine vinegar
5ml Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
Line a salad serving dish with the spinach leaves and micro herbs.
Scatter over the raspberries, nuts and feta. Pour over the dressing and serve.
DRESSING: Combine all the ingredients in a screw top jar and shake well.