Baked peaches with salted date “caramel”, coconut cream, almond and rose crumble

Food

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This dessert may not contain any gluten, dairy or refined sugars but it is certainly not lacking in flavour. Delicate peach and rose flavours are contrasted with the salty sweetness of the date “caramel”, while the coconut cream and almond crumble create opposing textural elements. It is a perfect dessert course for a dinner party as most of the elements can be prepared in advance.

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6 perfectly ripe peaches

3 tbsp rice malt syrup

2 tsp rosewater

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup almond meal

3 1/2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp culinary dried rose petals

1 can coconut cream (we used 1 x 270 ml can of Ayam coconut cream), refrigerated overnight

1 tsp + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup pitted medjool dates, soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes

splash of unsweetened almond milk

good quality sea salt flakes, such as Maldon

For the almond and rose crumble, preheat the oven to 180C. Process the almonds, almond meal, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a food processor until the almonds are coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl, add 1 tbsp of rice malt syrup, 2 tbsp of coconut oil and rub mixture together with your fingers until it reaches a crumble consistency. Spread the mixture on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool, then add the rose petals and store in an airtight container until required.

For the coconut cream, carefully open the can and scoop out the cream that has formed at the top of the can into a bowl (the remaining liquid can be used for smoothies). Add 1 tbsp of rice malt syrup and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, then beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until required.

For the salted date “caramel”, drain the dates and place in the bowl of a food processor with 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp coconut oil (melted), a splash of almond milk and a generous pinch of sea salt flakes. Process until a paste consistency is achieved. Add small splashes of almond milk if required to achieve a thinner, smoother consistency. Adjust salt according to taste. Store caramel in a jar in the fridge if making in advance. The sauce can be heated in a saucepan for serving.

For the peaches, preheat the oven to 180C. Cut each peach in half, twist and remove pit. Place the peaches cut side up in a baking dish lined with baking paper. Combine 1 tbsp rice malt syrup, 1/2 tbsp coconut oil and the rosewater in a bowl and whisk to combine. Drizzle over the peaches and bake for 20-22 minutes until soft but still retaining their shape.

To assemble, place a generous spoonful or two of caramel on each plate, top with two peach halves, a dollop of coconut cream and sprinkle liberally with almond and rose crumble.

Serves 6

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Notes and variations

Leftover date “caramel” and almond and rose crumble are perfect toppings for ice cream, natural yoghurt, bircher muesli, porridge or pancakes.

Try replacing the almonds in the crumble with pistachios or hazelnuts

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