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Rosewater Cream with Burnt Figs and Spiced Almonds

Food

27th August, 2013
Gemma Lush
Tuesday 27th August 2013
MAN, that month went quick!  Today we're sad to say goodbye to Gemma Lush, who is leaving us today with a delicious dessert idea influenced by one of the most intoxicating and fragrant tastes of the Middle East - rosewater.  Huge thanks to Gemma for sharing her amazing creations with us this month - combined, her four recipes would make the most impressive Middle Eastern feast, so don't forget to re-visit this series when next in need of dinner party inspiration!  - Lucy

Rosewater Cream with Burnt Figs and Spiced Almonds.  Recipe and food styling - Gemma Lush, photo - Phu Tang.  Background tiles by Jatana Interiors.  Ceramic bowls - Mud Australia.

The smell and taste of rosewater takes me straight back to Istanbul, where on every street there are ‘lokum’ (Turkish delight) shops with towering mounds of glistening freshly made sweets in their windows. Nougat, sugared nuts, jellies – I tried them all!  The flavour that I always went back for was rose.

Rosewater can be used in so many ways and adds great depth to any dessert. Not only can it be used in cooking, it is also fabulous for your skin, and can be used as a face wash or toner - it’s age defying stuff!

My favourite way to use rosewater is adding it to desserts. Just enough so you get a lovely aroma, and people questioning what that subtle flavour is!  I guarantee after you prepare this dessert, everyone will be talking. Teamed with burnt figs and spiced almonds, it's a match made in heaven. It is also deliciously light, so a great way to finish off your Middle Eastern feast, or any meal for that matter.

INGREDIENTS

For the rosewater cream

250g mascarpone
200g full fat Greek yoghurt
3 tsp rose water
2 tsp maple syrup
½ vanilla pod seeds

For the figs

6 fresh figs
1 tsp maple syrup
A few sprigs of mint

For the spiced almonds

½ cup slivered almonds
2 tsp maple syrup
¼ tsp vanilla powder or ¼ vanilla pod seeds
¼ tsp cinnamon

Figs.  Recipe and food styling - Gemma Lush, photo - Phu Tang.  Background tiles by Jatana Interiors.  Ceramic bowls - Mud Australia.

Method

For the rosewater cream

In a mixing bowl gently stir the yoghurt and mascarpone together. Add rosewater, maple syrup and vanilla, gently mix through till combined. Refrigerate this until you serve.

For the spiced almonds

Pre-heat your oven to 150 degrees. You want the oven on a lower temperature to ensure the nuts crisp slowly and don’t burn. Mix all ingredients together well and scatter over a lined baking tray. Cook between 15 and 20 minutes or until the nuts are golden brown and crisp. Set aside to cool.

For the figs

Slice the figs in half and drizzle with maple syrup. Place underneath the grill until the surface of the figs begin to caramelise and slightly burn.

To plate this dessert up, I like to use a large serving platter and bring it to the table.  First spread the rosewater cream using the back of a spoon, then layer the figs on top and drizzle with the juices remaining from the bottom of the roasting pan. Scatter the almonds and mint leaves on top. The beauty of this recipe is that all of the elements can be prepared in advance and then assembled just before serving, making the end of your feast oh-so-easy!

Huge thanks to Gemma for joining us this month!  For more of Gemma's beautiful styling work, do check out her folio website and recipe blog!  

Rosewater Cream with Burnt Figs and Spiced Almonds.  Recipe and food styling - Gemma Lush, photo - Phu Tang.  Background tiles by Jatana Interiors.  Ceramic bowls - Mud Australia.

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