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Balsamic Toffee Tomatoes

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Remember those toffie appels we used to get at school fêtes and church bazaars? I loved them, despite the fact that I can still hear my mother saying, “You’ll lose a tooth eating that.” Which got me thinking… what if you could turn the toffee apple into a beautiful amuse-bouche? A perky little appetiser to awaken your taste buds. Well, never underestimate a tomato for its ability to straddle that tricky midway between sweet and savoury. By all accounts, this should be a sweet treat, but you can get away with serving it as a canapé because… tomatoes! The sesame-seed crust just adds that extra layer of satisfactory crunch.

BALSAMIC TOFFEE TOMATOES

TIME: 30 minutes | SERVES: 6

INGREDIENTS

210 g (250 ml) caster sugar

30 ml water

30 ml balsamic vinegar

12 dark red and green cherry tomatoes

50 g white sesame seeds

coarse salt

250 ml canola oil

basil leaves

METHOD

Place the sugar, water and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan on medium heat. Allow the sugar to melt slowly. Stir until it reaches a caramel consistency. Press a toothpick into the top of each tomato (you’ll replace the toothpicks later with lemon tree twigs).

When the caramel has reached a gooey consistency, dip each tomato halfway into the caramel and then immediately into the sesame seeds – the caramel hardens quickly. Place on a sheet of baking paper to harden before serving.

Replace the toothpicks with lemon tree twigs. Season with salt.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Fry the basil leaves until crispy and drain on kitchen towel. Garnish the lemon sticks with the basil leaves for an autumnal feel.

THIS RECIPE APPEARS IN THE FRENCH AFFAIR 
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