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
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
250 ml canola oil
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.