Peter Bradley’s blog, no. 2 – two desserts and a starter

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  • 17/12/2012 5:00 pm
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17th December 2012


Continuing the theme of  En Papillotte cooking, here are a couple of desserts that work really well and can be cooked in the oven, rather than on the barbecue at this time of year.

Poached Peaches

The first is Poached Peach stuffed with amaretti biscuits and laced with amaretto almond liquor and agave nectar.

The difficult bit is removing the stone from the peach or nectarine. To solve the problem of either squishing an overripe peach or failing to remove the stone, use the Peach pitter to drill out the stone (see the picture on the left). Then fill the cavity with an amaretti biscuit and some agave nectar and amaretto liquor, and wrap the peach in tin foil and place in the oven. I like to place the peach in a small stainless steel dish, readily available from pound shops, which prevents the syrup from  scorching and leaching out, so the peach can nicely be poached in the juices.




Figs with white chocolate and marsala

Figs with white chocolate and marsala




For the second dessert I use fresh figs with white chocolate buttons poached in a sweet marsala wine.

First remove the stalk from the fig and quarter it. Place the white chocolate buttons in the middle, add the marsala wine, wrap in tinfoil and place in the dish, and into the oven, as before.






Now an interesting starter.

If you are looking for an unusual starter with a 21st-century twist, may I suggest avocado with a strawberry vinaigrette and balsamic pearls. Not only does this work well colour-wise, but the balsamic vinegar pearls enhance the strawberry flavour.

Avocado and strawberry starter

You will need a nice ripe avocado which you cut around the middle, twist to separate and remove the stone, by taking a sharp knife and chopping it into the stone, so that it sticks in the stone.  Then give the knife a twist, like a clock-hand moving, and the stone will come out.

Remove the flesh from one half and cube.  Cut the other half into two, remove the skin and divide each into three segments and make a fan.

You will need a punnet of strawberries. Take half of the punnet and cube the strawberries.

The remaining strawberries are blitzed with a hand blender to make the vinaigrette, to which you add lemon juice , some avocado oil, and sugar to taste.

Mix the cubed avocado,  diced strawberries and vinaigrette in a bowl. Fill the avocado skin with this mixture and  sprinkle with  balsamic pearls.

Place the six remaining segments in a fan drizzle with the vinaigrette and sprinkle on the pearls. For presentation purposes I place the avacados on a bed of lettuce.

To make life easy I used Belazu’s balsamic pearls available from Waitrose. These are my current favourite party trick.

I hope you like my  twenty first  century twist to a nineteen sixties classic!


In my next blog I am going Morroccan, with  a great starter of orange carrot and date  with a pomegranate vinaigrette.

The main course will be sea bass in a salt crust. Not only does this look spectacular but it is much easier than you think!

I will also tell you about the Experimental  Food Society’s  2012 spectacular  banquet , and whatever has caught my eye.


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