The perfect summer dessert: griddled peaches with cinnamon mascarpone are a delicious combination of natural sweetness and indulgent creaminess. Topped with hazelnut crunch!
Let’s talk barbecue. You can’t but love it, right? It turns any meal into a memorable social mini event.
There is the whole primal effort to get it started. Then the big flames when you finally get it going – cue celebration mood, excitement! Your little private bonfire. And of course there is the smoke that always blows in the direction of the table and makes you think you shouldn’t have worn that leather jacket because it’ll smell of burnt sausage for weeks. Last but not least, the food! ANYTHING tastes great cooked on a barbecue.
When we lived in Ibiza, we had the mother of all barbecues in our garden. And we used it literally every day. Rain or shine (yes, it does rain in Ibiza occasionally), one of us would be standing there with the BBQ tongs, getting hot from the front and, depending on the season, either equally hot or chilly from behind, browning chicken, veggies, steak, seafood and pretty much anything else that can be cooked.
Barbecuing is like going back to the roots. Going back to basics. In front of a barbecue men feel like real men (just an observation – anyone with me here?). Us women, of course, need no such prop :). We like it because it makes life simple and simply better. With a barbecue, there’s no need for fancy sauces or complicated recipes. A bit of marinade, slap it on the grill and let the magic happen. Anyone can make a wonderful meal with a barbecue. It’s a bit black? No problem, it’ll still taste great. Maybe even better.
Now, you might think where I am going with this. It’s because I really want a barbecue. But we haven’t got one in London! Every year, we promise to purchase one as soon as the weather gets warmer. And then we get busy and/or it keeps on raining and suddenly it’s July (as in, right now) and we’re about to go on summer holiday. Where we’ll have a barbecue anyway.
So, to celebrate all things barbecue here, may I present you these griddled peaches with cinnamon mascarpone, topped with hazelnut crunch.
Now, you can cook these on a barbecue. And I am a little jealous of anyone who can without having to go on holiday.
For the rest of us, there is a decent alternative: the griddle pan. It will enable you to get the barbecue look (think pretty browned stripes) and great flavour minus the smokey tang.
Griddled peaches with cinnamon mascarpone is a super easy and, no false modesty here, super impressive/delicious dessert.
The grilling really brings out the natural sweetness of the fruit and it works a treat with the rich creaminess of the flavoured mascarpone. I have added a spoonful of erythritol to the latter, which is a natural sugar alternative that does not raise blood sugar levels and is safe for diabetics, plus some cinnamon and vanilla. To beautify the dish and add some bite, I topped the lot with some dry-roasted crunched hazelnuts. (Of course, any nut works well here. Even toasted coconut shavings can make a great topping.)
Just remember: The great thing about grilling (and, by extension, griddling) is: you just cannot get it wrong. No matter how black those stripes get: It’ll still taste great!
- 4 peaches, ripe
- 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
- 200g mascarpone
- 1 tbsp erythritol
- 1tsp vanilla paste
- 1 tsp cinnamon plus some more for the nuts
- handful of hazelnuts
- Cut your peaches along the seam and twist the two halves in opposite directions until they separate. Depending on the variety and ripeness of peaches, this can take a little perseverance, muscle and/or prayer. Remove the pit and brush with some melted butter.
- Heat the griddle pan over medium heat and smear some more butter on the pan. If you put the peaches straight on the grill without any help, they'll end up looking a little dry and sad.
- Grill for ca 5 minutes until you get those pretty stripe marks. Turn halfway through for a criss cross pattern.
- Mix your mascarpone with 1 tbsp erythritol, 1 tsp vanilla paste (or use ground vanilla) and 1 tsp cinnamon.
- Crush or grind the hazelnuts, then dry-roast them over a low heat in a pan, moving them around frequently until they are browned. Be careful not to burn them! I added some extra cinnamon to them
- Scoop the mascarpone mix over the peaches, sprinkle over the nuts and serve