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Fruit tempura with salted caramel dipping sauce

Prep:

Cook:

Serves:

Photo: Ryan Bartley
Photo: Ryan Bartley

    This classic Japanese recipe is traditionally savoury. I have transformed it from a starter into an interesting dessert and teamed it with a salted caramel sauce.

    INGREDIENTS

    250ml ice-cold sparkling water
    ½ egg, beaten
    100g plain flour plus extra for coating
    50g cornflour
    ½ tsp baking powder
    1 apple, cored and sliced
    1 pear, cored and sliced
    1 banana, peeled and sliced at an angle
    Icing sugar, to serve
    Vegetable oil, for frying

    For the sauce:

    100g granulated sugar
    25ml water
    100g unsalted butter
    100ml double cream
    5ml soy sauce
    1 tsp good quality salt

    Method

    To make the tempura batter: mix the egg into the cold water and sift in the flours and baking powder.

    Gently mix together with a fork, making sure not to combine too much (this makes the batter chewy when fried). The batter should be thick and lumpy.

    Heat the vegetable oil to 180°C and warm your oven on its lowest setting.

    Roll the fruit pieces in plain flour and dip one or two pieces at a time in the batter, covering them totally but allowing the excess to drip off.

    Carefully lower into the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes, until crisp and lightly golden.

    Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm in the oven before serving. Repeat until all the fruit has been fried.

    Serve with a dusting of icing sugar and salted caramel sauce for dipping.

    To make the caramel: dissolve the sugar in the water in a heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat. Do not stir.

    When the sugar has dissolved turn up the heat and boil until a brown-mahogany colour. Immediately remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.

    Add the cream and continue to whisk. The sauce will be a golden colour and thin — it thickens as it cools. Stir in the soy sauce and salt.

    Cool before serving.

    Method
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