Serves: 12-14 sandwiched cookies
Prep: 40 mins Cook Time: 18 mins

INGREDIENTS
250g softened butter
1tsp vanilla paste
80g icing sugar
250g plain flour
50g cornflour

Filling
80g butter
120g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tsp rosewater
Pink dye (optional)
8 lychees (peeled, seeded, halved or quartered)

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare two cookie trays by lining with parchment paper. Place butter, vanilla paste and icing sugar in an electric mixer bowl with the whisk attachment and beat until light, fluffy and pale in colour. Combine the flours, sift into the bowl and fold into the mixture.
Measuring 2 teaspoons of dough (or a cookie scoop - preferred) roll into balls with floured hands and place onto the cookie trays about 3cm apart. Press gently with a floured fork to achieve the classic melting moment shape. Bake for 18 minutes or until cooked through, yet still pale (like shortbread). Allow to cool.

BUTTERCREAM: In a mixer with whisk attachment place the butter, icing sugar, vanilla paste and rosewater in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. If too thick, add more water or milk. Add a small amount of pink dye (if desired) to acquire a pale pink colour and whisk through. The buttercream needs to be firm to hold the lychee in place.

ASSEMBLY: With your finger or the back of a spoon, smooth a small amount of icing as a protective layer over each flat side of the cookies (this prevents the moisture from the lychee seeping through). Place the rest of icing into a piping bag, pipe a ring around a melting moment, place a lychee in the middle (a half or quarter, depending on the size) and sandwich together gently with another biscuit. Chill in an airtight container. Best served the same day.

Kitchen Notes
:: Citrus is a delicious flavour pairing too! Why not try orange, orange blossom water as an alternate to rosewater?

Lychees in Vanilla Syrup
Lychees in Vanilla Syrup

Preparation time: 20 minutes + chilling time
Cooking: 20 minutes + chilling time
Serves: 4-5

1 cup of caster sugar
2 cups of cold water
50 fresh Australian lychees, peeled and deseeded (approximately 600g)
Low fat vanilla yoghurt or ice cream to serve

Place 1 cup caster sugar and 2 cups water in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves then increase the heat and add a split, scraped vanilla bean.

Simmer for 8-10 minutes until reduced and slightly thickened then add lychees. Simmer for a few minutes then remove from the heat and chill. Remove the vanilla bean and serve lychees with syrup and low fat yogurt or low fat vanilla ice-cream.

Lychee Asian style fruit salad
Lychee Asian style fruit salad

Ingredients

20 fresh lychees, peeled and seeded
1 Nashi pear, skin on
4 slices fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
½ (half) small papaya, peeled and seeded
1/4 (quarter) honeydew melon, peeled and seeded
2 firm ripe mangoes

Syrup:
250 ml (1 cup) water
75g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
3 thin slices ginger, peeled
½ (half) teaspoon cardamom seeds
Juice and zest of 1 lime
2 passionfruit

Method

Peel the lychees by running a small sharp knife around the centre through to the seed. Remove skin then ease lychee flesh from seed.
Wash the Nashi pear and cut into quarters. Remove core and slice thinly.
Cut pineapple, papaya and melon into attractive pieces.
Slice cheeks from mangoes, remove flesh and slice into long slivers. Remove remaining skin and cut flesh into attractive pieces.
Place all the fruit into a serving bowl and combine gently. Drizzle over the cold syrup and chill before serving.

For the syrup:

Place the water and sugar in a small pan and simmer until sugar has dissolved.
Add the ginger and cardamom seeds and simmer 10 minutes or until syrupy. Remove from heat.
When cool, add lime juice and zest and spoon in the pulp from the passionfruit. Stir to combine. Cover and chill.
Remove ginger before serving.

Serves 4-6

Lychee Frozen Cheesecake
Lychee Frozen Cheesecake

Preparation time: 15 minutes + 2 hours freezing
Cooking : 10 minutes
Serves 6-8

250g packet gingernut cookies, broken roughly
60g unsalted butter, melted
250g pack reduced fat cream cheese
250g low fat ricotta
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
250mls light thickened cream
15 fresh Australian lychees, peeled, seeded and chopped
extra lychees, to serve
lemon zest, to serve if desired

Method: To make the base, place the cookies in a food processor or blender and process to a coarse crumb. Add the melted butter and continue to process until fully combined. Remove the crumb mixture and press into the base of a greased and lined 20cm springform cake tin, pressing with your hand until the surface of the base is smooth. Cover and chill.

Place the low fat cream cheese, low fat ricotta, sugar and lemon rind in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for a couple of minutes until well combined then add the light cream and continue beating for 5 minutes until mixture is smooth and thick. Stir through lychees.

Spoon the mixture into the tin over the biscuit base and smooth the surface. Cover and freeze for 2 hours or until filling is solid.

Take cake tin out of the freezer 15 minutes before serving. Carefully remove from tin and transfer to a serving plate.

Top with extra lychees and lemon zest if desired. Serve immediately.

Lychee with coconut waffers
Lychee with coconut waffers

Preparation time: 12 minutes
Cooking time: 15-18 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 cups shredded coconut
2 egg whites
1/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup caster sugar
300g sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons icing sugar, sifted
450g lychees, peeled

Method:
Preheat oven to 190C. Place the coconut, egg whites, flour and caster sugar in a large bowl and mix until fully combined.
Take spoonfuls of the mixture and place on baking trays lined with non stick baking paper. Press flat to make 8 thin discs approximately 12cm in diameter. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove and set aside. Allow to cool to room temperature.
While the wafers are cooling, mix together the sour cream, vanilla and icing sugar in a small bowl.
To assemble, place a coconut wafer on each plate, top with some sour cream mix, then some lychees. Repeat the layers and serve dusted with extra icing sugar.

Ingredients:

1 cup of fresh lychees, deseeded

1 cup of cherries, deseeded

1 cup of cubed kiwi fruit

A good slosh of Cointreau (or substitute)

King Island vanilla yogurt (or substitute)

Lightly toasted shaved almonds

Mint leaves

Method:

Mix all the fruit (or substitute stone fruit) and as much Cointreau as you like at least a couple of hours before using to allow the Cointreau flavour to work.

Spoon into individual bowls, top with yogurt and toasted almonds and decorate with mint leaves.

Enjoy.

Recipe thanks to Rick & Lynne Bronson

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