Posts Tagged ‘figs in rum’

Here’s an easy and delicious dark cacao treat from Willie Harcourt-Couze.

The chocolate isn’t tempered in this recipe, so you’ll need to keep these bars in the fridge to stop them from blooming.  And as they’re made from 100% cacao with no added white sugar, flour or butter, I’m sure they must be quite healthy, right?

I amended the recipe slightly to include my intoxicated figs, but please feel free to use whatever dried fruit and nuts you have on hand.

  • 180g 100% cacao or unsweetened chocolate (see note)
  • 100g walnuts, hazelnuts or Brazil nuts, chopped (I used Brazil nuts)
  • 100g dried fruit, chopped (I used a mix of intoxicated figs and raisins)
  • 100g crystallised ginger, sugar shaken off, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used homemade)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey, optional
  • Splash of rum or cognac

Note: I used Callebaut Cocoa Mass, but the recipe was designed for Willie’s Cacao.  If you don’t have either of these, you could try using 70% or 85% chocolate, and omit the honey.  Try to use the best you can though, as the cacao is the dominant flavour here.  Note that you won’t be able to substitute powdered cocoa in this recipe.

1. Line the base and sides of a 20cm square tin with parchment paper or cling film.

2. If the cacao is in a block, chop it roughly.  Place it in a large pyrex bowl and melt in the microwave in short bursts on high.  Heat only until mostly melted, then stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.  Take care not to scorch the cocoa mass or it will turn bitter and grainy.

3.  Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to coat well.  Scrape the mixture into the lined tin, smooth the top and refrigerate until firm, preferably overnight.

4. Remove from the tin and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Store in the refrigerator in a covered container.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

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Big Boy, our resident wordsmith, will occasionally stop me mid-sentence with, “No, that didn’t happen, you figmented it”.

It’s a clever, if (currently) incorrect use of the noun, but it’s actually very appropriate when applied to these brownies. They were indeed a figment of my imagination, or more precisely, my dreams – I woke one morning thinking about figs, rum and dark, dark chocolate.   This is what I ended up with…

Fig, Rum and Cacao Nib Brownies
(adapted from a recipe in David Lebovitz’ Ready for Dessert)

  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 225g dark chocolate, chopped or in callets
  • 150g white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used homemade)
  • 2 large (59g) eggs, at room temperature
  • 40g plain (AP) flour
  • 150g Turkish figs, soaked in rum (see below)
  • 40g cacao nibs

Note: I made these with 70% cacao bittersweet chocolate, but the basic brownie recipe works best with semisweet (I normally use Callebaut 811 with 54% cacao).  With the higher cocoa fat content, the batter has a tendency to split, resulting in a pool of oil on the top of the finished brownies.  70%  seems to hold together – just – but when I tried using a 75%, the mix split completely and had to be thrown away. Having said that, in this instance I really wanted a bittersweet chocolate to offset the figs…

1. The night before, place some Turkish figs in a clean jar, and top it up with rum.   You’ll need seven or eight well-intoxicated figs, although I try and keep a jar full at all times (for emergencies, you understand).

2. Preheat the oven to 160C with fan.  Line a 20cm square pan with parchment paper.  Chop the figs up, discarding the stems.

3. In a medium saucepan, soften the butter, then add the chocolate and stir over low heat until combined and smooth.   Remove the pan from the heat and, using a silicon spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the sugar and vanilla.

4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, working quickly so that you don’t end up with scrambled eggs.  Add the flour, and stir vigorously for one minute (this bit is important) – the mixture will change from grainy to smooth and glossy in that time.

5. Add in the chopped figs and cacao nibs, stirring well.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until just set – about 25 minutes.  Do not overbake.

6.  Cool in the pan, before removing the brownies and cutting into squares for serving.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

. . . . .

This recipe is adapted from Robert’s Absolute Best Brownies in David Lebovitz’ new Ready for Dessert.  Like all of his books, this one is a cracker – full of anecdotes and delicious recipes. I’m keen to try the chocolate cake recipe that he copied off the wall of a restaurant toilet…

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