Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chocolate Stuffed Figs: National Fig Week

It's National Fig Week. I love figs--fresh and dried.  I've posted recipes for Chocolate Covered Figs and Chocolate Fig Bread Pudding. Another thing to do with dried figs is chop them up and use them in brownies or chocolate cookies. Figs and Chocolate make a nice contrast in flavor and texture. Here's an incredibly decadent recipe for Chocolate Stuffed Figs. Since the stuffed figs are eventually dipped in chocolate (which makes this a perfect recipe for this blog), as an alternative, you can stuff the figs with marscapone. Heaven!

Want to buy Chocolate Stuffed Figs? Rabitos Royal: Chocolate Truffle Filled Figs. Each box contains 9 Chocolate Truffle Filled Figs. There's even a bit of brandy in the truffle filling! I've bought them at Trader Joe's, but they're available in other places, too. Rabitos are made in Almoharin in the Spanish region of Extremadura, an area that is traditionally known for its delicious figs. Artisans make these Rabitos. The Chocolate Covered stuffed truffles are made with a variety of fig called the Pajarito. The Pajarito fig is unique to this area of Spain due where the warm climate enables the fig to ripen in a short period of time. This results in a very small fig that is mild in flavor but full of concentrated sweetness. It also means the hundreds of seeds inside are tiny, so it has a different texture than you might expect. You'll love these.

But for those of you who want to make your own Chocolate Stuffed and Dipped Figs, this is a great recipe. Add tbsp Grand Marnier to the ganache for 'special' flavor.

Chocolate Stuffed and Dipped Figs
Recipe from Pure Chocolate by Fran Bigelow and Helen Siegel (2004: Broadway Books)
The very best, extra-fancy dried figs are in the markets now. Look for moist fruit with supple texture and full shape for stuffing. Makes 24 to 36.

Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
24 to 36 dried Calimyrna figs, depending on size
1 1/2 pounds semisweet chocolate
9-by-13-inch or quarter sheet pan lined with parchment

Directions
1. In saucepan, heat tcream over medium-high heat just until begins to boil. Remove from heat. Add finely chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth with rubber spatula. Pour mixture into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap touching the top, and let set for 6 to 8 hours at room temperature.
2. Prepare figs for stuffing by gently rolling between your thumb and fingers to loosen the seeds and soften the flesh. Insert wooden or metal skewer in hole in bottom of the fig and wiggle it to enlarge the hole slightly for stuffing.
3. When ganache is set, gently stir with a rubber spatula a few times. Spoon into pastry bag fitted with small round 1/4-inch tip.
4. Hold each fig's stem gently between index and middle fingers, using thumb to support plump fruit. Insert tip of pastry bag into fig's bottom. Gently squeeze, stuffing until the fig is plump and full. Do not worry about leaks in the fig's skin. They can be fixed later.
5. Place filled figs on parchment-lined pan and allow to set at room temperature for at least 2 hours. 6. Using a sharp knife, scrape excess filling from each fig's exterior. Stuffed figs can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Remove and return to room temperature for eating — or dipping, if desired.

To dip in chocolate: Holding individual fig by the stem, dip bottom half of each fig in dark chocolate. Place tdipped fruit on parchment-lined pan and let tchocolate set. With  pair of sharp scissors, snip off the very tip of each stem, which is too tough to be eaten, before serving.

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