Sunday, May 27, 2007

figs re-imagined...

A few months back we posted about a refreshing candied fig, Meyer lemon, mascarpone cheese, and bittersweet chocolate tart in a rosemary-cornmeal crust. At that time, we began experimenting with candying figs in our test kitchens, which we have continued to do from time to time (The photos on the left and below are golden Turkish Calimyrna figs that we candied for the above-mentioned tart).
So, when we were asked to create an "after-dinner" confection for the birthday party we recently blogged about (see "a golden birthday cake" which highlights a classic Italian genoise, as well as hand-modeled chocolate roses), we immediately thought of figs. Starting with fresh mission figs, we oven-dried overnight, and then reconstituted them in a vanilla infused syrup until they were plump and chewy.

For the confection itself, we wanted to pair the sweetness of the mission figs with chocolate-- Belgian bittersweet chocolate, or course. But somehow that didn't seem to be quite good enough for this particular party... so we added a third flavor: ruby port wine. After reducing a bottle of port, we gently combined it with Belgian milk chocolate and cream, creating a whipped truffle center which was piped into each whole candied fig. Following their filling, they were dipped in bittersweet chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate for accent.

The figs were surprisingly complex in taste and texture, with the whipped truffle center exploding through the chewy candied fruit, and the crisp bittersweet chocolate shell. Dense and rich, and just enough for one bite, these are a confection long in creation, but even longer in enjoyment. We're sure that we haven't seen the last of these sweet treats!

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