Chocolate Marzipan Stuffed Figs in Chocolate Phyllo Purses

Chocolate Marzipan Stuffed Figs in Chocolate Phyllo Purses with Caramel-Chocolate-Spice Sauce

As soon as fresh figs appear at the farm markets I start buying them greedily. It seems I can’t get enough. With their season so short I rush to cook and bake what I’ve visualized in my head before. As much as I love figs fresh and unadorned I’m eager to experiment as well. Below is one of my experiments and at the same time my entry to Meeta’s “Fruit & Chocolate” event.

I stuffed the fresh Mission figs with the chocolate marzipan balls, then wrapped into the staggered thin sheets of phyllo brushed in between with a mixture of melted butter, cocoa, star anise and cinnamon, and sprinkled with ground almonds and sugar for adding some crunch and sweetness. The baked purses were served with caramel-chocolate sauce infused with star anise and cinnamon. The sauce is versatile and wonderful. You can warm and pour it over ice cream, fruits, berries or a slice of pound cake. It makes a great topping for the same figs, but unbaked, for less complicated dessert. Cut the figs in half vertically and serve them in pretty bowls. Sprinkle some nuts (perhaps, pistachios or cashews, or any other of your choice) over the sauce and serve. Nothing is simpler but both the flavor and presentation are amazing.

Makes 6 servings

For the phyllo wrapped figs:

  • 65 g marzipan (1/4 cup, packed)
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 large ripe but firm Mission figs
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (12 tbsp)
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground star anise
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp lightly toasted ground almonds
  • 6 sheets of phyllo dough, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 4 star anise pods, whole
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • ¼ tsp Fleur de Sel
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


Make the sauce:

Since the sauce can be made up to a week in advance and kept in the refrigerator, it makes sense to start from the making it first.

In a small saucepan combine the whipping cream and spices. Heat over medium heat to a boiling point. Take off the heat, cover and let steep for an hour. Strain through a double layer of cheese cloth and set aside.

In a heavy medium saucepan over moderate heat, stir together the sugar and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, then raise the heat to moderately high and boil without stirring, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush, until the sugar is deep amber brown. Remove from the heat, stand back and carefully add the cream. Return the pan to medium heat and whisk until the caramel is completely smooth. Stir in the fleur de sel. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add the chopped chocolate, let stand for a minute, then slowly whisk until the sauce is completely smooth. Cool, keep in the refrigerator tightly covered. Gently warm the sauce before serving.

Chocolate Caramel Sauce

Make the phyllo wrapped figs:

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 325F. Put one large baking sheet on top of another (to protect the pastry bottoms from heat). Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.

Knead the marzipan and cocoa powder together until smooth and uniform in color. Divide the marzipan into 6 equal portions and roll each portion into a small ball.

Choclate Marzipan Balls

Cut the stems from the figs. Make an X incision on the top of each fig without cutting all the way to the bottom. Gently insert the marzipan ball into the center of each fig. Cover the stuffed figs with plastic wrap and set aside.

Stuffed figs

In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Skim the foam. Add the cocoa powder and spices to the hot butter and stir well until combined. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a small bowl combine the sugar and the ground almonds. Set aside.

Work with one phyllo sheet at a time. Cover the rest of the phyllo with plastic wrap first and then with a damp dish towel (avoid direct contact of the phyllo with a wet towel to prevent the phyllo from getting soggy). Cut the phyllo sheet into quarters. Brush one quarter with the cocoa-butter mixture, sprinkle with about ½ tbsp of the sugar-nut mixture. Place another quarter of the phyllo on the top of the first one rotating the second quarter slightly so the corners are not aligned, and repeat the brushing and sprinkling procedure. Repeat with the third and fourth quarters finishing with brushing and sprinkling again. Place the stuffed fig at the center of the phyllo stack and pleat the dough around gathering it over the top of the fig. Brush the formed purse lightly with some cocoa-butter mixture and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic and repeat the process with the rest of the phyllo and figs making 5 more purses.

Bake the wrapped figs for about 35 minutes, until crispy and golden brown (you’ll be able to judge the pastry color despite the cocoa-butter mixture brushed over). Cool the figs on a cooling rack until warm. Sift some confectioners’ sugar over the pastries and serve with the caramel-chocolate sauce.

Fig Purse macro

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43 Responses to “Chocolate Marzipan Stuffed Figs in Chocolate Phyllo Purses”

  1. What an interesting take on the figs!! I love that you shaped the sauce in the form of tiny figs on the plate! Those figs look perfect; your dessert must turn out to be so yummy!

  2. hmmm these look nice, delicious and really sopgisticated. Ha I always wonder how am i going to use those ripe figs and this is a great great idea. Great photos too

  3. I can’t decide what’s yummier — your pictures, or the recipe. I’ve never seen star anise before, it’s gorgeous! I will definitely be visiting your blog often!

  4. what a gorgeous idea. Vera I love this figs and choc – it could not get any better!

  5. Lovely! I would love this for sure! What a cool idea to stuff the pigs with marzipan, and chocolate one! Even better! Phillo pastry allways makes great looking desserts, and this one must taste amazing too!

  6. i love, love, love figs and marzipan so together they must a an explosion of sweetness!

  7. Incredible!! Lovely!! Chocolate and figs and marzipan make a great dessert!!

  8. Dear Vera, those look seriously decadent! I’d love to have one right now, with my coffee (eventhough it would be too sinful in the middle of the day, with no special occasion). Love the photos, they are gorgeous as always!
    I too can’t help myself when it comes to buying figs, or any other seasonal fruit for that matter.

  9. Looks delicious! Beautiful photos.

  10. Wow, what an awesome looking recipe!

    BTW, I’m making your Parmesan fish this week!

  11. Your phyllo purses look like little gifts… They are lovely!…
    I’d love to open one of these :)

  12. this is too fancy for words.

  13. Your photos make me drooooooooollllll!!!

  14. These are fabulous and you are too. I’ve sent you an award to attest to that fact – you can grab it on my site

  15. truly gorgeous. figs are my fav fruit. and with chocolate, they are divine.

  16. what a fabulously sophisticated and elegant treat! you continue to amaze me with your talent, vera. :)

  17. These sound wonderful. Beautiful photography

  18. That’s quite a display you’ve got there; and a wonderful imagination!

  19. How brilliant! Love all the flavors separately but I have no doubt I will love them together!! Gorgeous pics as always!

  20. What an elegant dessert! Full of surprises and yummy flavors! You outdid yourself with this one!

  21. Thank you everybody for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! I appreciate it greatly! Thank you very much!!!

    Lisa, thank you very much for the award! I’m very flattered.

    HoneyB, parmesan fish sure sounds wonderful, but I’m afraid I’ve never posted anything like that :)

  22. If I would like fresh figs, I would love this dish! Unfortunately fresh figs are probably the only fruit I don’t like.
    Love they way they look with the little ball of marzipan.

  23. I love, love, love marzipan. I think my whole family is actuallly head over heels for marzipan. This is sincerely mouthwatering for me right now!

  24. Oh my goodness! That dessert is gorgeous! And I am sure it is beyond delicious!! Great work!

  25. That looks like an incredible dessert! I adore figs in all forms.

  26. The flavors sound amazing. Figs are my absolute favorite, so I love the sound of this. The star anise and chocolate would make a nice complement to the figs. Wish I could eat some now.

  27. Dear Vera
    I simply loved this post on chocolate marzipan stuffed figs in chocolate phyllo purses. Summer is approaching here and i will certainly take a cue from your post and make it, wow ! Thanks for sharing.

  28. I love that you call these “purses” :) Too cute!

  29. Great photos! Very inspiring.
    I am so intrigued with the sauce that you made too. Yum! and I love the coloring on the figs.

  30. What a great idea, Vera! I’m not a terribly big fan of pairing certain fruits with chocolate, but you’ve really sold me on this one. I love your attention to detail too.

  31. I was just brainstorming ideas on how to use figs. I think these look great. Your pictures are amazing as always.

  32. Oh my goodness! I don’t even know what to say… your pictures and that incredibly creative and adorable dessert… seriously… they’re AWESOME!!!

  33. This is such an amazing idea and it looks like you worked all day making these.

  34. This is such a cute and creative idea :). I looove figs, they are so tasty (lol I just posted about how I had bad luck with a cupcake recipe that included figs :). Beautiful dessert; I’ll have to save this recipe for when my hubby graduates from law school and we start hosting fancy parties at his firm :P. Silly me! :D

  35. To die for! Looks absolutely delicious.

  36. Wow! I love your creativity Vera.. I also love the spices you used in this dish. This would be great for the holidays, it looks so pretty and I can imagine how lovely it would be on the dessert table!

    Thank you for your thoughts towards my mom.. she is getting around and they just took a wire monitoring system off of her yesterday. Hope to get the results soon!
    hugs to you!

    “OH”.. Congratulations for your Click awards!!!!! I knew those photos were especially great! :)

  37. Linda, thank you! My son doesn’t eat figs either :(

    Gabriela, thank you very much! Marzipan is very lovable :)

    Maria, thank you for your words. It was pretty delicious :)

    Cate, thanks a lot! Figs are wonderful in any way, you are so right!

    MangerLaVille, thank you very much!

    Anamika, thank you! I will sure be very glad if you make it.

    Hillary, thank you!

    Ivy, thank you! The sauce is quite delicious on its own. I don’t have any problems eating it with a spoon :)

    Y, thank you very much!

    Culinary Cory, thank you!

    Jacque, thank you so much! I’m touched!

    Giz, thank you! These are not difficult to make. And with phyllo you can’t work long, but rather you have to do it very fast :)

    Sophie, thank you! I’m sure this time will come :)

    Camille, thank you very much!

    Laurie, I’m glad you mom is feeling better. I wish her the fastest recovery possible!
    Thank you so much for the compliments! And thank you for congratulations! I’m very flattered!

  38. Wow. It would almost be a shame to break into the delicate phyllo. Almost.

  39. Jude, thank you! It was worth to break and dig into :)

  40. What a beautiful dessert! And I love the shot of the sliced-open figs – it reminds of a garden of blooming flowers!

  41. Interesting and delicious recipe! :)

  42. Anita, usha Rao, thank you very much for your kind words!

  43. sir, have marzipan making video recipe thnk you.

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