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.

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Espresso Ice Cream

Espresso Ice Cream

This is the ice cream that was served in its unfrozen form with mocha éclairs mentioned earlier. The recipe is from Kate Zuckerman “The Sweet Life”. She emphasizes the importance of the caramel in achieving deeper, more complex and interesting flavor of the ice cream. I do agree with her, the caramel does really improve my old time favorite ice cream. High concentration of sugar raises the temperature at which the eggs coagulate, increasing the time it takes to cook and thicken the custard. But it also reduces the freezing temperature and improves the texture.

And a word of warning. The ice cream is sweet due to the caramel presence, which is fine by me. But if you usually prefer lightly sweetened ice cream this might be not your thing.

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