Monday, 31 January 2011

Chocolate, figs and Veera. What else is there?

I have two recipes I have been meaning to share with you for a while. The first is incredibly decadent - chocolate covered figs.

No sweat, though, it's really easy:

Chocolate Covered Figs

12-15 dried figs, stems removed

125g dark chocolate

125g milk chocolate

30g butter

cocoa powder to dust

Steam your figs for 7 minutes. Whilst the figs are steaming melt the butter and both types of chocolate in a bain marie. Once the figs are soft and the chocolate and butter mixture is melted you can start dipping your figs. You might want to reshape your figs into a more 'figgy' shape. Place your dipped figs onto some greaseproof paper and into the fridge. Once the chocolate is hard, dust with the cocoa powder. Yummy!

I have to give credit where it's due: this recipe is from my friend Rachida, an absolute genius in the kitchen.

The next one is an amalgamation of various recipes. I have no picture, because it was polished over Christmas...

Dried Fig Jam

750g soft dried figs, stems removed

200g caster sugar

150g jam sugar (this is just sugar with pectin added)

3 star anise

1 cup water

2tbsp sesame seeds

juice of ½ lemon

Cut the figs into quarters. Roast the sesame seeds on a frying pan until they start to smell and change colour. Mix all ingredients, other than the lemon juice, into a saucepan and put onto a medium heat, stir. Keep stirring and once the mixture is hot and the figs are softening, mash them with a potato masher. After the mixture has been cooking for about 15-20 minutes test and see if your jam is ready. Once you are happy with the consistency, remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and put into hot sterilized jars. This one is lovely with cheese.

Don't know how to test jam? This is how I do it: The first thing I do, before I weigh my ingredients is put a saucer in the freezer. Then I get busy jam making. Once I think the jam might be ready I take my saucer out, put a small amount of jam on it and put it in the fridge for a couple of minutes. I then slide my finger over the cooled jam and if it puckers and appears to have a good consistency I'm done!

Can you tell I love figs?

Now, last but by no means least: have you seen Veera Valimaki's latest design?

Isn't it fabulous? I love the asymmetry of the stripes. The red yarn is my very own BFL Sock in Sangue. I can't wait to knit this one for myself - Veera's designs are always so modern, yet simple and wearable, I'm a huge fan!

(photo copyright Veera Valimaki, used with permission)