New Desserts!

1 lb. dried Kalamata Figs

                  Press each fig into shape so it will stand upright after stuffing. Make a small X shaped cut in the bottom of each fig (the side opposite the stem). Use a spoon handle or your fingers to open the middle of the fig. Line a tray with wax paper and make room for it in the fridge or freezer.

Chocolate Stuffing

¼ cup heavy cream

4 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

1 tbs. butter

1 egg yolk (optional)

Any flavorings—We used a small tbs. of Kahlua Coffee Liquor

Chop or smash the chocolate into small pieces. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just reaches a boil. Add the chocolate to the cream and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Add the butter and stir till melted. Let stand to cool. If using the egg yolk or any flavoring, wait a couple minutes and then incorporate it into the filling. Stir until smooth.

Transfer filling to a small mixing bowl and place in the fridge to let cool until it stiffens a bit.

Cut the corner off of a freezer bag or use a piping bag. Load the bag with the filling and pipe into the figs. It doesn’t have to be perfect, remember we will be dipping the bottom of the fig in a chocolate glaze. This will cover any imperfections. Place the stuffed figs in the fridge to cool. The figs must be cold in order to dip in the glaze.

Chocolate Glaze

6 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

1 tbs. shortening

Chop or smash the chocolate and melt with the shortening in a double boiler (If you don’t have one, you can use a metal mixing bowl set over a pot of boiling water). Once the chocolate is melted, remove from the heat. Now you are ready to dip the chilled figs. Hold the stems and dip halfway into the chocolate. Wipe any excess chocolate off and refrigerate till the glaze is completely set. These stuffed figs are best stored in the fridge or eaten immediately, although they can be frozen. Enjoy!

-Kelley Grady, adapted from a recipe by  Maida Heatter


From Daniel’s Feeding Frenzy files

This is an incredibly easy recipe to make, and very rich.  The brownies are somewhat cake-y rather than fudgy but they’re delightful.

1 1/2 cups  pecan  halves (Daniel has substituted almonds to good effect as well)
7  ounces  unsalted butter
1/2 cup Cacao Barry Extra Brut Dutch-process cocoa powder (heaping)
1 1/8 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons  Mexican 4-fold vanilla
1/2 cup pastry flour
1 pinch  salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Chop the pecans well.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Remove from the heat.  Add the cocoa and whisk to combine.  Whisk in the sugar.  Finally, whisk in the eggs and vanilla.   Stir in flour, salt, and pecans.

Scrape this mixture into a greased, parchment-lined 8” x 8” baking pan.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean.

2 each  large egg
3 tablespoons  cornstarch
2 cups  half and half
1/2 cup  sugar
1 pinch  salt
1 teaspoon  vanilla
1 tablespoon  butter

Have a strainer set over a small bowl near the range

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and the cornstarch.   Gradually add 1/4 cup of the half and half, whisking until the mixture is smooth and the cornstarch is dissolved.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, the remaining half and half and the salt.  Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a full boil, stirring occasionally.   Remove from heat.  

Whisk 2 tablespoons of this hot mixture into the egg mixture.  Pass the egg mixture through a strainer into a small bowl.

Bring the half-and-half mixture back to a boil over medium heat.   Quickly add all of the egg mixture, whisking rapidly.

Continue whisking rapidly for about 20 to 30 seconds, being sure to go into the bottom edge of the pan.  The mixture will become very thick.  Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla.

Immediately pour the mixture into a wide, shallow bowl and place a piece of greased plastic wrap directly on top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming.

Refrigerate until cold.

Amount       Measure          Ingredient — Preparation Method
——–           ————          ——————————–
  1               cup                 almond paste
  2               each               egg white
  3               cups               confectioner’s sugar
 1/2             teaspoon         vanilla

In a large bowl, knead almond paste to soften.  Mix in egg whites.  Knead in confectioner’s suger one cup at a time.  Add vanilla.  Knead until marzipan feels like heavy pie crust dough.

Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator in a sealed container.  To use after storage, let stand at room temperature until soft, then knead briefly.

  “Marzipan can be rolled out and used to cover a cake, to make
  decorations or to make small candies”

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