Sunday, February 22, 2009

a bundle of goodness

no valentine's meal is complete without dessert. and dessert is rarely complete without chocolate. but i've made many chocolate treats so when searching through intercourses (if you don't remember, it's an aphrodisiac cookbook), i wanted something more than just "death by chocolate" (more! what more?). when i got to the chapter on figs, it became clear i would use one of the recipes, but they all looked so good...then i came to the chocolate fig bundle page and it practically chose itself.

figs, almonds, and chocolate

i didn't have to convince husband - chocolate, figs, brandy, and almonds? plus we had most of the ingredients on hand. figs and brandy on the list, we had no trouble finding these on our shopping trip.

assembling goodness

chocolate fig bundles
6 dried figs
1 1/2 tbsp brandy, divided
16 whole almonds, toasted, divided
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 oz chocolate, finely chopped (recipe calls for semisweet, i used dark)
3 sheets phyllo pastry, thawed
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp powdered sugar

1. slit figs down the side and place in a bowl with 1 tbsp brandy, allow to sit for 30 minutes

2. in a food processor, grind 10 almonds with granulated sugar
3. combine mixture with 1/2 tbsp brandy and chocolate until it forms a paste
4. stuff 1 tsp of filling mixture into each fig, along with one whole almond
5. set out 1 sheet of phyllo and keep others moist with a damp cloth
6. lightly brush sheet with melted butter and fold the left third to the middle and right third to middle (to form a 3-layer sheet)

7. lightly butter the surface and sprinkle with 2 tsp powdered sugar, then cut in half to form two rectangles
8. place a stuffed fig, slit side up, in the center of the rectangle
9. pinch each corner in half and bring each to center to form a closed pouch
10. repeat for all, then brush pouches with melted butter and place on a baking sheet
11. bake at 375F for 13 minutes, until crisp and golden
12. cool slighty and garnish with powdered sugar

while it might seem like a lot of steps, the recipe is quite easy. if you've never used phyllo, this is a forgiving way to try it out. the bundles don't have to be perfect, they just have to contain the goodness.

yum! dessert finally

and good these were. it's not every dessert that offers you everything in one bite, plus the surprise whole almond. the figs are so sweet and taste only slightly of warm brandy. i loved every bite. we managed to have one left over (in truth, we made more than 6 because we are gluttons) and it was still good for breakfast the next day.

in all, the valentine's day, meal, and experience was a great one. it was nice to not buy cards, but to instead spend time together and cook with husband. the only thing i regret is not trying recipes from intercourses sooner. we've since had two other meals from the book (i promise i'll share them!) and both were excellent. i don't often use cookbooks now that i spend 70% of my time on the internet, where recipes are free and available to anyone, but if i were to recommend a cookbook, it would be this one. and do try to buy it as a bachelorette gift for someone you know, and ecourage them to try it out sooner rather than later!


Thomas said...

I can't imagine liking those, since I eat only phyllo dough and that by the fist full, but you make them look delicious! I also love the look of the four little round-mitered (I'm sure there's a name for it) pictures in the middle. Super cute design la.