Sunday, 16 January 2011

Chocs Away

Hands-up if you're a fan of dried Figs. Hmm, thought so...

Alright then..... how about the aforementioned Figs, soaked for the best part of a day in Calvados, lovingly wrapped in the finest Marzipan our local Waitrose could supply, rolled carefully to the size of a small Quails Egg, then smothered in a thick layer of Chocolate so dark it could trigger a spell of Seasonal Affective Disorder in the wrong hands. Ok, hands down now.

From small seeds, ridiculously toothsome treats do grow. The marzipan was my starting point, a leftover from the annual Christmas Cake ritual. We love marzipan, so much so that I generally cake the marzipan rather than risk drowning the almondy loveliness in too much fruit'n'nut. A thick layer is essential, but after a bit of a trim there's usually a bit left over. It's been in the fridge for a month now. A golf-ball sized marzi-remnant, calling me like a temptress in the night. Never one to shirk my responsibilities, I simply had to heed the Call of the Sweetmeat. We love chocolate too... and Calvados.

So here's how we made our Calvados Marzi-Fig Surprises:

Roughly chop a handfull of dried Figs, pop them in a bowl and pour over a generous slosh of Calvados, Cider Brandy, or any other lesser Brandy if that's all you've got. We left ours overnight, but a couple of hours should get them boozy and soft enough.

Drain the surplus Calvados off into a handy 'chefs-glass' for later (ahem!) inspection! Take a piece or two of Fig and cover it with a thin layer of the rolled-out marzipan. Meanwhile, melt a huge bar of Dark Chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of simmering water. You're now ready for the messy bit.
Dip each marzipan ball into the melted chocolate, transferring to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. We used a mini-whisk to lift the dripping delicacies out, but if you're the kind of person who has a Chocolatiers Fork to hand, all the better. Sift a little Cocoa Powder over the chocolates just before they harden completely. They're ready to scoff when the chocolate doesn't burn your tongue....perhaps sooner. We ran out of marzipan, so used the remaining Figs to make a very homemade looking chocolate bar. They both taste amazingly good.

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