Does a really good ripe fig need cheese and chocolate? Nope. But who could resist a sweet, sexy fruit coated with crisp dark chocolate and stuffed with a secret creamy filling? And if these tempt you into enjoying a fig, I will have done my job!
Add stuffed figs to a cheese platter or serve them for dessert. Either way, consider an oloroso sherry or aged tawny port to go with. For stuffing the figs, everyday cream cheese is delicious and obvious—but more interesting and decadent cheeses really do shine here.
Excepted from Seriously Bittersweet (Artisan 2013). —Alice Medrich
(60 grams) soft creamy cheese such as ordinary cream cheese, fresh ricotta, mascarpone, or even a triple cream cheese such as Mt. Tam or Brillat-Savarin
(140 grams) dark chocolate (any percentage—I usually choose a 62% or 70% chocolate for these), chopped
(45 grams) chopped toasted almonds or walnuts
Rinse the figs and wipe them dry. Cut a short gash in one side of a fig near the bottom. Stuff with about 1/2 teaspoon of cheese. Smooth over the cheese so the fig remains shapely. Stuff the remaining figs and chill them for at least 30 minutes.
Put the chocolate in a small stainless bowl set in a wide skillet of almost simmering water; stir frequently until most of the chocolate is melted.
Remove the bowl from the water and stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Make sure the figs are dry. Dip a fig into the chocolate and let the excess chocolate drip into the bowl.
Sprinkle the dipped fig with toasted nuts and set on the lined sheet. Dip the remaining figs. Refrigerate the figs until serving.
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).