How could I not after hearing that song year after year. So, I came up with this recipe for Chocolate & Coffee Figgy Pudding for my latest article in Broadway+Thresher so that you can have some too.
I don’t really have any winter holiday traditions, so when Broadway+Thresher invited me to present a holiday themed recipe, I turned to an idealized version of Christmas. For no other reason than remembrances of old carols my Christmas vision is set in England sometime in 1800’s. Obviously everyone has the appropriate accent, wears charming Victorian fashions, and eats figgy pudding and sugar plums along with their roasted goose. How enticing, right?
For my first concept, I wanted to explore the delectable sounding sugar plum. Having never seen or tasted a sugar plum, I may have over-romanticized these sweet sounding delights. I had imagined that they would sparkle as candlelight hit the surface of the perfectly ripe, sugar encrusted fruit and small children would laugh merrily will nibbling on them.
In reality, sugar plums are blobs of dried fruit stuck together with molasses.
Quickly losing my enthusiasm for tarry preserved fruit blobs, I turned instead to figgy pudding for inspiration. Here was a real winner. Dark, rich and subtly sweet the figs are offset by decadent cocoa flavors making this a complex, somewhat sophisticated, warm winter dessert. For the full experience, I strongly suggest you serve your pudding with cognac or perhaps mulled wine (recipe also included) while sitting by a roaring fire. If you want, you can even let some visions of sugar plums dance in your head. Then again, maybe not.
December 21, 2012
by Jackie Alpers
8 fresh black figs, such as Black Mission or Brown Turkey
1/2 cup milk
2.5 tablespoons of butter, melted
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup all-purose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. I use Ghirardelli's Premium Baking Cocoa.
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup of strong black coffee
powered sugar (to garnish)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the milk, egg and vanilla in a medium sized mixing bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, chocolate powder, cinnamon and 1/4 cup of brown sugar, leaving 1/2 cup of sugar for the sauce. Be sure to break up any lumps. Slowly add the milk and egg mixture to the dry mixture and combine using a rubber spatula. Set aside.
Pour the coffee into a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and bring to a boil.
Cut half of the figs into quarters. Fill 4 large (approximately 8-10 oz. capacity) ramekins half-way with the chocolate mixture. Push the fig quarters into the batter and gently top with a whole fig. Spoon the coffee sauce around the fig, leaving about 1/8 inch of room at the top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until firm. Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm.
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