Ben the Baker

Just a guy trying to get his kids to eat

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Fresh Figs

Posted by osakaben41 on August 27, 2009

Figs

If you’re anything like me, you only experience with figs is in their Newton form.  Honestly, despite some amazing photography out there, I was a babe in the woods.  Do you peel them?  Is there a bitter pith like an orange?  And what do they really taste like?

This comes up as I found myself at our local exotic fruit mecca searching for inspiration.  It’s a dangerous thing to go shopping like that without a plan, particularly for items with a limited shelf life.  What passes for self restraint these days means I was able to leave without some very cool new toys.  That said, I still had a few pints of Black Mission Figs to go with my prized passion fruit.

The first problem was I had to use these right away before they rot, but I didn’t yet have anybody lined up to eat this project, the first and most important of the agreed upon ground rules.  Long story short, after flirting with a bunch of options, I ended up with a trusted source, Cannelle et Vanille Roasted Fig Frozen Mousse.  Something about her pictures just gets to me.

Figs

My figs were already pretty soft, so I went without the roasting stage.  The frozen mousse itself was fairly quick and easy, and a great excuse to practice one of the basic pastry building blocks, a pate a bombe.   But after a few unadorned projects recently, I just had to dress this thing up.  Francisco Migoya had a great recipe for a walnut cake that he pairs with a goat cheese bavarian and balsamic sorbet, but just try finding walnut paste in this one-horse town.  Almond paste was another story however, so an Almond cake it was.

Figs

With a willing test subject coming by on Wednesday night, there was time to sample a rough plate of frozen mousse, almond cake, and a whipped goat cheese topping.  There wasn’t much fig coming from the mousse, perhaps because of all the whipped cream giving it some body.  So let’s ramp up this fig element somehow.  Why not take another swing at a fig gastrique then? (the last attempt ended up closer to jet black cement).  

Figs3

And the goat cheese, while definitely something I could use again in another setting might have been either too strong, or just too much whipped cream on one plate.  The second swing at this one went with a more delicate whipped honey mascarpone.  We still needed something to add texture though, so a smattering of ground almonds for visual appeal seemed appropriate.  At first it was a base under the dollop of the mascarpone, then pressed into one side of the frozen mousse.  I’d have to go with the second approach all things being equal.

Figs4

Now I just need to figure out what to do with all this extra almond cake lying around.  Any suggestions?

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2 Responses to “Fresh Figs”

  1. Kla said

    Wait, you haven’t had fresh figs before? Or for that matter any of those other fruit you linked to? Where have you been man??

    Side note- figs + prosciuotto or parma ham, perfect together!

    Mmmmm 🙂

    • osakaben41 said

      I’ve ‘borrowed’ a great pizza recipe that calls for fig jam with prosciutto and asparagus, but that’s hardly the same thing. Feel free to pass along your favorite dragon fruit recipe though. Always looking for inspiration.

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