We had a great afternoon making these Christmas treats; it was messy, sticky work and we seemed to end up wearing as much of the chocolate as the figs. Next was the fun of playing with all the little boxes, ribbons and shiny labels. I was pleased with the end result and so were friends and family on receiving their festive foodie gifts. Kirstie Allsopp would be proud!
There seems to be a love/hate thing with figs, some of our friends won’t even try them and others have found they’ve devoured too many! These drunken chocolate-coated figs are delicious and sweet and a little bit naughty (well it is Christmas). But as chocolate indulgences go, they are a nearly guilt-free treat too because figs and the cocoa in the dark chocolate have so many health benefits.
Figs are uniquely nutritious as they have the highest amount of calcium of any fruit, good for strengthening bones. Dried figs are a natural source of soluble dietary fibre, beneficial for the digestive system and managing cholesterol. They are low in sodium and high in potassium which helps with high blood pressure and in regulating blood sugar. Plus dark chocolate contains antioxidants, minerals and fights depression. You can’t argue with that!
So to make drunken chocolate-coated figs:
500g of dried figs, stalks cut off (mix of large and small figs)
200g of dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
150ml of Bacardi (or if you prefer any other spirit or liqueur)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
Soak the figs in Bacardi for at least an hour so they are truly drunk. If you want them to really pack a punch, leave in the fridge overnight – these figs are strictly for the grown-ups.
Take a small saucepan and add boiling water and bring to a simmer on a low heat. Place a heatproof bowl over the top of the pan and add the dark chocolate. Once melted, take a fig and put a cocktail stick through the top and dip in the chocolate so all the fig is covered. Place the figs on a piece of non-stick baking parchment, then gently remove the cocktail sticks and leave them to cool and harden.
Once they have set after about 3 hours, peel them off the parchment then put all the figs onto a clean baking tray. Dust them in cocoa powder. I had some wedding favour boxes so added one fig per box and I also bagged about ten in clear cellophane bags from Lakeland and tied with Christmas ribbons.
With the left over chocolate I coated other goodies including coffee beans, dried sour cherries and walnuts. I mixed these with the figs and add to jam jars, again once they had all set. You can use all kinds of dried fruits – sultanas, cranberries, apricots and nuts work well too. Have fun!