Figs with honey-rose mascarpone and caramel hazelnuts
Our few golden days of sunshine seem to have vanished and have been replaced by storm, rain and thunder. In fact while I am writing this I can hear the thunder rumbling in the distance… I’m always amazed at how quickly the weather patterns can change. A few days ago it was t-shirt weather and now I’m wondering if I should bring out the winter jackets already!
The good thing about autumn is that there is a whole range of new produce coming to us. Gorgeous chanterelle mushrooms, quince, pomegranates and these pretty figs. Figs are an interesting fruit really. I like them but they can also be really bland. But whatever the flavor, pretty they are; always!
I was really surprised to find both figs and pomegranates in our supermarket the other day, so of course I had to buy some. I bought only four figs as they don’t keep very long and I knew we had to finish them rather quickly. I totally love them with blue cheese; one of the best combinations out there, but unfortunately Tom hates blue cheese (why, why, why??) so it had to be something sweet for this time. I could have baked but then I figured four pieces wouldn’t get me very far, so I browsed around on one of my favorite apps from Epicurious and found a recipe that I liked. I adapted it slightly to what I had in the cupboard. I had previously bought rosewater when I was out browsing through my favorite store where I also found the Bull’s blood leaves and spotted rosewater. Heard about it many times but never cooked with it so I figured I give it a go with this dessert.
- 3 figs
- 125 g mascarpone
- 1 orange
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon rosewater
- 2 tablespoons Whipping cream
- 75 g hazelnuts roasted
Put the sugar in a small saucepan and add 1 tbsp of water. Put on the heat and let the sugar melt. DO NOT STIR!
Prepare a sheet of baking paper on a tray and lay that ready to go. Have your roasted hazelnuts close by to put into the caramel once ready too.
As soon as the big bubbles of sugar disappear it will brown really quickly so do not walk away as it can burn in seconds! As soon as the sugar has a nice golden brown tint (you can also smell when it's ready too) take of the heat and add the hazelnuts and stir through. Put it onto the baking sheet quickly and leave to cool. Spread it out a bit so it will be easier to cut later.
Finely grate some zest from the orange and put in a bowl with the mascarpone, rosewater, honey and whipping cream. Stir together and add more of one or the other to taste
Cut the figs into halves and arrange three halves on one plate (you can do more but I thought 3 halves per person is more then enough for dessert).
Once the caramel is cooled chop it up with a knife until you're left with crumbly bits.
Put the mascarpone on top of the figs and sprinkle some of the caramel nuts on top.
And I loved it; the caramel with hazelnuts was delicious with just the right hint of bitterness in it and the ripe fruit with the orange mascarpone… great combination too! Now next on my list are the quince!