I’ve recently discovered a part of myself that I never knew existed..an inherent need, a kind of maternal instinct if you will, to feed my family with an extra dose of fruit and vegetables. I’m not getting ahead of myself here, I’m still talking mascarpone, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be the kind of mum who will conceal a few pieces of broccoli under a blanket of melted cheese, make sweets out of dried fruits, or just..hide figs under some mascarpone. I try. (My dear husband is the fruit ninja in question here). Enough practice for when we have little ones of our own!
This dessert is simple enough to be called a weekday dessert, and at the same time looks super extravagant to be a party piece. The figs retain and hold their shape when baked, and the honey and cinnamon form an oozy syrup to be poured over the top for extra flavour. The mascarpone, slightly tart, gives you the perfect balance in every bite.
INGREDIENTS: (Serves 3 – 4)
10 fresh ripe figs
¼ cup honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Icing sugar (to taste)
Vanilla extract / seeds of half a vanilla bean
Pre-heat oven to 190 C / 375 F. Choose a baking dish that will fit all your figs snugly without too much space between them. Mix the honey and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside.
Toast the almond slivers in a dry pan for a few minutes and set aside. Mix together mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl until well incorporated, and leave in the fridge until the figs are done.
Score the top of your fig making a small crossways incision about half-way down into it (keeping it whole and making sure not to go all the way to the bottom).
Place the prepared figs on your baking dish and carefully pour the cinnamon-honey mixture into the incision that you made. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until cooked through, but the figs still hold their shape.
To serve, place 2 – 3 figs in a bowl and pour over some of the honey-cinnamon syrup on top. Serve with a generous dollop of mascarpone and toasted almond slivers.