A Calabrian delicacy
This dried fig delicacy comes from Calabria. The attractive chocolate-dipped figs make an ideal foodie gift, especially at Christmas. Use good quality dried fruit.
12 whole blanched almonds
Finely pared zest of 3 oranges
12 dried figs, preferably Italian
225g luxury dark chocolate
2 sheets of gold leaf (optional)
Preheat the grill to medium. Spread the almonds on a foil-lined grill pan and toast under the grill until golden, turning frequently and watching carefully to make sure they don’t burn. Allow to cool.
Chop the orange zest very finely and scatter on a board. Slit the figs vertically and place an almond inside each one. Roll the figs in the orange zest to coat all over.
Meanwhile, break the chocolate into pieces and put in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Leave until melted, then take off the heat and stir until smooth.
One at a time, spear the figs with a fork and partially dip in the chocolate, turning to coat all round. Place the figs on a sheet of baking parchment. Gold leaf may be added now in flakes and left to dry.
Recipe: Ursula Ferrigno