The combination of figs, cassis and chocolate is one that's made in heaven. Here, a confection of figs is poached in cassis and sandwiched between two layers of truffle mixture - to make my husband's favourite choc pud. At this time of the year, try the fat black Brazilian figs that are available in Waitrose. You can also omit the figs altogether - the truffle will still be a serious contender for 'best chocolate pudding of the year'. It is great with all sorts of fruit, custards and ice creams.
Chocolate Truffle with Figs and Cassis
- Preparation time: 1 hour, plus 4 hours chilling.
- Total time: 5 hours
Serves: 10 - 12
- 300ml cassis
- 55g caster sugar
- 10 ripe figs, stems trimmed
- 450g Waitrose Continental Plain Chocolate
- 568ml pot whipping cream, at room temperature
- Pour the cassis into a saucepan large enough to hold the figs in a single layer. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Add the figs and, if necessary, just enough water to cover the fruit. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and poach gently for 5-7 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the figs, until tender.
- Remove the figs carefully with a slotted spoon and set aside. Boil the poaching liquid rapidly until reduced to 3-4 tbsp. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Melt the chocolate using a bain marie or double boiler until just melted. Allow to cool to blood temperature (if you test with your finger, it should feel neither hot nor cold; if using a thermometer, 35-38°C).
- Add the reserved syrup to the cream and whip until just slightly thickened. It is important that the cream is at room temperature and that you do not overwhip - it should begin to thicken but not leave a trail.
- Gently fold the cream into the melted chocolate just until evenly blended. Line a 2 litre (23 x 11 x 6.5cm) loaf tin with clingfilm, then spoon in half the mixture. Insert the figs into the chocolate cream, keeping the tips facing towards the base of the tin.
- Carefully spoon the remaining chocolate mixture over the figs, taking care not to dislodge them. Cover and place the truffle in the fridge for at least 4 hours, until it is well set.
- To serve, turn out on to a large flat dish and cut into slices with a sharp warm knife. Serve with Hot Fudge Sauce (see recipe).