Figs and Chocolate

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
You’ll swoon with pleasure when you try this handsome dessert. Seriously, handsome it is, and handsome it tastes (if you think that handsome is delicious, which I do). Figs are ephemeral, and when they’re in season I try to serve them often. My usual is to braise them in red wine, or simple sauté and use them as a vegetable. Here, though, they get slightly caramelized on the grill, then set in a bed of rich chocolate sauce, with a squeeze of lime juice over the top. Oh my, what a dessert. ASTUCES: You need a good, hot fire for this because over the heat the figs caramelize nicely and cook just perfectly, until they are tender and hot through but not too juicy. Their skin, which becomes slightly caramelized, will stick to the grill in spots but don’t worry. See the photo – they still look gorgeous. Finally, remember to trim the end of the stem from the fig –it’s too hard to eat. SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: mesh grill, long tongs PREPARATION TIME: about 10 minutes DIFFICULTY LEVEL: simple
Servings: 6 people
  • 12 medium-sized firm but ripe figs rubbed clean, stem end trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon almond, sesame, or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 6 ounces (180g) bittersweet (70%) chocolate Valrhona or Lindt brand suggested, coarsely chopped
  • 7 tablespoons (105ml) water
  • 1 lime preferably organic, cut into wedges
  • Sweet and Salty Almonds see page xx
  1. Place the figs in a large bowl. Pour the oil over them and toss gently until they are coated.
  2. Build a medium-sized fire in the barbecue, or light the gas grill with all 3 burners. When the coals are red and dusted with ash, spread them in a tight, single layer leaving a perimeter of grill with no coals under it; they need to emit concentrated heat. Set the grill over the coals and set the grill basket on the grill.
  3. While the coals are heating, make the sauce. Place the chocolate and the water in a small sauce pan over medium heat and as the chocolate melts into the water, whisk it until it is smooth. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
  4. When the grill basket is hot, brush or rub it with oil. Sprinkle the sugar over the figs, toss them so they are coated with it, and place them on the grill basket. Cook the figs until they are golden and caramelized, turning them often, closing the cover of the barbecue from time to time if necessary to calm the coals if the flames leap up, until the figs are golden all over and softened. This will take about 3 minutes total.
  5. Transfer the figs to a platter .
  6. To serve, divide the chocolate sauce among 6 dessert plates, placing a round in the center of the plate. Place 2 figs atop the chocolate, sprinkle several almonds on top (if desired), garnish with a lime wedge and serve immediately.

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