Saturday December 29, 2012
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
This article is the 5th of a 12-part series: A Twelfth Night Love Story,
a voyeuristic journey of love & romance
Be sure to ENTER to win one of three fabulous prizes-
So far, our Twelve Days of Christmas celebration has been a resounding success. It's really made me realize how close Remy and I have become over this last year. Exchanging a single gift each night in the privacy of our apartment, with a few candles burning, soft music in the background, and the smell of something tasty in the oven wafting through the air has made the holidays feel more magical than they have since I used to listen for reindeer hooves on the roof.
Remy's always saying he wants to cook more. So I figured I'd get him started with my favorite seductive recipe book, The New InterCourses. The recipes are incredible - tantalizingly tasty yet simple to make; the photography is super sexy, and the descriptions are nearly as delicious as the food!
After dinner, I have another surprise. I wrote to Martha Hopkins, the author of InterCourses, to ask if she could recommend a special aphrodisiac dessert for us to make together. I was over the moon when she wrote back! So tonight, my man and I will be whipping up some chocolate fig bundles, courtesy of one of my favorite seductive chefs. A little red wine, soft music, low lights, and luscious dessert with my love... what could be sweeter on a chilly winter's night?
photo (c) ben fink
chocolate fig bundles
by Martha Hopkins
one bundle alone will not satisfy
yields 2 or 3 servings
6 dried figs
11⁄2 tablespoons brandy, divided
16 whole almonds, toasted, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
1⁄2 ounce high-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 sheets phyllo pastry, thawed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, plus more for garnish
Slit the figs down the side. Place in a bowl with 1 tablespoon brandy; let stand for 30 minutes to plump with flavor.
Grind 10 of the almonds in a food processor with the granulated sugar or chop very finely
by hand. Combine the ground almonds, sugar, chocolate, and remaining 1⁄2 tablespoon of brandy in a small bowl until it forms a paste. Stuff 1 teaspoon of the mixture into each fig along with 1 whole almond.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Set a single phyllo sheet on a clean surface and keep the others moist with a damp kitchen towel. Lightly brush the sheet with melted butter. Fold the right third over the middle then the left third over the middle (you will have a 3-layer sheet). Lightly butter the surface and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar. Cut the strip in half to form 2 rectangles.
Place a stuffed fig, slit-side up, in the center of each rectangle. Pinch each corner in half,
and bring each corner together in the center to form a star shape. Brush the fig packet with melted butter. Repeat the process with each fig and place the bundles on a baking sheet. Bake for 13 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool slightly.
Place 2 or 3 bundles on each dessert plate and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.
* * * *
ENTER THE TWELFTH NIGHT LOVE STORY SWEEPSTAKES TO WIN GREAT PRIZES!