This week we had one of our famous gourmet lunches and I was tasked with making the desert. I decided to base my desert on figs as they are currently in season. I also have several new fig based products in the shop that I was keen to try out. I made real ice cream with chopped fresh figs for the first time and found it easy (as I have an ice cream maker) but it’s a slow process as you have to allow time for it to freeze. I topped the slice of ice cream with a swirl of Balsamic fig glaze, this has a sweet flavour with a hint of the balsamic underneath. I then added a teaspoon of the Purple Fig and Santongo chocolate sauce which is divine, then I topped this with a few fig flavoured pearls. These amazing little balls burst in your mouth as you eat them and have a delicious fig taste. I served the desert with a Prosecco to which I added a few fig pearls. The whole combination worked incredibly well and was quite easy to put together. You can substitute ready made ice cream if you are short of time.
Ingredients for 8 guests:
- 8 medium to large figs and 4 small figs
- 250ml milk
- 2 eggs
- 450ml fresh liquid cream
- 100g sugar
- 1 teaspoonful vanilla essence
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1 tablespoonful of a sweet Noble late harvest wine
- 1 jar Purple fig and Santonga chocolate sauce from the French Market shop
- 1 jar of Fig Pearls from “
- 1 bottle of Balsamic fig glaze from “
- 12 Almond Biscotti from “
To make the ice cream with an ice cream machine: Place the freezer jug in your freezer for a minimum of 24 hours before use.
To prepare the ice cream:
- Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan and heat gently but do not allow to boil.
- Break the eggs into a bowl and add the sugar, beat hard with a mixer until it is light and frothy.
- Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg and sugar mixture, stirring all the time.
- Once blended together, pour the custard mixture back into the sauce pan. Continue to heat gently until the custard starts to thicken
- Pour into a mixing bowl and cool at room temperature.
- Once cool add the vanilla essence
- Slowly add the cream stirring alll the time until everything is well blended.
- Place bowl in the fridge, cover with a large plate, leave to chill for a minimum of 12 hours.
- After freezer jug has been in freezer for 24hours, assemble the ice cream maker and switch on.
- Once the paddle is rotating, start to slowly pour in the cold custard cream mixture through the filling slot. It will take between 20 and 40 minutes for the ice cream to thicken.
- Take 4 small figs and chop up finely, add slowly to the ice cream as it starts to thicken.
- Slowly add the sweet wine. Continue mixing the ice cream until thick.
- Line a small loaf shaped mould (about 1 kg content) with cling wrap.
- Once ice cream is ready, remove from the mixer and spoon it into the mould inside the cling wrap. Ensure the cling wrap is all around the ice cream.
- Cover with more wrap, this will allow you to easily remove the ice cream later and place mould in freezer until needed.
- Crush the walnuts into small pieces and lightly heat in a pan to brown them slightly. Remove from heat and place on one side.
- Just before serving, cut large figs into eighths then arrange the slices on round flat side plates, leaving space in the centre to place a slice of ice cream.
- Take ice cream out of mould and remove cling wrap. It will be the shape of a log.
- Pour the crushed walnuts onto a large flat board.
- Roll the ice cream in the walnuts so that it is covered on all sides.
- Slice the ice cream into suitable slices about a thumb’s width.
- Place each slice onto the plates surrounded by the sliced figs.
- Use the fig glaze bottle and squeeze a decorative circle across the flat surface of the ice cream slice.
- Take a teaspoonful of the Fig chocolate sauce and place this in the centre on top of the slice.
- Top the chocolate sauce with a few Fig flavoured pearls.
- Place a couple of almond Biscotti next to the ice cream and serve immediately.
I recommend serving this beautifully creamy desert with a glass of Prosecco or Champagne with some Fig flavoured pearls in the glass.