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Marzipan and chocolate stuffed figs in red wine syrup
Serves 6

Although I'd usually serve three figs per person, this is such a rich filling you only need two. It's better to use slightly under-ripe figs - they can withstand the cooking more easily.   Diana Henry 


12 figs
50g marzipan
30g plain chocolate
20g walnuts, roughly chopped
300ml red wine
60g caster sugar plus an extra 3tbs for sifting over the fruit
1 1/2 tbs cassis

To serve

200g Greek yoghurt
50g mascarpone
icing sugar to taste


Trim the tip off each fig. Cut a cross in the top but don't slice right through - you want to end up with a fig which just gently opens like a flower. Press the fig open - but don't flatten it - and stuff each one with the chocolate, nuts and little chunks of marzipan until you've used everything up. Carefully push the figs back into shape, without squeezing out the stuffing. Place them in a small oven proof dish where they'll all fit snugly.

Put the wine and 60g caster sugar into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring a little to help the sugar dissolve. Once it's melted, turn the heat off and boil the liquid until it's reduced by a third. Add the cassis. Pour the syrup round the figs, spooning a little of it over each fruit, then sprinkle each one with the extra sugar - this will just help it to caramelise a little. Put the figs into an oven, pre-heated to 180 C, and cook for 15 minutes. They should be soft and cooked, but not collapsing.

Mix the yoghurt and mascarpone together. Add icing sugar to taste (remember that you're serving it with something very sweet) and keep in the fridge.

Leave the cooked figs to cool a little and either serve warm or at room temperature with the cream.  

by kind permission of Diana Henry
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