Baked stuffed figs with mascarpone, walnuts and chocolate

To end that Italian inspired meal I have been going on about all week, we served Baked stuffed figs with mascarpone, walnuts and chocolate from that lovely book I have been going on about all week too – Bringing Italy Home by Ursula Ferrigno. I was more inspired by it than anything, so below is my adaptation with a few changes. It went perfectly together with the vin santo we bought at Harrod’s a while back, but almost any dessert would.

This is nevertheless a nice way to end a meal, with pimped up fruit. It is lighter than most creamy dessert despite it contains both mascarpone and chocolate and I served it with whipped cream.

Fyllda ugnsbakade fikon med mascarpone, valnötter och choklad, serves 4

Adapted after Ursula Ferrigno’s recipe.

8 fresh figs

75 g mascarpone

40 g walnuts, chopped

1 tbsp vin santo

100 g milk chocolate

1-2 tbsp single cream

Wash the figs and cut off parts of their bottoms so they can stand up. The make a cross almost all the way down to open up the figs. It is in this opening we put the stuffing.

Mix mascarpone with wine and walnuts. Stuff the figs. Bake for 10 minutes in 200C.

Melt the chocolate while the figs are baking, and mix with the cream. When the figs are done, place two on each plate and spoon chocolate on top. Serve with lightly whipped cream. 

Tuscan wine tasting at Harrod’s

I don’t think Harrod’s needs an introduction, and I am a big fan of their food halls, and of course the Laduree cafée. But this time we were there for a Tuscan wine tasting in their wine store in the basement.

I guess 100-150 attended this sold out event and we mingled around with our glasses trying 50 Tuscan wines. Most were red, but there were also a few whites and some vin santo.

But first, as a treat, we got to try four types of Bollinger champagne. It was two non-vintage; Special Cuvée NV and Bollinger rosé as well as La Grande Année 2002 and La Grande Année Rosé 2002. A few weeks back I got to try a Dom Perignon 2000 which was lovely, and actually a bit nicer than this Bollinger vintage. Don’t get me wrong, the Bollinger was nice too, and a lot cheaper if you want a vintage champagne, so I still recommend it.

Most wines at this tasting were, as I mentioned earlier, reds. Chianti and Brunello are the most common wines, and the most gommon grape is Sangiovese. Most reds had the main grape as Sangiovese but also had other grapes blended in.

We also got to try a wonderful rosé, that tasted Provence and a white vermentino that was absolutely fabulous. But the best memory from this evening was when we tried a beautiful vin santo. I have had several vin santo before, and other dessert wines, but this was something extraordinary. It was amazing and just blew us away. It was of course sweet, but had a deeper undertone that was just phenomenal. It is called Vin Santo di Carmignano Riserva 2005.

There were also canapées (much needed when trying that many wines!) and they were really good. They had arancini (being true to the theme), crisp salmon fishcakes, mini mini quiches with melt-in-the-mouth pastry and rare roast beef in a shortcrust crustade with horseradish, and a sweet lemon cheesecake to finish.

This was just a fabulous evening, and I learned so much about wine in general and Tuscan wines in particular from talking to all the vendors, but we also met lovely people mingling just like us, and I have a sneaky feeling we will see some of them at the next event.