FRESH FIGS AND RASPBERRIES WITH MINT-INFUSED GANACHE
Alice Medrich, founder of Cocolat Chocolate stores and cookbook author, has made her fame with her exquisite, fanciful
chocolate concoctions. For this garden cooking book, she offers a dessert of fresh fruit cozily tucked in a blanket of
ganache. She explains, "Chocolate melted with fresh cream is called ganache. For the infusion, fresh peppermint with
bright green leaves, rather than the rusty-edged spearmint, is what we are looking for here. Toss out all prior notions
about mint-flavored chocolate. Use a very nice quality chocolate and expect a revelation. Serve this simple but
sophisticated dessert in rustic earthenware bowls or your best stemmed crystal. Some might be inclined to gild the
lily with a little bitty dollop of whipped cream."
-Alice Medrich (Berkeley, CA)
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3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/3 cup chopped fresh peppermint leaves
6 ounces quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
12 ripe fresh figs, quartered
3/4 cup fresh raspberries
1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted
6 to 8 good-looking small peppermint sprigs, for garnish
Combine the cream and chopped mint in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover the pot,
and allow the mint to steep in the cream for 5 minutes.|
|2.||Place the chocolate in a bowl and set a strainer over it.
When the cream has steeped, pour it through the strainer, pressing gently on the mint to extract all the cream.
Discard the mint.|
Gently stir the cream-and-chocolate mixture until it is perfectly smooth and all the chocolate is melted. Let cool just until
the consistency of a thick sauce.|
|4.||Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the
sauce into 6 to 8 individual bowls. Scatter the figs and raspberries over the sauce. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the fruit.
Sprinkle with the toasted almonds, garnish with the mint sprigs, and serve.|
|Note You can cool the ganache completely and re-warm it very gently in its pan set over another pan of barely simmering water.|
|Stuffed Fig Variation Cut figs into halves instead of quarters. Cool the ganache to a soft, spreadable consistency. Spread a mound of the ganache on the cut surface of each fig and sprinkle with toasted almonds.|
Excerpted from SMITH & HAWKEN: THE GARDENERS' COMMUNITY COOKBOOK copyright © 1999 Victoria Wise.
Reprinted with the permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.