The theme for Sugar High Friday (SHF) #35 is "The Beautiful Fig" and it was chosen by Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice. Figs and I have had a long, sometimes bumpy relationship. An excerpt:
1. Figs & Sand
My first encounter with figs: When I was a young girl, vistors from the middle east brought many gifts; including dates and dried figs. I loved dates immediately. Then I had my first bite of a dried fig and it was awful – I thought, "THERE IS SAND IN MY FIG!" I totally did not expect the grainy texture. But I saw how much my grandmother enjoyed the figs so I pretended that I liked it too. After I learnt that the “sand” was actually the seeds of the figs, I quickly grew to like them and even enjoy the contrast between the moist flesh and grainy seeds.
2. Warning: Odour Pollution of Dried Figs
Do not bring dried figs on a camping trip. Especially if you are sharing a two-person tent. Need I say more…?
3. Fresh Figs – a beautiful late discovery
I finally tasted fresh figs as an adult, while travelling overseas (fresh figs are uncommon in Singapore) – now that was love at first bite! I especially love it quartered and roasted, served with a dollop of mascarpone and drizzled with a sticky botrytis Semillon or honey.
4. Figs are sticky
Fresh figs have an affinity for my running shoes. When fig season is here, I know it straight away because after each run through a particular park that has lots of fig tees, I have to painstakingly remove the stickiest squashed figs off my running shoes.
Now on to the recipe... Fresh figs are not currently in season in the southern hemisphere, so I've decided to use semi-dried figs. They are more moist then the typical dried figs. These scrolls were so good that Quikong and I polished off half of it as soon as it was out of the oven. The Cointreau glaze makes it extra special. I also suggest using a glaze scented with rosewater. I think that it goes well with both figs and dates.
Fig, Date and Walnut Scrolls
Makes 10-12 mini scrolls
1 large egg, room temperature
225g / 2 cups unbleached white flour
½ tsp salt
25 g / 2 tbsp caster sugar
25g butter, softened
1 tsp easy-blend (rapid-rise) dried yeast
15g butter, melted
60 g semi-dried figs, stems removed & chopped
40 g dates, chopped
50g walnuts, chopped
40g soft light brown sugar, mixed with
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbps Cointreau (or orange juice)
3 tbsp icing sugar
(or 2 tsp water
1 tsp rosewater
3 tbsp icing sugar)
Pour the milk into the bread machine pan. Add the egg.
Sprinkle over the flour, ensuring that it completely covers the liquid. Add the salt, sugar and butter in three separate corners of the pan. Make a small indent in the centre of the flour (but not down as far as the liquid) and add the yeast.
Set the bread machine to the basic dough setting. Press start.
Lightly grease a 7-inch square or round cake tin. When the dough cycle has finished and dough has doubled in bulk, remove the dough from the machine and place it on a lightly floured surface.
Knock the dough back (punch it down) gently, then roll it out to form a rectangle (16 x 12 inches)
Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle it with the dried fruits, nuts and brown sugar/spice mix.
Starting from one long edge, roll the dough up, Swiss (jelly) roll fashion. Press the edges together to seal. Cut the roll into 10-12 slices and then place these cut side up in the prepared tin. Do not put them too close together because during the second rising, they will almost double in size.
Cover with an oiled clear film (plastic wrap). Leave to rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes, or until the dough slices have almost doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200° C.
Bake the scrolls for 15-20 minutes, or till they have risen well and are evenly golden all over. Be careful not to over bake because you want it still very luscious and slightly moist. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
While the scrolls are still warm, prepare the glaze. Mix the icing sugar with the Cointreau. Brush the mixture on the scrolls or drizzle it over the scrolls. Serve slightly warm.
Dough recipe adapted from The Complete Book of Bread and Bread machines by C. Ingram & J. Shapter.