It’s FIG season!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I spotted figs in the farmer’s market two weeks ago, I got so excited. I absolutely love eating figs on their own or with creamy plain yogurt and a touch of honey. Actually, that’s all I did. Every year around fig season, I told myself this is the year I’ll make figs dessert. Every year I ate all the figs I bought and never left any for creating desserts. How can you blame me? Figs are the perfect dessert mother nature gives us. And they’re expansive. Cheap as me, I don’t want to waste a single fig on testing recipes.
This year I finally took the first step. I was browsing recipes from Sweeter Off the Vine by Yossy Arefi and her fig chocolate cake caught my eye. It reminds me of the Black Fig Chocolate Bar I love from Jcoco (a local Seattle chocolate brand). Apparently, the world agrees chocolate and fig combination is a good idea. Worst case scenario, I will have a fig chocolate mass. Not gonna complain about that.
Instead of making a chocolate cake, I went for brownies. 99% of the time, I prefer cakey brownies to fudgy ones. However, in this case of adding fresh figs, I think a gooey, fudgy, moist brownie will fit better. Obviously, I want figs to be the main character. If the brownies are like classic bakery style, with a little crispy surface and edge, the figs will risk being too dry.
Therefore, the key to keep figs soft and brownie moist is underbaking. You want the center still be wiggly and it will set after cooling down.
Another element I added is salt. If you get the best in-season figs, they should be sweet as honey, chewy as a marshmallow. Brownie is also sweet, rich and moist. To balance out, I sprinkled Fleur de sel (you can also use Maldon sea salt flakes). The contrast between saltiness and sweetness creates a unique and balanced flavor.
The brownie seriously tastes divine. I don’t know if there is anything to do with the quality of the chocolate. I bought a big Valrhona dark baking chocolate bar a while ago. Because it is so expansive, I waited and waited to make the “perfect” chocolate dessert and let it shine. I think it would be proud for being in this brownie!
So here we have Fresh Fig Salted Fudgy Brownie! Make it if you like:
A well balanced,
Sweet and salty,
Highlight fresh figs,
Rich but not too rich,
Fresh Fig Salted Fudgy Brownie
1. ¾ (95g) all purpose flour
2. ½ cup (50g) cocoa powder
3. ½ tsp baking powder
4. ½ tsp salt (plus more for sprinkle on top, use Fleur De Sel or Maldon Sea Salt Flakes if possible)
5. 1¼ cup (250g) granulated sugar
6. ½ cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
7. 3 large eggs, at room temperature
8. 1 tsp vanilla extract
9. ½ cup (85g) chopped bittersweet chocolate
10. 12 ounces (340g) fresh figs, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
11. Powdered sugar for dusting on top
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Well grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium low, whisk the sugar into the butter, followed by the eggs and vanilla.
3. Turn the mixer up to medium high and beat the mixture until it lightens in color and texture, about 2 minutes. Fold in the flour mixture, followed by the chopped chocolate.
4. Pour the batter into the pan. Smooth the top and arrange the sliced figs on top in a decorative pattern.
5. Bake until the brownie is just about set, but still wiggly in the center, 30 to 35 minutes.
6. Let the brownie sit for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a cooling rack. The center will remain soft when cooled. Carefully slice the brownie to your desired size and dust with powdered sugar.
OBSERVATIONS & Notes:
1. The center will be soft and wiggly, kind of like a lava cake. This keeps the fresh figs on top soft and moist. If you really don’t like the gooey center, you can always pop the brownie back to oven for another 5-10 minutes until it’s firm.
2. It’s best eaten warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. The brownie can be kept in an air-tight container for up to 5 days in room temperature.