6 dried figs, thinly sliced
90 grams dried pears, finely chopped
150 grams glacé pears, finely chopped
1⁄2 cup brandy 100 grams soft butter 1⁄4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1 egg 100 grams quince paste, chopped 100 grams good quality dark
chocolate, chopped 1⁄2 cup self-rising flour
300 grams caster sugar 100 ml water 125 ml red wine 1 cinnamon stick
400 grams whole, dried figs
good vanilla ice-cream sheets of gold leaf
Puddings: Lightly grease 8 x 125 ml dariole moulds or ramekins and line the bases with baking paper.
Combine the figs, both pears and the brandy in a bowl. Cover and leave overnight. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, addthe egg and beat until combined. Add the fruit mixture, quince paste and the chocolate. Fold in the flour using a large metal spoon. Divide the mixture between the moulds and cover the tops with greased baking paper. Secure with string or a rubber band. Sit the moulds in a large saucepan and pour in boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the puddings. Cover and bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 35 minutes. Allow the puddings to stand for 10 minutes before turning out.
Poached Figs: Put the sugar, water, wine and cinnamon stick in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the figs and simmer for 25 minutes. Cool then store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. The figs will keep for several months in the syrup.
To serve: Place the puddings in shallow serving bowls. Put the figs alongside and spoon over some of the syrup. Top with scoops of ice-cream dusted with gold leaf.* Makes 8 puddings
* Make small ice-cream balls or quenelle shapes using two teaspoons. Do this ahead of time and return to the freezer. Once firm, press gold leaf onto the ice-cream and return to the freezer again until ready to serve.
Edible gold leaf must be at least 24 carat. It is available from art supply stores