Fresh Figs with Hot Espresso Syrup

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To reach Aden, in the Yemen, Fogg and Passepartout sail the length of the Red Sea, past the city of Mocha and its ‘vast coffee-fields’, then through the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb — the ‘Bridge of Tears’. The journey is unpredictable and rough, but Fogg still takes ‘his four hearty meals every day, regardless of the most persistent rolling or pitching on the part of the steamer’. This recipe, introduced to me by my wife and rock cake Debbie on a rooftop in Marrakesh, combines beautiful Arabica coffee, rich fleshy fruit, and a sweet-and-spice hint of things to come”

Ingredients

  • 8 fresh figs, halved
  • 75g/3oz soft brown sugar
  • 250ml/8fl oz strong Arabica coffee
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • vanilla ice cream, to serve

Method

Put the figs into a bowl. Place the sugar, coffee, cinnamon and star anise into a small heavy-bottomed pan (preferably a stovetop coffee pan, of the kind used to make Turkish coffee). Bring to the boil, and continue to boil until you have a thick syrup to pour straight over the figs. Serve with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.

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