Lately you can find Texas figs at the markets, down the block, and maybe even in your own yard. I bought my pint from the Lightsey Farms booth at Sunset Valley Farmers Market. Figs grow well in our part of the world. I just wish I had more horizontal sunny real estate to grow my own. From what I understand, bumper crops of these sweet, tender fruits are the norm. I imagine I’d be putting figs into everything from newtons, cheese plates and canning jars, to these here brownies. Lushly cakey/fudgy, this batch of chocolaty treats didn’t even survive until evening. Who can resist such ambrosia?
TEXAS FIG BROWNIES makes one 9″ square panful
- 4 ounces (1 stick) butter. Organic Valley is my choice. Click for coupons.
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped. Scharffenberger is on sale right now at Central Market, 9.7 ounce baking-size bar for $7.19.
- 4 ounces de-stemmed fresh Texas figs (about 1 cup), finely chopped. I prefer the darker varieties for this recipe (Mission, Black Turkey).
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) granulated sugar. Organic sugar is available in bulk at Whole Foods and CM for $1.49 a pound.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, local of course.
- 91 grams (3/4 cup) organic all-purpose flour. I’m using WF 365 organic brand at the moment. A best buy at $4.69 per 5# bag.
- 1 Tablespoon natural (not Dutch-processed) cocoa powder. I like Dagoba organic.
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Baked brownies cling tenaciously to their baking pans, so I always line mine with a sheet of aluminum foil. I turn the pan upside down and drape and mold the foil to the underside of the pan. This makes it a cinch to fit the foil into the pan with neat corners. Grease your foil however you choose. Sometimes I use a brush and softened butter or neutral-flavored oil, sometimes I use baking or cooking spray. Use whatever’s handy for you. The foil will do most of the work. Preheat your oven to 350º. This recipe works great in the toaster oven. The figs help the batter bake up evenly moist.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Stir frequently to prevent scorching and promote blending. On my electric stove-top (pity me!), I can turn the burner off when the mixture is almost fully fluid and utilize the residual heat to complete the melting. Stir in the figs, then the sugar, salt and vanilla. Mix in the eggs until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Stir these dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake until a bamboo skewer (washable and reusable!) or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached (not clean—that’s overbaked), about 35 minutes. In my toaster oven, I lay a piece of foil on top of the pan after 15-20 minutes to prevent overbrowning. You probably don’t need to concern yourself with that in the big oven.
Like all brownies, these sweets are hard to resist when hot from the oven. But lift the whole square out of the pan using the foil, and let them cool if you can. The nectarous, floral and honeyed tones of the figs and chocolate will reward your patience with a waltz of flavors in your mouth.
And then they’ll be gone.