3 October 2009

Caramelisation disaster

Last week I spotted some really nice figs outside the butcher's on the High Street and just couldn't resist buying 6 with a vague idea of doing something fancy with them.

Yesterday, being Friday and thus meaning a nicer dinner with Lundulph, I thought of caramelising the figs and serving them warm with vanilla ice cream.

I did a quick search for caramelised figs and there are plenty of variants around, I fancied one in particular, but when the time came to actually prepare them, I'd switched off the computer and couldn't be bothered to turn it back on just to look up the recipe. Besides it would have spoiled the surprise for Lundulph.

So I made stuff up on the fly. Which last night wasn't a good idea.

I cut them in half and placed with the cut side up in a baking tray.


Then I placed a teaspoon of light soft brown sugar on each and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

Then in under the grill, which was on medium. Three minutes later, there was a smell of something burning and blackish smoke was coming out from the grill.


Yes, my hope for the sugar sort of all melting and running down into the figs didn't quite happen. But all was not lost - I carefully scraped off the burnt teaspoon shapes and threw away.

Then I drizzled maple syrup over each of the figs. I had to open a new bottle half way through and it was difficult to pour without drenching half the tray. I then reduced the heat of the grill and moved the rack to its lowest setting and in they went for a further 3 minutes, under constant supervision.

This turned out to work a lot better and the dessert was rescued and was quite edible. However, next time I'll make sure to follow an established recipe or bake the figs first and just do a caramel coat with the blow torch at the end.


My plating could also do with some practice. But thanks to dousing the figs with syrup, there was some nicely semi-caramelised "jus" to add to each serving.

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