Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging #96

Zorra from Kochtopf is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and I thought I might take a closer look at Dried Figs

Organic Dried Turkish Figs ©

These are Organic White Turkish Figs. They are fairly soft with quite a moist interior.

Figs contain Lignin, an indigestible fibre and Ficin, a digestive enzyme that has a mild laxative effect. These two ingredients help to make Figs and especially dried figs, a bowel friendly food. You'll also find Vitamins A, B6, C, E and K along with Calcium Copper, Folate, Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Riboflavin, Selenium, Sodium and Thiamine. If that wasn't enough there's a host of Amino acids, Beta-carotene and Benzaldehyde, an anti-cancer compound.

Since Zorra is a bread making guru I thought I might offer up a quick and easy bread. This recipe has been adapted from Liz Franklin's Quick Bread where it started life as a Blue Cheese, Fig and Walnut Bread. I've remove the cheese and replaced it with fresh dates and played around with the proportions to make a bread suitable for both sweet and savoury uses. Serve it with cheese or your favourite preserve, it's bound to please.

Fig, Walnut and Date Bread

Fig, Walnut and Date Bread

120 grams dried figs, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons Marsala
200 grams plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 eggs, lightly beaten
200mls crème fraîche or sour cream
120 grams dates, roughly chopped
100 grams walnuts, roughly chopped


Soak the figs in the Marsala for about 30 minutes. If the dates are hard, soak them in hot water to soften.

Sift the flour with the baking powder into a bowl. Lightly whisk the eggs with the crème fraîche and then pour this into the flour mixture.

Stir until smooth then add the drained dates, walnuts and figs with any remaining Marsala and fold through until evenly distributed.

Butter and flour a loaf pan and pour in the batter. Bake in a preheated 180°C/350°F oven for 45 minutes or until cooked through. If it appears to be browning too quickly, cover with foil and lower the oven temperature slightly.

Let it cool slightly in the pan and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Fig, Walnut and Date Bread

How you eat this is up to you - it's an excellent match to thick chunks of cheese

Bread with Camembert

or sticky globs of honey

Bread with Honey Comb

toasted or untoasted, the choice is yours.

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16 comments:

  1. Great photos, and I love how you've adapted the recipe. I love figs, but I haven't had this type. I'll have mind with the cheese, please.

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  2. I am struggling to think of anything I'd rather eat more right now. You've outdone yourself!

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  3. The bread making guru thanks! ;-) I will bake this bread for sure! I still have some figs in my cupboard, the fresh ones are not ripe yet.

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  4. Beautiful photos!
    And it certainly looks yummy too...
    Carolg

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  5. Thanks Kalyn - they are very delicious with a nice moist core and they look good in the bread.

    Thanks Truffle, that's so nice of you.

    Thanks Zorra, I hope you like it!

    Thanks Carol!

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  6. - Hello Haalo. I know my husband will go nuts for this bread. It has all what he craves. Now what I want is the slice with the thick chunk of cheese...Yum!
    Have a great week Haalo.

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  7. Haalo, I like all the options you've suggested. The photos are very drool-worthy.

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  8. Thanks Rose hope you have a wonderful week!

    Thanks Nora!

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  9. That would make my boring Monday morning so much better, Haalo!

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  10. Good grief this looks delicious. I love slightly sweet breads, and the figs in this one seem to fit the bill. With a little bit of cheese, as you recommend, I'm sure its fabulous. Your recipes and photos always look so good!

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  11. Hi again, if I don't have Marsala, what can I use as a substitute? I have port, dessert wine, a few other liquers, juice.... thanks!

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  12. Thanks Patricia!

    Thanks TSG - figs in bread and figs with cheese are just lovely combinations.

    Hi Nora - I would probably use the port, you could also use sherry if you have it.

    Too true Leonine!

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  13. wow, this one looks so great. I love it. I have never cooked with marsala, any chance of substituting it with a different kind of wine? or maybe a sirup? I am not sure..

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  14. Thanks Zlamushka - you can try using port or sherry if you have it, rum or brandy would also work but use halve the measure and top it up with water otherwise it would be a bit too strong. You could try orange juice but that might just make it a little too sweet to use as a savoury bread.

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  15. Haalo,

    thanx for the advice. I will use rum, then.

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