(NOTE: From our series of recipes from Private Chefs of the SF Bay, a collective of top private chefs, in and around the Bay, creating 5-star dinner parties (luncheons, brunch and cocktail parties) in your home or venue. Their personal chefs are vetted for quality of food, presentation, service, and even clean-up. Together, they boast over 200 5-STAR reviews, just in the last 2 years! Among them, you’ll discover chefs with Michelin Star restaurant experience, award winners (including a Chopped Grand Champion and a Top ChefSeason 15 contestant!), a self-taught chef who has risen to be named “Best Bay Area Personal Chef” and chefs who have authored cookbooks. “While our culinary styles vary, our cooking philosophies are similar. First and foremost, we believe in respecting the ingredients– which means the natural flavors of what we cook directs our dishes and menus. We work with small, local farmers, ranchers, and fishermen whenever possible– folks who take the same care in creating the ingredients we use as we do in creating the dishes we prepare”.)
(Makes 2-4 servings)
10-12 dried California figs
2 oz. Dandelion Chocolate’s Kokoa Kamili, Tanzania Chef’s Chocolate (or 70% chocolate, finely chopped)
10-12 whole California almonds, toasted
½ cup labne or thick Greek yogurt
2 oz. ground chocolate (or 70% chocolate, chopped into small pieces)
Port Wine Sauce:
½ cup Port wine
2 Tbs. heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut or snip the stems from the dried figs. Use a small paring knife or spoon handle to gently open the figs at the stem end and create a small pocket. Stuff the fig with the chocolate, and top it with a toasted almond. Place the figs upright and snugly together in a heatproof ramekin, or make one from aluminum foil. Roast the figs until they soften and the chocolate melts approximately 10-12 minutes.
To make the crémeux, melt the chocolate in a Bain Marie or in the microwave (stirring at 20-second intervals) until melted. Fold the melted chocolate into the labne. Refrigerate until ready to serve. When it’s time to make the sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the Port with the cream and reduce it over medium heat until it’s as thick and syrupy as honey. Pay attention, as it will thicken up fast! To assemble the dish, spoon some of the sauce onto a plate, then top with the figs. Place a dollop of the crémeux beside each fig, and serve. Be careful; the chocolate inside the fig may be very hot.
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“At Dandelion, we believe great chocolate starts with the bean. Because we only use two ingredients to make our chocolate—cocoa beans and organic cane sugar…”