Marsala Poached Figs with Gorgonzola, Pistachio Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce


Tonight we are joining friends for a wine tasting dinner. Each couple brings a bottle of wine (or two) with tasting notes to go with the menu the hostess has planned. It’s my turn to bring dessert, but since none of us are big on desserts, we focus on savory fruit, nut and cheese dishes to end the meal. Here is my creation for tonight. We are taking a Marsannay Rouge 2009 Grand Vin de Bourgogne by Louis Latour to accompany this complex, but not at all sweet dessert. (Cellar Tracker gives it 89 points and calls it “the perfect example of the Holy Grail of wine—excellent burgundy at a reasonable price.” $19.99) It’s easy to prepare and the prepped ingredients can travel to the dinner locale and be quickly assembled. It passed the home taste-test with flying colors! ~ Glyn

Poached Figs with Gorgonzola, Pistachio and Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce (serves 4)

1 7oz bag whole dried figs
1 c Sweet Marsala (or other sweet wine)

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Poach the figs in the Marsala. Place the figs in a saucepan, add the Marsala and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the figs are plump and most of the wine has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and cool on paper towels.

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Chocolate Sauce
1 3oz bar organic, fair trade dark chocolate*
3 tbs butter or vegetable oil for vegan option
2 tbs Crème de Cacao Liqueur

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Break the chocolate into pieces and add to the butter, stirring as the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add the liqueur. If the sauce seizes (turns grainy and separates) stir in milk or cream by the tablespoon until the sauce becomes creamy once more. If you are not using the sauce right away, store it in a glass bowl or jar in the refrigerator until ready to use. If necessary, reheat very gently in a hot water bath or for 5-10 seconds in the microwave.

4 oz gorgonzola at room temperature (omit for or vegan)
¼ c mascarpone at room temperature (or vegan substitute)

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In a small bowl, mash together the gorgonzola and mascarpone. Form into small (3/4 in) balls.

2 tbs chopped, salted and roasted pistachios

To assemble: For each serving, slice 4 figs in half lengthwise. Arrange in a petal shape on the small dessert dish. Place cheese balls in the center of the petals. Gently dribble the chocolate sauce over the figs and the cheese balls. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.


*I use Theo Ultimate Dark Chocolate which is 85% cacao and contains very little sugar. For a milder chocolate sauce, use a lighter chocolate.

This entry was posted by Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk.

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