There are roses everywhere here at the moment. I am slightly obsessed and take photos every day as you may have noticed. I love all the different colours. I run past these roses most mornings with the dog. There is one particular garden that has loads of different varieties and the lady of the house takes great care of them. She must be so proud, they are all beautiful.
So all these roses made me start thinking about making something with rosewater. Just to celebrate the rose and so I would have an excuse to show a you all the pictures I have been taking.
Following on from the success of my Date, Walnut & Coconut Energy ” Truffles”, I wanted to make something similar using figs instead of dates. There are fig trees where we run too, the figs are not quite ripe yet but it it got me thinking about fig and rosewater together, a classic Arabian combination.
Rosewater is the flavouring in Turkish Delight. When I was little there was a chocolate bar called Fry’s Turkish Delight. It may still be out there, I don’t know. It had a very exotic advert and a bright pink metallic wrapper. Inside, the rose coloured Turkish Delight was coated in chocolate. At the time it seemed very mysterious and grown-up probably because my dad used to eat it all and not give me any (only joking dad)!
So I definitely wanted to use chocolate with the figs and rosewater. I found a recipe for chocolate, cashew & almond energy bars that I adapted to suit my requirements,very successfully indeed.
I am positive that my dad (my biggest fan) will approve. In fact I know he will be making them as soon as he can. The date, walnut and coconut energy truffles are now the “petit fours” of choice on all the best dining tables in Cape Town thanks to my dad. He has little production line going. People are requesting them.
I have to say that, in his version, rather than soaking the dates in water for an hour he soaks them in Frangelico or Amaretto. That could definitely be part of the reason for their popularity, it sounds amazing. So feel free to do that with the figs in this recipe too. I know of two food bloggers who will approve wholeheartedly of this little ”twist”. (Rufus & Caroline!)
These “brownies” are in fact, raw, vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and totally delicious. Please don’t be suspicious of their virtue. They have all the chewy, stickiness of a brownie with none of the bad things. Never has healthy tasted so naughty. Dad, I think you’re going to need a bigger kitchen…!
Chocolate, Fig, Almond & Rosewater “Brownies”
makes about 16. Adapted from Sea Salt With Food
- 300 gr (2 cups) dried figs, soaked in water (or Frangelico/Amaretto) for an hour
- 250gr (2 cups) almonds (no skin), roughly chopped
- 60 gr (1/2 cup) hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 75 gr (3/4 cup) pure unsweetened cocoa powder
- a pinch of salt
- 40 gr (1/2 cup) dessicated coconut
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4-6 tbsp rose water
- cold water
Remove the figs from the soaking liquid after about an hour and put them in a food processor with the roughly chopped nuts, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt.
Process until it starts to come together then add the coconut, process again then add the vanilla extract and the rose water a tablespoon at a time. The amount of rosewater you add depends on how strong the flavour is so taste as you go and stop when you are happy with the flavour.If you need to add more liquid to get it to a sticky mouldable dough consistency add a tablespoon of water at a time.
Line a brownie pan or baking tin with baking paper and tip the dough mix in and press it out evenly with a rubber spatula. Put another piece of baking paper on top and use a book or ice cream tub to press it down and make it flat. I made mine about 1 cm thick but you can make them thicker if you like.
Put in the fridge for about an hour before cutting into about 16 pieces. Store in an airtight container in the fridge layered with baking paper.
Serve some after dinner with coffee as elegant petit fours or take them to work as an afternoon snack bar. Or do like my dad and take them as a gift for the host of a dinner party. They also keep really well in the fridge. If they should last that long…