Fig & Walnut White Chocolates

thenourishinggourmet-november

By Anna Harris, Contributing Writer

Creamy honey-sweetened white chocolate confections are studded with the crunch of toasted walnuts and the syrupy chew of black mission figs.

As it turns out, white chocolate from home, naturally sweetened and flavored is a challenging creature. Lots of research backed up this recipe that just kept writing itself out in flavors in my mind’s taste buds. So the trick with homemade white chocolate seems to be to add loads of additional flavor as well as to properly temper this fickle and fragrant fat. The flavor comes from the honey, in this case I used dehydrated honey, or honey granules to keep the intensity of sweetness without extra moisture. A heavy cream powder or coconut cream powder for a paleo version, adds richness and that “white” chocolate flavor. The pure, raw cocoa butter on it’s own, while it smells utterly heavenly and promising, needs a boost to combat the oily taste of it on it’s lonesome.  A pinch of fine salt, those gorgeous black and miniature beads from  real vanilla beans, these ingredients deliver the hoped-for heavenly flavors.

While some may find some of the ingredients finicky and may not wish to whip up a batch weekly, around the holidays, with fancy and unhealthy ingredients alluring us with every shopping trip, I find this recipe perfect for real food lovers like myself. I do appreciate the blessing of a dessert that is not only decadent and addictingly delicious (I think I ate 8 pieces during my photo shoot alone) but offers sweet benefits of wholesome fats and natural sweeteners. For even more nutritional bonuses, soak your raw nuts in salted water over night and dehydrate them before lightly toasting!

Note from Kimi: I highly recommend the below coconut milk powder! It doesn’t have any of the same concerns as regular milk powder, and is very delicious. It makes AMAZING hot chocolate. Plus, it looks like it’s cheaper than the heavy cream powder. :-) Just note that it does have a trace of casein in it, so those very sensitive to dairy, should be cautious (it hasn’t bothered me at all, but you should be forewarned if extremely dairy sensitive).

Here is a list of needed ingredients for this recipe (affiliate links): Pure Honey granules (make sure you get a pure version), coconut milk powder or heavy cream powder, Navitas Cocoa butter, or organic cocoa butter melting disks,  and vanilla paste.

Fig & Walnut White Chocolates
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6-10
 
Honey-sweetened white chocolate enrobing toasted walnuts and chewy figs.
Ingredients
  • 4 oz. raw cocoa butter
  • generous ½ cup raw walnut halves or halves and pieces
  • scant ½ cup dried black mission figs
  • 4 tbs. honey granules
  • 3 tbs. heavy cream powder/coconut cream powder
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tbs. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (I used paste)
  • fine salt
  • ¼ tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Toast walnut pieces in 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes or until fragrant and crunchy.
  2. Weigh and melt cocoa butter in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water.
  3. Blend the honey granules to a fine powder in a blender. Add honey powder and cream/coconut powder to the melting cocoa butter. Add a tiny pinch of salt and whisk together. Bring the mixture to 120 degrees and remove from the heat to the fridge to cool for around 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, slice the figs in halves or thirds depending on the size of the fig. Add nutmeg, vanilla, walnuts, and a tiny pinch of salt. Toss together to evenly coat.
  5. Whisk the cooling chocolate and continue chilling, whisking every few minutes until the mixture reaches 79 degrees. (This step only takes around 15 minutes.)
  6. Line a miniature muffin tin with papers, or use similar-sized molds, and place ONE fig piece in each hole along with 1 walnut half or a few smaller pieces. (I usually end up with around 18-20 fig pieces)
  7. Put the chocolate bowl back on the heat and bring up to 87 degrees or NO more than 89 degrees.
  8. Pour chocolate over fruit and nut mixture, I find that 2 teaspoons of chocolate works out nearly perfectly.
  9. Allow the chocolate to rest at room temperature several hours before chilling.
Notes
The only truly comprehensive directions I could find for honey-sweetened white chocolate made at home were found at the texanerin blog. Many regards for this technique. Also, you will NEED a thermometer.

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Anna lives Buffalo, NY surrounded by a cityscape of both blight and hope. She receives inspiration from the next-door urban farm and loves nothing more than to spend a lazy summer Saturday perusing the lush stalls of a farmers market with her two lively children and husband. Cream and butter are two of her most adored ingredients. She is devoted to sustainable food sourcing and to encouraging others to find the links between simple, beautiful food and thriving health. Some of her major influences include Alice Waters, Sally Fallon, and the More-With-Less cookbooks. She enjoys challenging herself with serving large gatherings, living with intentional restraint, and engaging her children in the creative world of food. Above all, she values relationships and finds joy in bringing people together around the table. You can find her blogging at eastsidepicurean.com 

Comments

  1. Heather says

    I’ve never even heard of honey granules. Do you have to special order them? Can you sub the whole food of Honey? Thanks,

    • says

      Hi Heather, I have seen a recipe or two that does indeed use honey, as is, and I assume it would work well, though in this recipe I was trying to minimize the risk of “breakage” in the white chocolate, but yes, I would still totally go for it!

  2. jill says

    hi anna…just found these on pinterest, and thus your site which i look forward to perusing. these look awesome, but have not seen cream powder or honey granules at whole foods. ordering them from amazon would be extravagant even for me (about 50.00) and i don’t know what to do with the leftover product. i must admit to being intrigued as i have been cooking with whole foods for 40 years and this is a new idea..thanks.

    • says

      You could definitely do this with any milk powder, preferably with coconut cream powder, which runs anywhere from $4+ on Amazon. (I imagine it might be difficult to find locally.) A substitute for the honey granules could be any fine (most would need to be powdered in a blender) sugar like coconut palm sugar or I imagine, even dried maple syrup! If you do any cane sugars, these are naturally great textural substitutes though certainly not as nutritious.

  3. says

    Anna, this is really impressive! Now I know why my attempt at making “milk chocolate” by adding coconut cream (separated it out from a can of refrigerated coconut milk) to dark chocolate was an epic fail. Coconut cream powder and heavy cream powder, who knew?

  4. SueQ says

    Woman, you are THE candy witch!
    These look incredibly scrumptious, the ingredients cry out to me in a very personal way.
    Love the flavor profile. Never have been interested in “white chocolate” as a carrier for other ingredients because I’ve never before seen other ingredients that seemed just right. Thanks for posting this; I’m not much for candy but the hubby loves sweets. I’d rather he have something with some food value.

  5. says

    I just love the sound of this recipie but am looking for an alternative to the cocoa butter. My local health food / organic shop here in HK is selling less than 2oz for $15. Just too expensive. Will anything else work?

    • says

      I really can’t think of anything that might substitute for the homemade aspect of white chocolate but you might wish to try Amazon for much more reasonable prices than what you just mentioned (that’s out of sight!)for the cocoa butter. A cheater’s version, but not so healthy with sugar and fillers, would be to simply melt down some white chocolate chips and pour over the fig and walnut combo. Still delicious, though not as subtle with all the additional sweetness…:) Best of luck!

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