Have you ever wondered why certain foods gel so well together? Like say fruits and Brie…or maybe Wine and Cheese? The secret lies in the aromatics that are present in these foods. Every food has a particular aromatic molecular structure and when foods of complimentary structures are paired together, the experience is magical.
This has been an area of interest lately for me, especially since I work in the flavour development segment and I actually deal with this stuff day in and day out. So, its kind of home ground for me to understand the flavour profiles, the compositions of foods and create flavours that represent their natural counterparts.
So, last week, I decided to experiment on one such brilliant combination that is so widely adopted by the West – Blue cheese and Figs.
Now, I am not entirely sure of which aromatic chemical plays a role in bringing these two ingredients to life when combined together – but I think maybe some “butyrate’s” and maybe traces of “dairy acids” do the job. Of course, the intention was to make a dish that also impresses the audience who’s savouring it.
The recipe discussed below makes use of Roquefort cheese along with Fresh figs but I’ve tried experimenting a bit with an addition of Pomegranate Molasses in the caramalisation phase. Usually, balsamic vinegar adds a good touch but believe me, pomegranate molasses works brilliantly in this.
BLUE CHEESE BISCUITS WITH CARAMALISED FIGS AND STRAWBERRY SAUCE
Blue Cheese Cookies
Roquefort Cheese – 2 tablespoons [You could try other cheeses like Danish Blue too]
Plain Flour – 2 cups
Cubed Cold Butter – ½ cup
Powdered Sugar – ½ cup [We are using sugar here because I meant this to be a dessert dish..If its savoury, delete the sugar and only add salt]
Salt – a pinch
Water – A couple of tablespoons for binding as required
For the Figs
2 Fresh Figs – cut in quarters
Sugar – 3-4 tablespoons
Pomegranate Molasses – 2 tablespoons
Water – a couple of tablespoons
Cinnamon stick – 1
For the Cookies
- Mix the dough and sugar.
- Add the salt and add in the butter.
- Rub the butter to create a coarse breadcrumb structure.
- Add in the cheese now and mix well again.
- Make sure the butter is mixed using only the fingertips else the mixture will get sticky.
- If required, add a spoonful of water just to bind it all together.
- Wrap this mixture in a plastic film wrap and keep in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
- This is to make sure the dough is good enough to roll and does not stick.
- Take out the dough from the fridge roll out the dough into about 3 mm thick sheet.
- Using a round cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and bake in a preheated oven at about 160 degrees Centigrade for about 15 minutes or until golden.
- Leave aside to cool.
For the Figs
- Take the sugar in a pan and leave to simmer on a slow flame.
- Add in the water.
- Add in the cinnamon stick and the pomegranate molasses.
- Stir the mixture to ensure it does not burn.
- Place the cut figs into this mixture and spoon the syrup over them.
- These might take a couple of minutes only.
- If you leave them longer, they will get cooked. We don’t really want that. We just need the figs well coated and with a caramel cover.
- Take them off the stove.
For the Strawberry sauce
- Take the strawberry puree in a pan and add the caster sugar to it.
- Let the mixture heat up just enough so that the sugar melts and mixes well with the strawberry puree.
- Add in the lemon juice now.
- Heat until the mixture thickens a bit – like a preserve consistency.
- Don’t heat too much else it will get caramelized. We need a fluid sauce.
For the Final Assembly
- Streak the Strawberry sauce on a plate.
- Place a cookie on it.
- If you wish, you can even use a bit of the blue cheese – very little mind you, on the cookie.
- Place the caramelised fig on the cookie.
- Serve with a flair