February 2018 Fig Focus

California Fig Chocolate Swirl Breakfast Buns

The combination of chocolate, Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Figs, walnuts and orange zest gives these breakfast rolls an unexpected and luscious filling. Top them off with an orange glaze and they are both pretty to look at and full of fruity fig flavor.  

The dough, akin to brioche dough but easier to make, is a dream to roll out; just give it a five-minute rest under a tea towel if it starts to shrink as you roll it to allow the gluten to relax. If your kitchen is cold, make use of your oven as a proof box. Turn the oven to its lowest setting and then turn it off. Once the oven has cooled down a bit, place the dough bowl in the oven to rise. Repeat with the rolls for the second rising when you are getting ready to bake them.  

You can either make and bake this California Fig Chocolate Swirl Breakfast Buns recipe on the same day, or refrigerate them overnight and bake them in the morning. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to such a treat? 

California Fig Chocolate Swirl Breakfast Buns

Make 12 buns

Dough:

  • Vegetable oil (for the rising bowl)
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces, 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast 

Filling:

  • 4 ounces (about ¾ cup) Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Mission Figs, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (about 3/4 cup) 60 percent chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg, thoroughly beaten with a fork

Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons fresh orange juice

MAKE THE DOUGH

  1. Lightly oil a large bowl. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and line the bottom and the 2 long sides with baker’s parchment. If the room is cold, set the oven at its lowest temperature. When it is heated, turn it off.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a hand whisk, whisk the eggs, butter, milk, sugar and salt until blended. Add half the flour and the yeast. With the paddle attachment at medium-high speed, beat for 1 minute. 
  3. Switch to the dough hook. Set the mixer on low speed and gradually add the remaining flour. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough is very smooth and elastic. 
  4. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to the oiled bowl. Turn the ball so it is coated lightly with oil. Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until doubled. If the room is cold, let the dough rise in the turned-off oven. 

MAKE THE FILLING

  1. In a food processor, combine the figs, walnuts, orange zest, cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar and salt. Process until figs and nuts are finely chopped.
  2. In a saucepan over low heat, stir the chocolate and butter together until melted. Add the fig mixture and stir to combine. Set aside. 

ASSEMBLE AND BAKE

  1. On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a 14-inch square. Spread the filling evenly over the dough. Beginning with the edge nearest you, roll the dough into an even cylinder.  Pinch the seam to seal and turn the log so the seam side is down. 
  2. With a paring knife, mark the log into 12 even pieces.  Slide a 12-inch strand of unflavored dental floss or thread under the log. Cross the ends and pull tight to cut the log into 12 slices.
  3. Place the slices, cut side up, in the baking pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until the dough is puffy and soft and the rolls are almost touching. (For overnight rolls, do not let rise. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Let the dough come to room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes before baking.) 
  4. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350º F. Brush the rolls with the egg wash. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. (The internal temperature should be 190ºF to 205ºF.) Let cool slightly before glazing.

GLAZE

  1. In a bowl, stir together the confectioner’s sugar, butter, salt and orange juice until smooth. 
  2. Spread the glaze on the rolls and serve warm.

Sweet Dreams are Made of California Figs

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and we’re sharing oodles of ideas combining chocolate and California Figs to get you baking for your sweetie. We’ve even got several ideas for fig and cheese lovers.   

Join us on Wednesday, February 7 at 8 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. ET for a live cooking demo with MacKenzie Smith of Grilled Cheese Social on Facebook Live. Bring your grilled cheese questions to ask while she shows you how to create a decadent and dreamy sweet grilled cheese featuring our Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice California Mission Figs. It’s perfect for serving as an unexpected celebration on Valentine’s.  You won’t want to miss this.   

Later in the month, Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Figs are teaming up with our friends at Rodelle and giving away the ultimate package of their vanilla extract, cocoa powder and more to inspire sweet times spent baking—stay tuned to Instagram or Facebook for this giveaway. 

Nutrition Notes 

In the News

Woohoo! Figs are highlighted as one of 9 Healthy Foods That Will Rule 2018 by Dr. Joan Salge Blake, EdD, a Clinical Associate Professor at Boston University and the author of “Nutrition & You,” 5th Edition, Pearson/Benjamin Cummings.   

“My money is on figs, which can be a savory afternoon snack, tossed in salads or grilled on skewers as a sweet dessert. Figs are packed with fiber and iron, and provide a smidgen of calcium to boot. Because many Americans are trying to cut back on the added sugars in their diets, finding a natural way to satisfy a voracious desire for sweets can help. Take one bite into a fig and you will immediately know that Mother Nature has answered your sweet tooth prayers.  

February is American Heart Month

Heart-healthy eating is an important way to lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for American women. To get the most benefit for your heart, choose more fruits (like Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Figs), vegetables, and foods with whole grains and healthy protein. Eat less food with added sugar, calories, and unhealthy fats.

Favorite and traditional recipes can often be modified to include more fiber, more fruits and vegetables and less saturated fat, added sugars, added salt and less calories. Here are some tips:

Add more fiber, fruits and vegetables

  • Vegetables and fruits are lower in calories, so adding more to a recipe may lower the calorie content of the dish.
  • Trade some of the meat or chicken for legumes.
  • Trade half of the refined white flour for whole wheat flour.
  • Trade white pasta for whole grain pasta, white rice for brown rice or barley.

Use less saturated fat

  • Substitute oil for butter in recipes.
  • Trade high fat ingredients for low fat alternatives; use yogurt instead of sour cream.
  • Use smaller amounts of high fat ingredients; use less cheddar cheese or choose a more flavorful, lower fat parmesan.

Use less sugars

  • Often the sugars in a recipe can be reduced by a third or even by half. Reduce the amount gradually and let taste buds adapt slowly.
  • Reducing the sugar content often means fewer calories.
  • Adding fruit to a recipe can add sweetness and flavor and reduce the need to add sugars.

Use less salt

  • Taste buds will adapt less salt added to recipes. It will often work well to reduce added salt gradually.
  • Most of the salt in a recipe comes from the ingredients rather than by adding table salt. Use “no added salt” products when you can 
  • Use smaller amounts of high salt ingredients such as sauces and add more low salt flavors such as herbs, spices, garlic or ginger.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

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