Chocolate and figs are notoriously good together. They’re the Thelma and Louise of dessert sidekicks and inspiration for a mini jam tart with fig spread. With a few ingredients you most likely have in your fridge and pantry, you too can make the fig cocoa spread recipe to fill in tarts or eat on toast.
Everyday Decadence: Cocoa Fig Spread
Some people pull out jars of chocolate hazelnut spread at breakfast, but we suggest something a bit more fruit forward in our cocoa spread recipe. It’s chocolatey, sure, but our Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Dried Missions bring their familiar fig flavor and the pop of sparkly seeds to the party. This fig spread is decadent, but it also introduces a host of nutritional benefits like fiber and potassium instead of empty calories.
This is quick jam, not canned, so you will want to store the cocoa fig spread in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If you’re not as keen on the cocoa, try our quick mission fig jam made with dried figs.
Pay Attention to Pate Sucree
Two classic crust recipes can take you very far. Savory bakes lean on pate brisée while sweet bakes build on pate sucree. Literally, pate sucrée means “sweet paste.” Learning how to make a pate sucrée opens up a pastry case worth of ideas for what to bake next. We use a food processor to pull together the dough quickly with minimal touching (what can we say, sometimes we have warm hands) but you don’t need to have a food processor and instead can use a bowl and pastry cutter.
First, the confectioner’s sugar and flour are combined—we use confectioner’s sugar for the texture this powdered sugar with cornstarch mixture brings. Then, the cubed butter (think of cutting a stick into 8 to 10 pieces) is added to the processor and pulverized until indiscernible from the flour. Lastly, we add in the egg and process until the dough pulls away from the walls of the machine. The dough is then transferred to plastic wrap that once sealed into packets is chilled until still pliable but not soft. This allows the fat of the butter to solidify a bit more and is more noticeable when rolling out the dough so it’s not sticky. Cut out circles about an inch or two larger than your tart pans to then press in to the pans, allowing for shrinkage once it blind bakes.
Blind baking ensures that the top of the crust doesn’t become soggy once a filling is introduced. This simple par-baking with parchment and the weight of either ceramic pie weights or dried beans, then to bake a few minutes more without the parchment and weights takes a few minutes more, but it’s time well spent.
Cocoa Fig Spread: Jam Tart Star
Take the cocoa fig spread recipe below and you’ve got the makings for mini fig jam tarts that couldn’t be simpler to make. We like a simple garnish of just whipped cream and perhaps a dusting of confectioner’s sugar. But if you’re really wanting to pull out the stops in the fig spread filling—top the tarts with figcolates or chocolate dipped figs for a fancier topper to highlight the chocolate notes in the cocoa spread recipe.
Keep Your Cool: More Ideas
So you’ve made your pate sucrée and blind baked tart shells—what to fill them with is perhaps the hardest question. You could easily bake them a few minutes more, then cool them to be filled with vanilla pudding with figs and toasted coconut for tiny cream pies. Or, keep with the chocolate and fig theme with chocolate pudding with amaretto figs for another chilled tart.
Cocoa Fig Spread + Mini Jam Tart with Cocoa Spread Recipe
- 4-inch quiche tart pans
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , cut into cubes
- 1 large egg
Fig Cocoa Spread Recipe
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) water
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) brewed coffee
- 8 ounces Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Mission Dried Figs , stems removed
- 7 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Figcolates (optional)
Make the Pate Sucree
- In the bowl of a food processor outfitted with a blade attachment, pulse the confectioner's sugar and flour to combine. Add the cubed butter, processing until broken down to the size of sand. Add in the egg and process until it comes together. Transfer the pate sucree dough to a sheet of plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes or until still pliable but not soft. Meanwhile, start the cocoa spread recipe.
Make the Fig Cocoa Spread
- Combine sugar, water, brewed coffee, figs, cocoa powder, and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat. Cook and stir for 7 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Strain figs into a food processor, reserving syrup. Process figs with 1/2 cup syrup until smooth. Using a spatula, transfer figs back to the saucepan. Over medium low heat, stir in remaining syrup with a wooden spoon, cooking for 3 minutes or until integrated.
Create the Tarts
- Adjust oven rack to the middle. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pull out tart pans and cut parchment paper squares that are bigger by an inch or two from the tart pans.
- Roll out chilled tart dough to 1/4-inch thickness, cutting out 6-inch circles of dough. Re-roll dough to cut out remaining circles, reserving scraps. Press dough circles into the tart pans. Place parchment into each tart pan and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove the bean-lined parchment and bake for 5 minutes more.
- Fill each par-baked tart crust 3/4 of the way full with fig cocoa spread. Bake for 15 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
- While the tarts are cooling, whip heavy cream to medium peaks to dollop on the tarts. Garnish with chocolate-dipped figs, figcolates, or sift on confectioner's sugar if desired.