This is one in a series of Straight From Your Kitchen DIY Gifts for the upcoming holidays from Seasoned Cookery School and some of its guest chefs.
For this one, you need to start a day in advance, but it’s worth it. These Chocolate Figs with Almonds were created by Jenny Chandler, an expert in Mediterranean flavors, not to mentioned the famed hospitality of the region. She suggests you crank up the music, with E.L.O. or Earth Wind and Fire.
Slice off the tough small stalk of each dried fig, then soak in brandy, preferably overnight. If you've forgotten this step, then a quick zap in the microwave or warming in a pan will help things along.
Roast the almonds in a roasting tin in a hot oven until they smell nutty, for anything between 5-10 minutes. Watch them very closely, giving them a shake in the tray from time to time.
Melt the chocolate, either in a bowl over a pan of hot water, or in the microwave on the very lowest setting.
Now get the production line going.
Take a fig and push an almond in the middle. Dab the fig in the orange zest. Dip the fig in the warm chocolate and place on a sheet of greaseproof paper to firm up. If there's any brandy left, either use it in cooking or enjoy it!