The components for this luscious dessert can be made up to three days in advance and kept in the fridge. Remove them from the fridge an hour before serving.
200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
130g unsalted butter, diced
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
90g caster sugar
150g soft dried figs, cut in half
150ml Pernod or another aniseed-flavoured liqueur
200ml red wine
3 strips of shaved orange zest, plus a little grated zest to finish
4 sprigs of thyme
12 fresh figs, tips removed and cut in half lengthways (500g net)
240g crème fraîche
- Preheat the oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3. Half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a simmer. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl that sits over the pan, without touching the water. Reduce the heat to a very light simmer and, stirring with a spatula, melt the chocolate and butter. Take the bowl off the heat and set aside to come to room temperature. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, egg yolks and 40g of the sugar for four to five minutes. Gently stir the cooled chocolate mix into the eggs.
- Grease an ovenproof dish, about 15 x 10cm, and pour in the chocolate mix. Bake in the oven for six minutes, until slightly risen but wobbly in the centre. Remove, leave to cool, then put in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Prepare the figs. Place the rest of the sugar in an even layer in a sauté pan. Put on medium-high heat. Don't stir, just twist the pan as the sugar turns to caramel. As soon as this is formed, add the dried figs and stir. Pour in the Pernod, red wine, orange zest and thyme, reduce the heat, cover and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fresh figs to the pan and cook for another 10 minutes, uncovered, until the figs are soft and you get a thick compote consistency. Remove from the heat and cool.
- Dip an ice-cream scoop in boiling water, then use to scoop a portion of chocolate on to each plate. Serve the figs with crème fraîche alongside. Finish with grated orange zest.