Aphrodisiacs is not a new phenomenon. People have believed in their powerful abilities to induce lust for ages. Nearly every culture has its own legends and myths surrounding certain herbs, vegetables or fruits. There have been numerous studies done around foods that are known to stimulate sexual desire. For example, chili peppers are known to boost the production of endorphins (the happiness hormones) as well as speed up your heart rate which leads to a similar feeling that comes with sexual arousal. Honey helps with regulating the estrogen and testosterone (also known as sex hormones) levels in our bodies. Figs are loaded with potassium which is a powerful agent in relieving stress and helping with muscle strength. You may or may not believe in the powers of "sexy food" but giving them a try doesn't hurt. I came up with this little "passion potion" in my own kitchen years ago. It is a great recipe to make for any occasion, particularly when you are feeling a little down. I don't believe that love remedies should be cooked only when you have a romantic partner. A healthy sex drive should be present when you are single as well.
Ripe figs (the symbol of fertility) are drizzled with honey and pomegranate reduction. It drips over fleshy figs, bathing them in sweet and sticky hot lava of flavour. Fragrant hazelnuts add a touch pleasant roughness as your tongue licks and savours the candied fig. And then there is an unexpected surprise... A touch of flaky Fleur de Sel sprinkled over the fruit. It creates an intriguing contrast to the sweetness of the syrup. It's raw and salty but so stimulating and luscious. This dish is a fantasy. It is meant to be the foreplay you will never forget. So be carried away by the fantasy and see where it takes you. Once thing is for certain. It will satisfy all of your senses. The rest is a mystery which is yours to discover. And that is a sexy thing in itself.
10 figs, halved,
2 tbsp honey,
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses,
A splash of brandy,
10 chopped hazelnuts,
1 small chilli pepper,
Some fleur de sel.
Cut your figs in halves and place them fleshy side up on a cookie sheet.
In a small pot combine your honey, pomegranate molasses, brandy, bring to a boil. Once it starts to simmer, throw in the chili pepper. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Take out the pepper and throw in your chopped hazelnuts. Once incorporated, turn off the head and drizzle the reduction over your figs. Make sure that each fig is topped with some hazelnuts.
Preheat your oven to F400 and bake for about 10 minutes. For extra caramelized top, broil for another minute.
Place them in individual serving plates and sprinkle with some Fleur de Sel. If you have some of your honey and brandy reduction left over, drizzle some more over your plated figs.