Inside Out (Australia) - - Things We Love -

SERVES 8 PREPA­RA­TION TIME 45 min­utes COOK­ING TIME 60 min­utes (plus cool­ing time)

4 large free-range eggs, sep­a­rated 2 tbsp Frangelico or nut liqueur Pinch of salt 1 tsp vanilla ex­tract 100g caster sugar 65g plain flour, sieved 50g hazel­nuts, toasted, skins re­moved, chopped, to sprin­kle Ic­ing sugar, to dust Co­coa pow­der, to dust Ed­i­ble flow­ers and bought mini meringues, to dec­o­rate


750ml port 180ml wa­ter 1 vanilla pod, split 375g caster sugar 500g good-qual­ity dried figs, stalks trimmed


175g mas­car­pone 85g cream cheese, at room tem­per­a­ture 85g hazel­nut but­ter (avail­able from health food stores) 85g maple syrup 50g hazel­nuts, toasted, skins re­moved, chopped 175ml pure cream

1. For the figs, pre­heat oven to 200°C. Wash two 1L glass jars. Heat in oven for 10 min­utes to ster­ilise. Ster­ilise the rub­ber seals and lids by boil­ing in a saucepan of wa­ter for 10 min­utes. Dry with pa­per towel.

2. Com­bine port, wa­ter, vanilla and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally to dis­solve the sugar. Add the figs. Sim­mer over very low heat for 40 min­utes or un­til ten­der but still hold­ing their shape. Leave to cool slightly. Re­serve 8 figs and ½ cup syrup to serve. Trans­fer re­main­ing figs in syrup to ster­ilised jars. Seal and place up­side-down in the fridge for 24 hours to cre­ate a vac­uum. Store for up to 12 months (see tip).

3. Pre­heat oven to 170°C/150°C fan forced. Spray a 33cm x 25cm x 2cm Swiss roll pan with oil. Line with bak­ing pa­per. Spray with oil.

4. Com­bine the yolks, Frangelico, salt, vanilla ex­tract and half the sugar in a bowl. Use elec­tric beat­ers to whisk for 5-7 min­utes or un­til pale and fluffy. Grad­u­ally fold in flour un­til just com­bined. Do not over­mix.

5. In a sep­a­rate clean bowl, use an elec­tric mixer to beat the egg whites un­til they form stiff peaks. Grad­u­ally add re­main­ing sugar, beat­ing at high speed un­til sugar dis­solves. Gen­tly fold the meringue into the yolk mix­ture in 3 batches. Spread the mix­ture over pre­pared pan. Bake for 15 min­utes or un­til sponge is golden and springs back when lightly pushed. Cool sponge for 3 min­utes, dust with ic­ing sugar then im­me­di­ately turn out onto a large sheet of bak­ing pa­per. Us­ing the pa­per as a guide, roll up firmly from the short side. Leave to cool, seam-side down, for 30 min­utes.

6. Mean­while, for the hazel­nut fill­ing, use an elec­tric mixer to beat the mas­car­pone and cream cheese un­til well com­bined. Add the hazel­nut but­ter, maple syrup and hazel­nuts. Mix un­til well com­bined. With mo­tor run­ning, slowly add the cream, beat­ing un­til soft peaks form. Cover and place in the fridge un­til re­quired.

7. Care­fully un­roll the sponge and spread with two-thirds of the hazel­nut fill­ing. Sprin­kle with half the chopped hazel­nuts, leav­ing a 2cm bor­der on 1 short side. Us­ing the pa­per as a guide, re-roll the sponge. Dis­card the pa­per. Place the log, seam-side down, on a serv­ing plate. Cover com­pletely with the re­main­ing hazel­nut fill­ing. Cover and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours or un­til firm.

8. To serve, dust with a lit­tle co­coa and use a fork to form curved lines in the hazel­nut mix­ture. Sprin­kle with re­main­ing hazel­nuts. Dec­o­rate the log with flow­ers and meringues. Top with re­served sliced boozy figs. Driz­zle with re­served syrup.

TIP: Serve left­over figs with ice-cream, or give as Christ­mas gifts.

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