When I spoke with Maria Speck this week about the diversity of whole grains, she offered me this recipe for Wheat Berry Fool with Grand Marnier Figs — a rather "lofty dessert" — made with thick Greek yogurt, chewy grain berries and drunken figs. I had to share it with you.
Wheat Berry Fools with Grand Marnier FigsServes 6 to 8
3/4 cup finely chopped dried figs, preferably Turkish or Greek
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other good-quality orange-flavored liqueur
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest (about 2 oranges)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup cooked soft whole wheat berries
1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
1. Combine the figs and the liqueur in a small bowl and set aside to plump for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, while you prep the ingredients.
2. Meanwhile, beat the yogurt with 2 tablespoons of the honey, 1 tablespoon of the orange zest, and the cinnamon in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in the wheat berries. Using a hand mixer at medium speed, whip the cream in a medium bowl until foamy. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons honey and continue whipping until soft peaks form.
3. Drain the figs, reserving their juices. Combine 2 tablespoons of the figs with the remaining 1 teaspoon zest in a small bowl and set aside for garnish. Stir the remaining figs into the bowl with the yogurt mixture. Scrape one-third of the whipped cream on top and fold in using a spatula. Fold in the remaining whipped cream in 2 additions until just incorporated. Divide among serving bowls, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 2 hours. To serve, top each bowl with a bit of the reserved figs and their juices.
To get a head start: The dessert can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead. Add a dash more liqueur to the figs reserved for the garnish, if necessary.
To lighten it up: You can use lowfat plain Greek yogurt, if you like.
Reprinted with permission from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
• Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries & More by Maria Speck (Ten Speed Press)
• Related: Maria Speck: A Whole Grains Expert Weighs In