This past weekend was the opening weekend of our shop in Waipu. Garden and home wares plus a gallery space for local artists. Finally all set up and trading. We arrived in Waipu from Auckland on Saturday morning. Luke got to work straight away on the shipping-container-turned-coffee-bar (on the same property) and I started working in the shop.
I had such a good time! Our business partners had done all the set dressing and displays during the week without us. They did such a beautiful job. I felt really proud of our space and very grateful to be working as part of a team. Despite not having advertised our opening at all we had a steady stream of visitors, lots of positive feedback and a good number of sales. After a stressful past month it felt great to be standing in the finished first stage of our project.
Our coffee container should be open in two weeks. There is an insane amount to pull together still and we're thinking about it day and night. I'm feeling a mixture of very nervous and very excited. I just can't wait to get the doors open and start brewing.
Now to these delicious fig bars - thank you for bearing with me while I downloaded. I made these last week when I was craving something a little different in flavor. These bars are just divine. The figs are rich and sweet - I adore figs. Vanilla, sea salt and citrus zest give it a fresh flavor, while tahini and pistachios tie it together with an almost middle eastern feel. I used tahini as I love it's creamy richness but if you wanted to make this recipe 100% raw you could use a raw nut butter or double the amount of coconut oil.
I came home last night and pulled one of these from the freezer. I sat down and enjoyed it with a cup of chamomile tea after we settled our sweet toddler in bed. A moment of quiet after a hectic weekend. Bliss.
I hope you had a brilliant weekend and are all set for a great week. x
1 generous cup roughly chopped dried figs (remove the hard stalk) - soaked for 10 minutes in hot (not boiling) water if not a plump juicy variety.
1 1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup de-shelled pistachio nuts
1 Tbsp sesame seeds (and more for sprinkling over the top)
1 tsp good quality vanilla
zest of one lemon
zest of one lime
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp coconut oil (melted)
2 pinches good quality sea salt or pink himalayan salt
Place your almonds into a food processor and blitz until a fine crumb.
Add the figs and process until the figs are broken up and well combined with the almonds.
Add the vanilla, lemon zest, orange zest, tahini and coconut oil. Process until thoroughly combined. You may need to occasionally scrape down the sides to ensure it is well mixed.
Add the pistachio nuts and sea salt. Process VERY briefly. You want the nuts to be well mixed in but still chunky.
Press the mixture firmly and evenly into a cake or slice tin lined with baking paper. Depending on the size of your tin you may not need to use all of it. Aim for your bars to be around 1 1/2 cm thick.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and press lightly to help them stick.
Slice into bars. I cut so I had ten bars but you can make bigger or smaller.
Place into freezer for 2 hours to set.
Store in the fridge or freezer. I prefer to store them in the freezer during this warm weather. They don't get icy and have a lovely fudge texture.