Its Autumn in Australia and the fig tree in our garden is groaning under the load of figs coming to maturity. Each day there are a some that the birds didn’t get to and so I thought making a cake would be one nice way to use some of them.
With shortages at this time, checking the pantry for ingredients to use and trying to conserve plain flour for later bread making, this cake made use of what was available to us. Indeed you may only have other frsh or only canned fruit to susbtitute for the figs. Lightly steam fresh fruit or drain and pat dry the canned fruit with Kitchen paper and use in place of the figs. The batter can be a useful base for what ever you have on hand. Orange zest may also serve as a substitute.
This recipe is quite easy to make in one bowl and the combination of almond meal, cinnamon and the fresh figs give it a moisture. Just a hint of lemon to sharpen the taste and it is a great little cake to enjoy with and your favourite tea or coffee.
Fig and Almond Cake:
- 1 cup of Almond meal
- 1/4 cup of Self Raising Cake flour ( I have used Lighthouse brand Cake, Bun and Steamed Bun flour)
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 3 eggs
- 50g butter, melted
- 8-10 fresh figs
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Cinnamon sugar
- Amarretti biscuits, crumbled as required
- Preheat oven to 180º C Fan Forced
- Wash and dry the figs. Cut the stems off and then cut the figs in half lengthwise
- Prepare a 20 cm springform cake tin, by lining the bottom with baking paper Lay the paper across the bottom of the pan with the extra draped over and then close the collar around the base. Then trim off the excess paper around the outside of the tin.
- Butter the sides of the cake tin and coat well using very fine bread crumbs. You can make your own or prepare using bought bread crumbs by sifting them to catch the finer crumbs.
- Into a large bowl sift the flour, salt and cinnamon together
- Add the almond meal and sugar to the bowl of flour and gently mix through
- Melt the butter, stirring in the zest.
- Allow to cool and stir in the vanilla extract
- Lightly beat the eggs with a whisk
- Make a well in the dry ingredients, add the melted butter and stir through the mixture
- Add the eggs to the mixture, stirring through with a wooden spoon until the batter thoroughly combines all the ingredients and is smooth.
- Pour batter into the prepared cake tin, tilting the cake tin to spread it across the base of the tin
- Push the figs cut side up into the batter around the edges first, then into the centre, trimming them to fit if necessary
- Sprinkle the cut sides of the figs with cinnamon sugar
- If you have some amaretti biscuits, crumble some pieces into the centre of the figs. (Due to restrictions at the time I was unable to use them myself, but they are great to absorb moisture from the figs during baking)
- Place cake into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly
- Take out of the oven when cooked and rest for 10 minutes in the cake tin.
- Then release the springform collar and remove to a cooling rack using the baking paper to make it easier. Slide off the paper carefully and allow the cake to cool completely
- Serve with a dollop of double cream or ice cream, with your favourite tea or coffee.