I just want to say that this post might be more about my beautiful blue photography board than the food on it. The board literally takes the cake.
Despite having to battle the heat that is slowly creeping up on us, shooting against a new surface was all sorts of amazing. If you don’t already know it, I shoot standing in our window grill, surrounded by odd objects, curious neighbours, electrical wires and even pipes.
So, having some colour in my life feels absolutely incredible. Big shout out to my fabulous better half for making this possible 🙂
The cake? Moist and buttery, made hearty with ground almonds, fruity with fresh figs and fabulous with a dollop of cream cheese. Almost as good as the blue board 🙂
Inspired by the beautiful Playful Cooking, this cake might just be my favourite way to eat the two things I didn’t think I was a big fan of: whole almonds and fresh figs. Turns out, if there’s a blender and butter involved, I’ll eat anything.
I used a 9″ inch pan (not 6″ as in the original recipe), and beat the eggs so the batter spread more than anticipated and fluffed up. Therefore the figs I patiently arranged on the top of the batter got covered. No harm done, it just meant I got to place more pretty caramelised figs on the cake after it was baked 🙂
The ground almonds make this cake slightly dense, but if you don’t mind the figs sinking into the batter, beat the eggs so the batter is airy and light, ensuring a fluffy cake. It begins to brown very quickly, so have a sheet of aluminium foil handy to prevent burning because the inside takes longer to cook.
I was super impatient and sliced right in to a warm cake, but it tasted so good, I would recommend throwing caution to the winds and doing the same. The figs release just enough of their juices to create a super moist cake, and pair so beautifully with the nutty flavour from the almonds, they almost give my ginger-jaggery combination a run for its money.
I think this should be gracing your kitchen very soon 🙂
What you’ll need:
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 cup ground almonds (roughly 1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted if you like)
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt if using unsalted butter
6 fresh figs, halved, with stems removed
Fresh figs, halved
What to do:
1. Grease a 9″ springform pan and set aside. Preheat the oven to 190 C. If you have a 6″ inch pan, that’s fine too. The cake will probably be a bit taller and be able to support the figs in step 5!
2. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat till combined.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the ground almonds, flour, baking powder and salt, if using.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold gently till combined.
5. Tip this slightly thick batter into the prepared pan, smoothen it, and top with the halved figs, cut side facing up.
6. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until browned, and a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. About halfway through baking, if the top is browning too fast, make sure you cover the cake loosely with foil to prevent burning.
7. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing into it, if you want to avoid breaking the cake!
8. Optional topping: On medium heat, melt a knob of butter in a pan and place about 5 halved figs , cut side down, to caramelize. Allow to cool for a few seconds, then place on the cake and serve with some lightly whipped cream cheese. Yum.