Monday, 12 October 2015

Fig Frangipane Cake

Drop whatever you're doing and go and buy some figs. Quick. It's time to make the most of them before their season is done and dusted. You'll need the ripest, juiciest figs you can lay your hands on. And, if you're anything like me. you should probably buy more than you think you'll need as they have a habit of disappearing.

Sat atop creamy Greek yogurt with a sprinkling of granola for breakfast. Roasted with blue cheese and drizzled with honey and sherry vinegar for lunch. Baked in a tart with goat's cheese and thyme for tea. Eaten straight from the fruit bowl.

This little tart-cake hybrid came about last week when Milli Taylor posted something similar on her (frankly drool-worthy) instagram feed. One trip to the Magic Shop later and, with figs and ground almonds in hand, I set about baking, just in time for Great British Bake Off viewing. Well, because, as everyone knows, it is impossible to watch Bake Off without, at the very least, a massive slice of cake to hand. Since then, I've baked it for Band of Bakers, a visit from my mother in law and most recently for a friend who has just had a baby. She'll be needing all the cake she can get to see her through those long sleepless nights. 

It's kind of a fig frangipane tart which lost it's crust along the way. The flour means it is a little more cake like than my usual frangipane, but it does need to be substantial enough to make it from plate to mouth without it's pastry scaffolding. Sort of.


150g unsalted butter
150g golden caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1 tbsp amaretto
finely grated zest of 1 orange
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
150g ground almonds
2 ripe figs
1 tbsp apricot jam


Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan). 

Grease a 23cm round deep fluted loose bottomed tart tin with a little unsalted butter.

Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy (this can easily take 5 minutes or longer, depending on your mixer).

Beat the eggs together with the orange zest and amaretto, then add this to the butter and sugar mixture a little at a time and continue mixing until incorporated. Don't worry if the batter looks a little like it has curdled, it will come together when you add the flour.

Sift the flour and baking powder and add to the batter along with the ground almonds. Mix until just combined.

Put the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top.

Cut each fig into eight equal pieces and arrange them on top of the batter, pushing them in lightly without submerging them in the batter.

Bake for 25 minutes or until light brown on top and a skewer comes out with only a few moist crumbs.

Whilst the tart is cooling, heat the apricot jam and sieve to remove any large pieces of fruit. Stir 1 tsp boiling water into the sieved jam and, using a pastry brush, brush all over the top of the tart.

I think it tastes pretty good still slightly warm, served with a good dollop of clotted cream.

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