Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sponge Fig Cake with Olive Oil

My fig tree still has very small fruits but Californian figs, large and sweet as honey, have already arrived to all the stores around me. And again this year I cannot resist them. I love figs. I eat them daily through the whole season when they are available. Most often just for lunch with a piece of baguette and prosciutto or pecorino cheese. Sweet figs, soft bread, and salty smoked ham taste amazing together.

This Sunday, having another box of black and ripe figs, I decided to make a cake with them. I have not been cooking and particularly baking for a long time, as the summertime in DC does not encourage baking at all. But cooler days and almost cold nights make me crave again for a piece of a home-made cake.

Although baking fresh figs may seem a bit of a waste, I am sure they can enhance any simple cake. The recipe I have also calls also ground almonds and olive oil. You cannot go wrong with delicious sweet figs and other simple but good quality ingredients.

Sponge Fig Cake
(For a 9-inch baking pan)

1 lb fresh ripe black figs,
3 large eggs, room temperature,
2/3 cup icing sugar,
2/3 cup all purpose flour,
1/2 cup ground almonds (almond flour),
3 tbsp olive oil,
1 tsp baking powder,
a pinch of salt,
extra icing sugar for dusting,
1 tbsp soft butter for greasing the pan,
1 tbsp flour for coating the pan.

1. Wash figs, dry them and cut in quarters,

2. Grease the baking pan with butter and dust with flour.
3. Preheat oven to 325F.
4. Using an electric mixer beat eggs with sugar until pale and mousse like.
5. Add to the egg mixture flour, baking powder, ground almonds, and salt. Mix all the ingredients using mixer.
6. Add to the batter 3 tbsp olive oil and mix again.
7. Transfer the batter to the baking pan and arrange quarters of figs on top, pushing them gently inside.
8. Bake for about 40 minutes.
9. Let the cake cool and remove it from the pan. Figs most likely will be at the bottom so turn the cake upside down. Place on a serving plate and dust with icing sugar.