Getting back into blogging has not been easy. Between gardening, preserving, renovating a house and growing a baby I can’t say I’ve had the energy or enthusiasm to get writing.
But after looking over my blog, I decided that it’s actually rather very special. Not only am I sharing my love of food, but I am also capturing moments in our lives, often the everyday simple things that we take for granted. So, I have every intention of keeping my posts more regular, but we shall see how that goes!
Today was an exceptionally wintery day. It started out pouring with rain, followed by a bit of sunshine with intermittent showers. I have learnt to really love this weather. (Perhaps it’s partly due to the time we spent living in rainy, grey Manchester!) I particularly embrace it when I have the day at home, as I did today.
Cooking is my idea of relaxation. It means I am being productive, but also lets me spend some time in a world of my own. Just me and the kitchen (and, at the moment, the rather active baby in my belly!) So a rainy day at home meant a slow cooked beef Bolognese left bubbling away on the stove, a couple of loaves of bread and this rather delicious fig, almond and yogurt cake.
My dad has kept us well stocked with a hefty supply of figs from his tree this season. It is coming to an end now but with one last hurrah, he dropped off about twenty figs a couple of days ago. I am the only fig lover in this house (at the moment!) and there are only so many figs a gal can eat in a day. These luscious beauties were sitting on my kitchen bench, perfectly ripe and begging to made into a cake (after devouring a few fresh, of course!)
I love cakes with almond meal, and this one is no exception. It creates such a lovely crumb and texture whilst adding a very subtle nuttiness to the cake. But my most favourite part of this recipe are those glorious figs that adorn the cake. They become jammy wedges of deliciousness as they are baked, creating an almost toffee like texture around the edges whilst keeping the centre of the cake syrupy and moist.
You can serve this warm, or let it come to room temperature before slicing up. Either way, be sure to enjoy it with a big dollop (or two!) of cream!
Fig & Almond Cake
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g caster sugar
3 large free-range eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
180g almond meal
100g plain flour (gluten free, if necessary)
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
100g Greek yoghurt
10-12 figs, cut vertically into quarters
Preheat oven to 200˚C. Grease and line a 24cm spring-form pan.
Place butter and sugar in the bowl of a freestanding mixer and blend until creamy and pale. Whisk the eggs in a separate dish and then drizzle slowly into the butter mixture until well combined. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well blended
In a medium mixing bowl, blend the almond meal, plain flour, salt and cinnamon. Fold this into the butter mixture, along with the yoghurt.
Scoop batter into prepared tin, spreading it out evenly. Place the figs cut side up, on top of the cake in a circle fashion, pressing them lightly into the batter.
Bake at 200˚C for 15 minutes and then turn down to 170˚C and cook for a further 40-45 minutes, until cake is golden and a skewer inserted into the centre come out clean.
Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing the cake from the tin. Serve warm or allow in to come to room temperature before slicing and serving.
Adapted slightly from ottolenghi.co.uk