I finally started to feel the change in season. The crisp autumn wind is here and so are early morning chills. There are some rare glimpses of autumn shades here and there but mostly, the leaves are changing color from green to brown. Sun's direction has changed and I have shifted my indoor basil plant from its original place to get more sunlight, hoping that it would survive the season.
At times, the temperature shoots up giving us a feel of summer once again but on most days, it’s perfect - neither too hot nor too cold. Cooking and baking has become more fun. It’s doesn’t make me sweat rather it warms me up. Fall fruits and vegetables have crowded the market and we are indulging as much. So, the other day when I craved for an uncomplicated and comforting cake, I reached out for figs. And our home smelled autumn! This is what I love the most about baking with fresh fruits.
I fell in love with fresh figs at the very first bite. The smooth feeling from its leathery skin, the petite size that can perfectly fit even in a baby’s hand and the beautiful red seeds. No peeling, no fuss, no runny juice, no mess! And it’s extremely photogenic.
It was one of those effortless baking experiences. A quick whisk and the cake batter was ready. A few chops and the topping was ready. When the ingredient itself is so gorgeous, why muddle with it? It can be served as a tea cake or fancy it up with some honey lemon drizzle on top for that extra richness and refreshing flavor. Either ways, it will taste light and moist. It's neither too dense nor overly sweet. The cake stayed fresh and moist for a week in the refrigerator.
Adapted from this book, the cake made my day. And Arvind gave me a *thumbs up* even though he doesn't like fig that much!
Honeyed Fig Cake
- ½ cup butter (softened plus a little bit more to grease the pan)
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 eggs (kept in room temperature)
- 1 cup ground almond or almond flour
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (plus extra to dust on the baking pan)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt (avoid it if you are using salted butter)
- zest of one lemon
- juice of half lemon
- 6 to 7 fresh figs (cut in quarters)
For the drizzle on top
- 2 tablespoons honey
- juice of half lemon
- Grease a six inch round baking pan with butter and dust it with flour. Keep it aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a batter bowl, whisk butter with sugar until it's mixed properly. Crack two eggs, add to the bowl and whisk until it's creamy.
- In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients - flour, ground almond, baking powder and salt.
- Pour the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient's bowl and whisk until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla extract and give it another whisk.
- Pour the batter to the greased pan and top it with the quartered fresh figs.
- Put it in the middle rack on the oven and bake for 30 to 35 mins.
- Insert a knife and if it comes out clean, cake is ready.
- In a bowl, mix honey with lemon juice and just before serving, drizzle it on the cake.
- If the cake gets brown on top and remains uncooked at the center, keep the oven door partially open and continue baking.
- The cake can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for up-to a week. It stays moist!