I’m not sure if having made two cakes in two weeks constitutes being on a roll, but I’m feeling very confident about this whole cake-a-week thing. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that cake is actually one of my favourite food groups, but I also think I deserve brownie points for having baked in the hottest month of the year here in Adelaide.
You’ll be pleased (or not, depends upon how devoted you are to chocolate) to see that I have managed to resist the temptation to slip straight into my chocolate cake repertoire and I think you’ll be especially pleased with this little offering that I came up with the other day. The flavours in this cake are made for each other and combine brilliantly – in fact, The Bloke pronounced it the best cake he’s ever eaten!
If you remember, I wrote about some figs preserved in syrup which I had found on a shopping trip in Melbourne last November. I had forgotten about them over the Christmas break, but they were discovered and unearthed by the wonderful house-sitter we had while we were away. This sainted woman not only looked after our house, dogs, chickens and garden, but completely tidied up and sorted out my pantry – a mammoth task that I had been dodging for many months (possibly years, if truth be told). Her organisational skills and efficient container labelling also meant that I found the crystalised ginger that I’d bought ages ago, vowing to do something interesting with it. So, figs and ginger together – what a no brainer!
Like many of my recipes before, this one is really, really easy and quick to make, simply by bunging all the ingredients in a food processor and combining well. Because it is an upside down cake there is no real need to aim for a light and airy sponge, thus avoiding lots of butter/sugar creaming and batter beating – you want something moist and a little dense to support the weight of the fruit. If you can’t find the preserved figs, fresh ones would be delicious and would look great. You could even reconstitute the soft, dried figs in a little syrup and use those.
While this cake is easy, it still has a significant wow factor. It’s packed with flavour, the fruit, butter and sugar combine to form a jammy, caramelly (?) topping and it would certainly hold it’s own if presented as a dessert for guests. It is quite sweet so I served it with thick Greek-style yoghurt, but whipped cream would be delightfully indulgent too.
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- ¼ cup of soft brown sugar
- 425 gm can of figs in syrup
- 1 cup SR flour
- ¼ cup soft butter
- ⅔ cup caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 125 gms crystalised ginger
- 1 tsp dried ginger
- ¾ cup milk
- Preheat oven to 170C. Grease sides of a 20(ish) cm round spring-form or push-bottom cake pan.
- Drain figs well, then slice into wedges.
- Coat bottom of cake pan with the melted butter, sprinkle with the brown sugar and arrange fig slices.
- Place ginger into food processor bowl and pulse until very roughly chopped.
- Place remaining ingredients into processor and blend until well combined, 30-60 seconds. Spoon batter evenly over figs.
- Bake for approx 40 mins, or until skewer comes out clean.
- Leave in pan for 5-10 minutes, then invert onto serving plate. Serve warm or cold.
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