After the Christmas period we always have a load of festive food that remains to be consumed; dates, dried figs, nuts, cheese and alcohol. Pan de higo, a Spanish cake that requires no eggs, flour or baking is a great way to make use of some of these ingredients. It’s traditionally made with figs, almonds, brandy and spices and is an excellent accompanyment to cheese & biscuits – especially Manchego, a Spanish cheese made with ewes’ milk – and a little glass of fino sherry!
Cakes & Bakes: Pan de Higo
- 250g dried figs
- 60g flaked almonds
- 3 or 4 anise seeds
- 1tbs sesame seeds
- ¼tsp cinnamon
- ⅛tsp all spice
- 1tbs honey
- 1tbs brandy
- put the flaked almonds on a shallow tray and cook for about 5 minutes until lightly toasted, shaking once or twice during that time to ensure they're evenly done. Allow to cool
- put the dried figs into a food processor and pulse a few times
- grind the anise seeds with a pestle & mortar
- add the ground anise seeds, sesame seeds, cinnamon, all spice, honey, brandy and half the almonds to the dried figs and pulse again until blended
- using a spatula, fold in the other half of the almonds until they are evenly distributed into the mix
- line a 10cm springform mini cake tin with cling film (Saran wrap) before adding the mix (I used a couple of Le Creuset heart ramekins)
- press down firmly compressing the mix as much as possible
- cover the top with clig film and leave for a few days before eating to allow the flavours to infuse
- Turn out onto a cheese board or plate and serve
We were having our end of day glass of wine with some amazing cheese, wondering what to write for this week’s blog post… why not talk about cheese? We do love a bit of cheese in this house!
Of course you need something to store it in…
…to cut it on…
…and to serve it upon
Todmorden now has its own cheese-maker called Pextenement Cheese Co. They produce a lovely cheese called East Lee Soft – it’s absolutely perfect with crackers or oatcakes. We’re looking forward to trying the cheddar and Camembert-style cheeses they’re currently developing.
We’re quite well served with cheese retailers in our area. Special mention must go to The Cheese Place in Haworth. It’s about half an hour’s drive away, but well worth the trip. Friendly, knowledgeable owners – and great cheese.
So if we’re ever undecided as to which direction to head out… we think of those wise words from Wallace – “Gromit, that’s it… cheese… we’ll go somewhere where there’s cheese!”