We have some friends that live nearby who are having their kitchen renovated. For the next few weeks, all they’ll have to cook on is a single-burner camping stove.
We’ve been in the exact same position in the past – it’s such a drag! We invited them round to ours for dinner tonight so we thought we’d cook them something that they can’t currently make at home.
Justin’s making the main course – chicken breasts filled with a fennel, pastrami and chicken mousse with a spinach and pine nut lasagne – and I’m making the dessert.
In keeping with the loosely Mediterranean theme, I’ve cooked a honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart. You can buy ready-made shortcrust pastry to make the base, but it’s really easy to make yourself at home – a 2-minute job… honest!
I’ve not made this tart before – I hope it’s a hit tonight!
When the image of Domestic Sluttery’s delicious looking Hazelnut fig frangipane cake appeared on Facebook, I immediately pinned it to our Cake! Pinterest board.
Justin loves frangipane and I’ve never used it in a recipe before. The idea of frangipane, figs and runny honey… in a cake… IRRESISTABLE!
We happened to already have all the ingredients in the store cupboard. We used soft dried figs instead of fresh or tinned as the original recipe calls for – they worked a treat!
Cakes & Bakes: Hazelnut and fig frangipane cake
- for the cake
- 100g hazelnuts
- 140g butter, softened
- 140g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 60g ground almonds
- ½tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ nutmeg, finely grated
- 60g self raising flour
- 6 soft dried figs
- for the syrup
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1tsp hot water
- Icing sugar and a few rough chopped hazelnuts, to decorate (optional)
- Preheat oven to 160ºC /325ºF/Gas mark 3
- Grease a 23cm/9inch round, loose-bottom cake tin
- Put the hazelnuts in a dry, heavy-bottomed saucepan and set over a medium heat to toast for around 5 minutes, shaking every so often to make sure they don't burn
- Tip out onto a clean tea towel and rub vigorously to remove the skins
- Using a mini food processor or similar, finely grind the hazelnuts and set aside
- Cream together the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy
- In a small measuring jug, gently whisk the eggs before adding them to the butter & sugar in three stages, mixing after each addition
- Add the ground hazelnuts, almonds, vanilla and grated nutmeg
- Gently fold in the flour until just combined
- Spoon the mixture into the greased cake tin and level out with a spatula
- With a pair of scissors, remove the hard stalk from the figs and press each gently into the mixture
- Sprinkle the top of the cake with a little caster sugar
- Bake for 40 minutes until a skewer inserted comes away clean
- Cool in the tin on a wire rack for a few minutes
- Dilute the honey with the teaspoon of hot water
- Poke a few holes in the cake whilst it's still warm and spoon over the syrup evenly over the top
- Remove from the tin, dust with icing sugar and a few chopped, toasted hazelnuts and serve warm with mascarpone or Greek yoghurt and a nice cup of tea!
It’s been a while since I shared a bread recipe – this one is for a fig, walnut and blue cheese loaf. It’s a recipe I devised myself and the resulting loaf is a great accompaniment to a cheese board or ploughman’s lunch.
Cakes & Bakes: Fig, walnut and blue cheese loaf
- 175g/6oz sourdough starter (recently refreshed)
- 250g/9oz tepid water
- 325g/11½oz strong white flour
- 75g/2½oz wholemeal flour
- 125g/4½oz figs, chopped
- 50g/1¾oz chopped walnuts
- 5g/1tsp sea salt
- 50g/1¾oz blue cheese, cubed (something like a Dolcelatte, Gorgonzola or Roquefort)
- Mix the starter and water in a large mixing bowl
- Add the white and wholemeal flours and combine until there are no lumps
- Fold in the figs, walnuts and sea salt until mixed evenly throughout the dough
- In the bowl, knead the dough gently for 10 seconds
- Leave to rest for 10 minutes
- Repeat this kneading & resting process another 3 times
- Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or cling film and leave the dough in a warm place to prove for an hour and a half to 2 hours
- Knock back and fold in the cubed blue cheese until mixed evenly throughout the dough
- Shape the dough into an oblong and put it into a 1kg-size banneton
- Cover and allow to prove in a warm place for 3-4 hours (I put my banneton into a large plastic bag which I reuse again & again, but you can get special elasticated, washable banneton covers)
- 20 minutes prior putting the loaf in to bake, preheat the oven to 240ºC/475ºF/Gas mark 9
- Put an empty, shallow baking tin onto the bottom shelf of the oven
- Fill a cup with water and leave on the side near the oven until you're ready to bake the loaf
- When proved, turn the loaf out gently onto a large greased baking tray
- Carefully score the top with a few diagonal cuts using a serrated knife or lame
- Put the loaf on the top shelf of the oven and carefully pour the cup of water into the baking tray on the lower shelf before closing the oven door
- After 10 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
- Bake the loaf for a further 20-25 minutes
- Check that it's done by tapping the underside of the loaf - it should sound hollow
- If not, turn the oven off and leave the loaf in for another 5 minutes
- Remove the loaf from the oven and allow to cool on a large wire rack for at least 45 minutes before eating