Cakes & Bakes: Fig rolls

Home-made fig rolls | H is for Home #recipe #baking #cooking #cookery #figs #figrolls

A biscuit recipe twice in as many weeks. We’re on a roll! This week, I’ve made a batch of delicious fig rolls… nothing like those dry horrors you tend to get in the shops. The pastry is buttery, crumbly and melt in the mouth; the filling is sweet, figgy and boozy – just lovely!

Fig roll filling

Jacobs is the brand that most people in the UK associate with fig rolls. Americans have Fig Newtons and the French, Figolu.

Strips of pastry | H is for Home Lines of fig filling on pastry | H is for Home

There’s a fair amount of debate online on the subject of, “Fig rolls: slice before or after baking?”. I decided to conduct my own experiment to find out.

Fig rolls before going into the oven | H is for Home

I’ve decided that I prefer them to be sliced before. The pastry is neater and the fig filling softly oozes using this method.

Cooked fig rolls

Disagree with my opinion? Have a look at my photographic proof below! The two on the left were sliced prior to cooking and the pair on the right, after.

Fig rolls: left, sliced before cooking - right, sliced after cooking | H is for Home

If you’ve given industrially manufactured fig rolls a try, not liked them and have turned your back on them – try making your own. Believe me, you’ll wonder what took you so long to embrace them!

Click here to save my recipe to Pinterest for future reference.

Fig rolls
Yields 16
Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
For the pastry
  1. 125g/4½oz plain flour
  2. 75g/2⅔oz plain wholemeal flour
  3. 25g/¾oz ground almonds
  4. ½tsp baking powder
  5. 2tsp caster sugar
  6. Pinch of salt
  7. 140g/5oz cold butter, diced
  8. 1 egg yolk
  9. 2tbsp milk
For the filling
  1. 200g/7oz dried figs, stems removed, roughly chopped
  2. Juice of ½ a lemon
  3. 2tbsp dark rum
  4. 2tbsp water
  5. 2tbsp muscovado sugar
  6. ½tsp mixed spice
  7. 1 egg, beatenHome-made fig rolls ingredients
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For the pastry
  1. In a food processor or large mixing bowl, combine the flours, ground almonds, baking powder, caster sugar and salt in a large bowl or food processor
  2. Pulse/rub in the butter to make crumbs
  3. Mix in the egg yolk and just enough milk to bring it together into a coherent dough
  4. shape into a rough rectangle, wrap and chill for about ½ an hour
For the filling
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the figs 2 tbsp water, 2tbsp dark rum, lemon juice, sugar and spice to a simmer. Cook gently for a few minutes until softened
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool
To combine
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Lightly flour a work surface and roll the pastry out to around 20cmx30cm and ½cm thick. Cut in half lengthwise to make 2 long strips
  4. Put a line of filling down one side of each, leaving a slight gap between it and the edge
  5. Brush the edge with water and fold the pastry over the top of the filling pressing down gently to seal
  6. Cut into 4cm lengths and arrange on the baking sheet
  7. Brush the tops with beaten egg before baking for 20-25 minutes until golden brown
  8. Allow to cool on a wire rack before eating
Print
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Fig, almond and walnut loaf

Fig, almond and walnut loaf | H is for Home

Recently, we’ve been challenging ourselves to get by on a weekly food budget of £30.00 for two. We’ve been managing very well to date; buying carefully, preparing sauces in bulk (some which we freeze for future meals) – and using up tinned foods that have been half-forgotten in the cupboard.

Tinned figs | H is for Home

One of those tins were these Baldji’s Kalamata fresh figs in syrup. I think I bought them over a year ago with the intention of making some sort of dessert. After looking for a little online inspiration, I found a River Cottage recipe for fig, almond and walnut loaf.

Mixture of eggs, bicarbonate of soda and pouring in coconut oil

Their recipe included dried figs and water so I simply used the equivalent weight of the tinned figs and their syrup. I also needed to double the cook time from 20 to 40 minutes.

Fig almond and walnut loaf mixture | H is for Home Fig almond and walnut loaf mixture | H is for Home

Once the mixture was ready to put into the tin and on to the oven, I must admit, it didn’t look promising. It had the colour and consistency of refried beans. A bit of a grey, purple, sludgy slop!

Fig, almond and walnut loaf | H is for Home

Luckily, looks were deceiving as it turned out very well – delicious in fact. A few people have tried it – some would prefer it a little sweeter, so sugar, Stevia or agave could be added. We found that a drizzle of honey on the top of a slice was the perfect addition. The flavour works really well with the figs and gives that extra sweetness too.

Sliced fig, almond and walnut loaf | H is for Home

Click here to save the recipe to Pinterest for later.

Fig, almond and walnut loaf
Ingredients
  1. 100g/3½oz dried figs
  2. 100ml/3½ fl oz water
  3. 60g/2oz walnuts
  4. 175g/6oz ground almonds
  5. 3 large eggs
  6. 80g/3oz melted coconut oil or unsalted butter
  7. 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  8. 1tsp cider vinegar
  9. Pinch of saltHome-made fig almond walnut loaf ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C/300ºF/Gas mark 2
  2. Line a 500g/1lb loaf tin with baking parchment
  3. Roughly chop the figs and add them with the water to a small saucepan over a medium heat. Simmer gently until most of the water is absorbed
  4. Blitz the figs in a food processor until they form a coarse paste
  5. Add the ground almonds and process again until damp crumbs form
  6. Add the walnuts and salt and process again briefly until they're coarsely chopped. Set aside.
  7. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat eggs and bicarbonate of soda with an electric hand whisk until frothy
  8. Whilst still beating, slowly drizzle in the coconut oil/butter in a thin stream and continue beating until the eggs are pale, thick and doubled in volume
  9. Sprinkle vinegar over the eggs and beat briefly to distribute evenly. Work quickly as the vinegar will activate the bicarbonate of soda
  10. Tip the nut mixture onto the eggs and fold in thoroughly with a metal spoon until the nuts are evenly distributed
  11. Scrape into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes away clean. Give the loaf more time to bake and perhaps turn the temperature down if it browns too fast
  12. Cool on a wire rack before eating
Notes
  1. You can store the loaf in an air-tight container in a cool place for up to 3 days - or slice & freeze for up to 2 weeks
Print
Adapted from River Cottage
Adapted from River Cottage
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart

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Home-made honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart

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.

Honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart ingredients

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.

Glazed figs before being put in the oven to roast

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.

Honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart before going into the oven

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!

Honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart before going into the oven

I’ve not made this tart before – I hope it’s a hit tonight!

Honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart
Serves 4
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 500g/18oz pack shortcrust pastry at room temperature or make your own
  2. 4 ripe fresh figs, stalks trimmed
  3. 1tbs lemon juice
  4. 1 tbs clear honey
  5. 100g/3½oz softened butter
  6. 100g/3½oz golden caster sugar
  7. 100g3½oz ground almonds
  8. 1 medium egg yolk
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
  2. Grease a shallow, loose-bottomed 20cm flan tin
  3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly-floured work surface
  4. Line the tin, carefully pushing it into the base & sides and making sure the pastry comes above the rim. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
  5. In the meantime, halve the figs lengthways and put them cut side up on a roasting tray
  6. In a small measuring jug, combine the lemon juice and honey before pouring the liquid over the figs
  7. Roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes until just soft
  8. Drain off the juice (if any) and reserve
  9. Remove the pastry case from the fridge and prick the base all over with a fork, line with a circle of greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes
  10. Remove the paper & beans and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry is golden
  11. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas mark 2 Leave the pastry case to cool slightly before filling
  12. In a food processor or using an electric beater, cream the butter and sugar until smooth & pale
  13. Add the ground almonds and whizz briefly to combine
  14. Add the egg yolk and 1 tbsp of the reserved fig juice and whizz again until smooth
  15. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread the marzipan evenly over the pastry case base
  16. Gently press the figs, cut side up, into the almond mixture
  17. Bake for 1¼ hours or until the top turns golden all over
  18. Leave in the tin for 15 minutes before removing sides and transfer to a wire rack to cool
Notes
  1. Serve cool or cold with crème fraîche or clotted cream
Print
Adapted from BBC Good Food Magazine
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Hazelnut fig frangipane cake

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Home-made hazelnut and fig frangipane cake | H is for Home #recipe #cake
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!

Hazelnut and fig frangipane cake

Yield: makes 6 slices

Hazelnut and fig frangipane cake

Ingredients

  • 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)
  •  
  •  

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 160ºC /325ºF/Gas mark 3
  2. Grease a 23cm/9inch round, loose-bottom cake tin
  3. 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
  4. Tip out onto a clean tea towel and rub vigorously to remove the skins
  5. Using a mini food processor or similar, finely grind the hazelnuts and set aside
  6. Cream together the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy
  7. In a small measuring jug, gently whisk the eggs before adding them to the butter & sugar in three stages, mixing after each addition
  8. Add the ground hazelnuts, almonds, vanilla and grated nutmeg
  9. Gently fold in the flour until just combined
  10. Spoon the mixture into the greased cake tin and level out with a spatula
  11. With a pair of scissors, remove the hard stalk from the figs and press each gently into the mixture
  12. Sprinkle the top of the cake with a little caster sugar
  13. Bake for 40 minutes until a skewer inserted comes away clean
  14. Cool in the tin on a wire rack for a few minutes
  15. Dilute the honey with the teaspoon of hot water
  16. Poke a few holes in the cake whilst it's still warm and spoon over the syrup evenly over the top
  17. 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!
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