I love frangipane and its sticky, almondy deliciousness: it's great in tarts and cakes alike. But sometimes there's such thing as too much almond. I was poking around in the pantry the other day (aka the overflowing shelf) and came across a glut of hazelnuts. Now, it's well known that toasted hazelnut is a thing of joy, so here's a cake that continues it with sweet, gooey figs honey into something that you can eat all day long. With greek yoghurt? That's breakfast. Mascarpone? Fine for lunch. With a cold glass of white wine? Dinner.
Fresh figs are a must when in season, but if you can't rustle any up, then check the tinned fruit section for tinned ones, they work just as well. Who knew?!
Hazelnut & Fig Frangipane Cake
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 40-50 minutes
You will need:
For the cake:
- 100g hazelnuts
- 140g butter, softened
- 140g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 60g ground almonds
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 nutmeg grated
- 60g self raising flour
- 4 fresh figs or 1/2 tin tinned figs
For the syrup:
- 2 tbsp honey
- Splash of hot water
- Icing sugar and a few chopped hazelnuts, to decorate
- Preheat oven to 160C / 325F / Gas Mark 3. Grease and line a 23cm round cake tin.
- Place the hazelnuts in a dry 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 hazelnut skins.
- Use a hand-held blender or similar to finely grind the hazelnuts. Set aside.
- Cream together the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of ground hazelnuts with each.
- Beat in the rest of the hazelnuts, almonds, vanilla and nutmeg.
- Gently stir in the flour until just combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin.
- Slice the figs into halves or quarters depending on size and press gently, face-up, into the mixture. Sprinkle with a little caster sugar.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Cool in the tin for a few minutes.
- Dilute the honey with a splash of hot water.
- Poke a few holes in the cake whilst still warm and spoon over the syrup.
- Dust with icing sugar and a few chopped, toasted hazelnuts and serve, preferably warm mascarpone or greek yoghurt.