Jammy baked figs, warming spices and a slightly nutty, salty-sweet sauce; it’s seasonal bakes like this which make the transition from Summer to Autumn that bit easier (even when the rain is unrelenting, my holiday a distant memory and the sky an ominous shade of purple-grey).
Brown butter caramel
- 75g butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 100ml double cream
- good pinch salt
Spiced fig cake (makes one 8 inch cake)
- 175g soft unsalted butter
- 100g light brown soft sugar
- 75g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- zest 1 lemon
- 3tbsp milk
- 175g self raising flour
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1tsp mixed spice
- 1/2tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4tsp freshly ground black pepper
- pinch salt
- 6-8 figs
- 1tbsp demerara sugar
- Start by making the caramel. Place the butter in a pan and melt down over a low heat. Once melted, increase the heat and foam until browned. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool.
- Tip the caster sugar into a heavy bottomed pan and heat gently, swirling occasionally (but not stirring) until it melts. Increase the heat until the caramel reaches a deep golden brown, then add the browned butter and stir (take care, it will spit a little). Once the butter is well incorporated add the cream and stir. Cook for a further couple of minutes until slightly thickened, then add the salt to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 170c and grease/line an 8 inch baking tin. Place the butter and sugars in a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment) and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating well between each addition (add a little of the flour here if the mix looks like it might curdle). Mix in the lemon zest and milk.
- Add the flour, spices and salt to the bowl and fold in with a large metal spoon. Dice 2/3 of the figs and fold those into the mixture too, then scrape it all into the prepared tin. Slice the remaining figs into 6ths and arrange on top of the cake, then sprinkle over the demerara sugar.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
- Once baked, leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack. You can serve this cold or warm (I prefer the latter), but either way, warm up the caramel just before serving and drizzle all over the cake slices.