Fig and Yoghurt Cake

This is the last recipe in my fig series this year. It’s strange because the figs from my tree have now been used up, but now the supermarkets are full of figs. This is a recipe from Ottolenghi’s website and of course as you would expect, the cake is delicious, moist and flavoursome. The star anise gives the cake that special Ottolenghi twist. Perfect for afternoon tea on autumnal sunny day, or in fact any day and any weather!

Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar, plus 1 tsp extra
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 180g ground almonds
  • 100g plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla pod or ½ tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 tsp ground star anise
  • 100g Greek yoghurt
  • 12 figs

Directions

  • Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Line the bottom and sides of a 24cm loose-based cake tin with baking parchment.
  • Put the butter and sugar in an electric mixer bowl, and use a beater to work them well until they turn light and pale.
  • Beat the eggs lightly, then, with the machine on medium speed, add them gradually to the bowl, just a dribble at a time, adding more only once the previous addition is fully incorporated.
  • Once all the egg is in, mix together the almonds, flour, salt, vanilla and anise, and fold into the batter. Mix until the batter is smooth, then fold in the yogurt.
  • Pour the batter into the lined tin and level roughly with a palette knife or a spoon.
  • Cut each fig vertically into four long wedges, and arrange in circles on top of the cake, just slightly immersed in the batter.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 170C/340F/gas mark 3 and continue baking until it sets – about 40-45 minutes longer. Check this by inserting a skewer in the cake: it’s done if it comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool down before taking it out of the tin and sprinkling with a teaspoon of caster sugar.

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