I have had a packet of dried figs in the cupboard since December last year. Every now and then I look at it and think…..nah! I put it back and forget about it. I love figs – fresh figs particularly, but the dried figs were for a Christmas-themed pudding which I didn’t make. To be honest I’ve been a bit put off dried figs as a snack ever since – years ago – I soaked some, took a nice plump soaked fig and cut it in half, and there was a worm, who, poor thing, had obviously been dried with the fig!! Bleurgh. It reminds me of the “what’s worse than biting into an apple and seeing a worm?” joke. The answer of course is “seeing half a worm”. And, folks, I’ve been there too……but I digress. I had these dried figs, they had an expiry date, and I needed to use them.
Back to Aunty Google, and I eventually settled on this recipe for a fig and walnut cake. Plus, fruit, nuts, some of your 5-a-day! Win-win!
The figs are chopped and soaked in water and melted butter (there were no worms!!). I did think should I replace some of the water with Cointreau (and reduce the sugar) but I restrained myself…… The sugar and eggs are beaten together and the rest of the ingredients added. Simple. There is also mixed spice and cinnamon in the mixture, which gave off a lovely scent as it was baking.
The mixture is poured into the baking tin and cooks for around an hour. I did start to get those crazy thoughts….I couldn’t see how the cake could be anything but dry. I don’t know why that bothered me because the end result was not dry.
My cake has a crack – it looks like it’s smiling, I can almost see two eyes as well…noooooo!
Final verdict? There was nothing wrong with it, it wasn’t dry, but as a cake, and flavour-wise, it just didn’t work for me. The spices are very subtle, not “in your face”, you can smell them more than you can taste them. I do think the Cointreau addition and some orange zest might give it a little much needed zing. So there we are – neither success nor failure strictly speaking, just not my cup of tea!
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful day 🙂