Almond, Honey and Fig Cake
I’m a sucker for a dense, moist almond cake – my standard recipe, the sticky orange version in my second book, Perfect Host, also includes semolina flour, but this one is all nut, which makes it satisfyingly sweet and squidgy. It’s more of a dessert cake than a teatime slice, with a vaguely southern Mediterranean or Middle Eastern feel to it thanks to the olive oil and dried figs. You can continue the theme by serving it with thick Greek yoghurt, although I like the tanginess of crème fraiche. Interested parties should note that this is both gluten and dairy free.
- 4 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 8 whole dried figs
- For the cake:
- 300g ground almonds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- 3 large eggs
- 120ml honey
- 120ml olive oil
1. Stir the 4 tablespoons of honey into 4 tablespoons of boiling water and add the lemon juice and figs. Leave to soak for at least an hour.
2. Heat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas 3 and grease and line a 20cm cake tin.
3. Put the almonds, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine and break up any clumps. Whisk together the eggs, honey and olive oil in a separate bowl, then stir into the dry ingredients.
4. Pour into the prepared tin and arrange the figs on top, reserving the soaking liquid. Bake for 40–50 minutes, until golden brown on top, and firmish.
5. Use a cocktail stick to poke a few small holes in the top of the cake and pour over the fig soaking liquid, waiting for the cake to absorb each dose before adding more. Allow to cool completely before