Sticky Fig Pudding with Salted Caramel and Coconut Topping
A variation of this cake, using dates instead of figs, was all the rage in cafés throughout Australia and New Zealand when Helen was working and baking there. It’s hardly ever seen these days, which is a mystery, really, as it’s so delicious: moist and fruity with a crunchy caramelized topping. We serve this warm, with some thick double cream.
|2||medium Granny Smith apples|
|200g||soft dried figs, tough stalk removed, roughly chopped|
|1 tsp||bicarbonate of soda|
|2 tsp||baking powder|
|125g||unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing|
|1 tsp||vanilla extract|
|For the salted caramel coconut topping:|
|95g||soft light brown sugar|
|95g||unsweetened coconut flakes, or desiccated coconut|
You will need: eight 7.5 or 8cm bottomless round rings, 4cm high (or a regular muffin tin), baking parchment (or, if using a muffin tin, paper tulip liners – or any muffin liners – which rise about 7cm high), and an electric mixer.
1. Peel and core the apples and cut into 1cm pieces (you should have about 200g). Place the apples, figs, bicarbonate of soda and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the figs are starting to break down. Remove from the heat and set aside until cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6. If using the bottomless cake rings, line a baking tray with baking parchment, lightly butter the rings and place them on the tray. Cut strips of baking parchment, large enough to rise 3cm above the cake rings, and place them around the inside of each ring; the base of the ring should be exposed when it’s placed on the tray. If using the muffin tin, line eight moulds with paper tulip liners – or any muffin liners – which rise about 7cm high.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl and set aside. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place and beat on a medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to low and, in alternate batches, fold in the fig-apple mix and the sifted dry ingredients.
4. Divide the mix between the rings (or muffin liners) and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
5. Make the topping while the cake is baking. Place all the ingredients for the topping in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the butter is melted and the ingredients are combined. Once the cakes are cooked, remove from the oven (keep the oven on) and spoon about 1½ tablespoons of the topping mixture over the surface of each pudding: it should rise up about 1cm. Return to the oven for another 12 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.
6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes, or until they come to room temperature, before removing the rings and paper and serving: use a knife if you need to here, to help release the cake. If making them in the muffin tin, let them cool in the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool before serving.
Cook's tip: We make these in eight 7.5 or 8cm bottomless round rings, 4cm high. You can also make them in a regular muffin tin: the result is not quite as elegant, but they still work very well.
These will keep for up to 2 days at room temperature (or in the fridge, if it’s particularly warm) in an airtight container. Serve them as they are, or warm them through for 5 minutes in an oven set to 200°C/180°C Fan/ Gas Mark 6.