Well, it couldn’t really be anything else – for the first recipe – could it? The inspiration for this post is pretty obvious and obvious is sometimes a good thing. I have to confess that dried figs aren’t a regular inhabitant of my larder (they certainly don’t look as appetising as their fresh counterpart) but I’m glad I was ‘inspired’ to use them here. They hit the right notes you want in a comforting winter pud – squidgy and sweet, but not overly-so – and I enjoy the contrasting texture of the seeds, which are nothing like as intrusive in the mouth as raspberry seeds.
However, I adore salted caramel and would grab any opportunity to crowbar it into a recipe. It is a very necessary element of this particular cakey pudding (or ‘pudding-ey’ cake) unless, of course, you want a cold stodgy cake to eat on a picnic…but why would you?
This would make a great dessert, reminiscent, as it is, of sticky toffee pudding. It’s ideal for entertaining as you can make it the day before then just warm it through gently before serving – either on a low oven heat, or individually sliced in the microwave (…I know; hethan!!) I’ve used coconut milk in both the cake and sauce. It gives a slightly fudgy texture to the cake, but, to be honest, you can’t taste the coconut in the sauce so feel free to just use cream if you prefer. I have a bit of penchant for substituting coconut milk wherever possible, but I shouldn’t push this habbit if it’s not necessary.
- 200g soft figs
- 50g pitted dates
- 120g soft brown sugar
- 125g softened unsalted butter
- 160g self raising flour (or 155g plain flour with 2 tsps baking powder sifted together)
- 1/3 cup of coconut milk
- ½ cup boiling water
- ¼ cup dark rum
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp Golden Syrup
- 60g unsalted butter
- 100g dark brown sugar
- 120ml coconut milk (or double cream as a substitute)
- good quality sea salt, to taste
Set oven to 150C (Fan)/170C.
Line a loaf tin as usual. I always use a siliconised loaf liner, which makes life much easier, but you can faff around with baking paper if you don’t have these.
First, prepare the dried fruit by finely chopping the figs and dates, adding them to a bowl then covering with the boiling water and rum. Give it a stir and let it sit for 20 minutes, or so.
Begin making the cake batter by creaming the butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl until lightened in both colour and consistency, then add the vanilla and Golden Syrup and beat until thoroughly combined.
Next add the soaked fruits and coconut milk and give them a good stir before folding in the flour and salt.
When the mixture is combined (or, to quote Delia, thoroughly amalgamated) spoon into the prepared tin and bake for approximately one hour. As all ovens vary, I suggest you check it after 45 minutes…just in case. The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean with no goo. Leave the cake to cool slightly on a rack, keeping it in the tin.
While the cake cools make the caramel sauce.
Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once melted add the coconut milk and stir thoroughly. Add the salt to taste – everyone is familiar with the delights of salted caramel these days, but the extent of the contrast is subjective and so go easy – it’s easy to add more; impossible to take away.
It’s my preference to serve a good slab of the cake while it’s still warm with a hefty drizzle of the sauce…and dash of double cream or ice cream (or both if you’re a little devil, like me).
Recipe appreciatively adapted from http://easilygoodeats.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/sticky-fig-pudding-egg-free-with.html
Tweets by @TheStickyFig
- Introductory Post
- Ode to a Jaffa Cake