The Olive Oil & Fig Cake Recipe We Can't Stop Thinking About
There is something special about the arrival of the Fall (or Autumn) season, the leaves falling, the smell of chestnuts filling the streets and the days becoming shorter. When Summer ends and the leaves start becoming bright red and orange, you know it’s the right time to make yourself cozy in bed with a hot drink, somewhere indoors.
One of the things we love about the darker seasons is baking. This olive oil and fig cake by Anna Jones is exactly what you need for a warming sweet-enough treat that will see your partner and friends mmmmh-ing at the taste of it.
For the cake
170ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for greasing
200g golden caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting
100g hazelnuts, finely ground
250g white spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 large pinch salt
2 unwaxed lemons
2tsp vanilla extract, the original recipe
said vanilla paste but this works fine too
1 sprig rosemary
For the syrup
1 sprig rosemary
70ml of honey
70ml extra-virgin olive oil
30ml warm water
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Grease a 20cm cake tin with a little olive oil (Anna mentions adding greaseproof paper but we got away without it). Put all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, grate in the zest of both lemons and mix together well. Use a standup mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or an electric hand-whisk to beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and fluffy – five to seven minutes. Put the oil in a bowl, squeeze in the juice of one lemon, add the vanilla bean paste and mix well.
With the mixer on high speed, slowly pour in the oil mixture in a steady stream until combined, then keep mixing for a further three to four minutes. Turn off the mixer, fold in a third of the flour and mix well, then repeat in two more batches with the rest of the flour. Pour the batter into the lined cake tin. Trim the tops off the figs, cut into quarters and scatter them carefully on top of the batter, pushing some in as you go. Sprinkle the leaves of one rosemary sprig over the top. Bake for 55 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Leave to cool. Heat a medium pan over a high heat and add the leaves of one rosemary sprig. Toast for two minutes, tossing the sprigs around a little. Add the honey mixed (with the water to make it a little runnier) and juice of the remaining lemon and keep stirring over a high heat for about four minutes, until the syrup thickens.
Pour over the cake and enjoy with a scoop of your favourite ice cream or cream.