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Donal Skehan’s Fig, Honey & Almond Cake

Donal Skehan’s new cookbook EAT.LIVE.GO is out now, but we’re still making this classic cake from FRESH! 

Gently spiced and with added texture from the flaked almonds, the cake comes together with a drizzle of sweet floral honey. Do use muscovado sugar if you can, as it is relatively unrefined with much or all of the molasses still remaining, giving it a slightly fudgy, more caramelised flavour. Some cheaper brown sugars are just refined sugar that has been coloured, with none of the authentic flavour.

Serves 6–8

Ingredients

110g butter, plus extra for greasing
150g light muscovado sugar
2 large free-range eggs
210g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cardamom
12 firm, ripe fresh figs, sliced in half
50g flaked almonds
Floral honey, to drizzle
Vanilla yoghurt, to serve

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and grease and line a 20cm spring-form cake tin with parchment paper.

2. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until they are incorporated. Fold in the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom until you have a thick cake batter.

3. Finely chop 6 of the figs, leaving the rest cut in halves. Stir through the chopped figs and pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. The batter will be thick, so use a spatula to spread it across the base of the tin. Gently press the fig halves, cut side up, into the batter and sprinkle over the almonds.

4. Bake in the oven for 40 –45 minutes, or until a thin metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Check after 30 minutes and cover the cake with foil if you find the almonds are browning too much.

5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. While the cake is still warm, prick it all over with a skewer and drizzle with honey, letting it seep into the holes. Serve generous slices of the cake on plates with a dollop of the vanilla yoghurt.

Recipe extracted from Fresh by Donal Skehan, published on 22nd October 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton, £20 © Donal Skehan 2015