CHOCOLATE, HAZELNUT AND FIG CAKE

If there is one thing I love more than anything in the world, its cake. And I think I have outdone myself with this chocolate hazelnut and fig cake recipe, even beating my ultimate olive oil chocolate cake, which I have loved for years.

By taking that well-loved banana bread texture and combining it with sweet delicious figs, crunchy hazelnuts and dark chocolate to create a moist, crumbly cake that melts in the mouth but is held together by home-made fig jam and topped with salted caramel buttercream. If that wasn’t enough for you it’s finished with chopped nuts, squidgy fudge pieces and finished with a drizzle of caramel sauce.

This cake takes warming autumnal flavours and mixes them with best-loved classic ones. The end result… a delicious cake that everyone will love and one that actually gets better a few days later.

I use a combination of fresh and dried figs in this recipe, adding a sweeter taste to the jam without the needed for additional sugar. If you don’t want to make your own jam or buttercream feel free to buy some instead.

CHOCOLATE, HAZELNUT AND FIG CAKE

Makes: 1 large cake, cut into 10. Time to make: 3 hours.

Ingredients:
Fig Jam:
75g fresh figs, diced
75g dried figs, diced
100g sugar
1/2 vanilla pod
1tbsp lemon juice
1/4tsp cinnamon

Chocolate, Hazelnut and Fig Cake:
250g butter, melted – plus more for greasing
250g caster sugar
200g rice flour
50g wholemeal gluten-free flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1tsp ginger
1tsp cinnamon
100g ground almonds
50g almonds, finely chopped
50g macadamias, finely chopped
50g hazelnuts, finely chopped
100g dark chocolate, finely chopped
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 vanilla pod, seeded
4 fresh figs, diced

Salted Caramel Buttercream:
125g caster sugar
60ml water
80ml double cream
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2tsp salt
160g salted butter, softened
200g icing sugar

Optional
chopped hazelnuts
dark chocolate
fudge pieces
fresh figs

Method:

Grease and line the base and sides of a deep 20cm cake tin and pre-heat your oven to 180c/ gas mark 4.

Add all your jam ingredients to a heavy-based pan and place on medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved, bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer. Leave to cook on a low heat for 30-40 minutes. Add enough water to cover the jam, mix and then remove from the heat to cool.

While your jam is cooking, add your sugar, baking powder, flours, ground almond and spices into a large bowl.

Mix together your chopped nuts and chocolate in a separate bowl, then add them to your larger bowl and combine.

Melt your butter and whisk it lightly together with a fork with you vanilla extract and eggs.

Make a small well in your dry ingredients and pour in your wet. Stir together until fully combined. Then fold in your chopped figs.

Transfer into your lined cake tine and bake for 50 minutes, cover with foil then bake for a further 20 minutes or until skewers/knife comes out clean in multiple places.

While cooking, make your salted caramel sauce – dissolve the sugar and water in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat then bring to a boil. Don’t stir, but watch as the sugar turns to an amber colour. Remove from the heat, and pour in the cream. Be careful as this could spit and will be very hot. Stir quickly and add the salt and vanilla, keep stirring until it goes creamy – this can take a little while, and may look like its split, just keep stirring until its combined. Leave until completely cold.

Once your jam has cooled pop into a blender and blitz until a compote texture. You can leave it slightly lumpy if you prefer a thicker filling. Place aside.

Once your cake has cooked, remove it from the oven, allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes in its pan before removing and placing on a cooling rack.

Cream together your butter and icing sugar for 5-8 minutes and add 3/4 of your cooled salted caramel mixture and fold through. This must be cold, otherwise, it will split.

Once your cake has completely cooled, carefully slice in half. Top one half with your fig jam and place the second half on top.

Cover the entire cake with the salted caramel buttercream. And add the chopped hazelnuts and fudge pieces to the outside of the entire cake.

Add any leftover nuts and fudge pieces to the top, use the leftover salted caramel sauce to drizzle over the top – if it has gone too thick, add some hot water in splashes and mix until at the right consistency. Finish with pieces of dark chocolate and fresh figs.

 

Fancy some more fig recipes? Why not try this delicious honey roasted fig salad with goat’s cheese and walnuts.

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