Last Tuesday I bounced out of bed and practically ran to work, it was finally my cooking day in the Le Creuset kitchens! A day with the home economist cooking and baking various treats using the Le Creuset products. There had been much speculation for many weeks amongst myself and the team about what we would be producing (yup, even the office work gossip is cooking based) and we weren’t disappointed when all was revealed.
We watched Davina (the home economist) use cast iron casseroles to roast a garlic chicken and cook savoury golden rice which glowed yellow with turmeric, followed by crisp onion and cheese tarts plus a zesty upside down orange cake. She also had a Blue Peter moment where she whipped out a little something she had made earlier, a cheesy focaccia.
We also got to have a go ourselves and cook a dish each, I went for the spelt, feta and sun dried tomato muffins (it would have been just far to obvious to go for the cake!).Of course I had to make the recipe my own and I was slightly too liberal with the rosemary by throwing extra sprigs on top for a more colourful finish plus one or two teaspoons too many of the chilli flakes but as you can see they were a big success! Full of flavour and as I’m not the biggest fan of savoury baking, something really different for me.
At the end we got to feast on the bountiful buffet of what we had made, stuffing our faces and discussing our cooking achievement’s plus we left with bulging doggy bags! An all round winner of a day and can’t wait until the next one.
This weeks bake is a more grown up, sophisticated little number. The honey caramelizes as it bakes and mixes with the juices of the figs producing a rich, sticky topping. The almonds keep the cake moist as gluten free baking can often be dry. Figs are gloriously cheap at this time of year so make the most of them! However this same recipe could also work with rhubarb, apricots, peaches etc. I have used a 2lb loaf tin to produce this and depending on the size and how many figs you put in the base of the cake will affect how much mixture you have left over. I used my left over mix to make a couple of cupcakes so nothing went to waste. Figalicious.
Fig, honey and almond gluten free cake
280g butter, room temperature
- 250g light brown muscavado sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g ground almonds
- 140g gluten free plain flour
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
- 4 tablespoons full fat greek yogurt
- 5 tbsp. honey
- 4-5 figs
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin
- Cream together your butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in one egg at a time plus one tsp of measured flour per egg to stop the mixture from curdling. Add the vanilla with the last egg.
- Sift in your flour, add your almonds and the yogurt, fold in until just combined.
- Spoon your honey into the bottom of your loaf tin so it evenly covers the base. Chop your figs in half and place cut side down into the loaf tin, pour your cake mixture on top. Fill until about 2cm away from the top of the tin. You may have some mixture left, you can use this to make some extra cupcakes!
- Pop into the oven for about 30-40 minutes when a skewer should come out clean, check after 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for about half an hour before tipping out.