The sixth recipe in my „CAKES AND FRUITS“ series features a glorious Walnut Fig Cake ("Walnuss Feigen Kuchen") made with freshly ground and chopped new harvest walnuts and fresh, not dried, figs. This striking fruit, with its fresh green or deep purple skin and vibrant deep pink flesh, is a wonderful addition to the autumnal table. When buying figs, remember that they do not ripen after picking, so make sure to choose the ripest and most fragrant fruits you can find.
Fresh figs have a very short shelf life. There are thin-skinned and they bruise easily, so be careful when handling them and wrap them in tissue paper before bringing them home from the store. Ripe figs do not keep for more than two or three days in the fridge and if you would like to bring out their delicate scent and flavor, leave them in the sun for an hour or so before you serve them. Figs have a naturally high sugar content, making them an ideal match for equally intense ingredients, such as salty prosciutto or goats´ cheese. Slice them into wedges, caramelize them and serve them with bitter greens in a salad. Make a fig compote, jam or figgy pudding, make fig fritters or fig tempura or bake them until tender and drizzle with honey, crème fraîche or yoghurt. You can also poach them in port or sweet sherry with flavorings such as cinnamon, vanilla and citrus peel. Or bake this glorious Walnut Fig Cake.
Recipe for Walnut Fig Cake
(“Walnuss Feigen Kuchen”)
Ingredients for the Cake
- 125 grams (1 stick plus 1 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature – plus some more for greasing the pan
- 150 grams (3/4 cups) super fine sugar
- one package pure vanilla sugar (1 1/2 tsp or 9 grams - you can substitute pure vanilla extract)
- 75 grams (1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp) AP flour, plus some more for flouring the pan
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, from Ceylon if possible
- 2 tsp baking powder with saffron (you can also use regular baking powder) *
- 3 eggs (L), free range or organic, lightly beaten
- 100 grams (3.5 ounces) new harvest walnuts, ground
- 50 grams ( 1.7 ounces) new harvest walnuts, chopped into small pieces
- 6-8 fresh figs (not too ripe, still a bit firm) washed and halved
PLEASE NOTE: you should only use walnuts from the new harvest, they have just appeared in the markets around here.
- some confectioners` sugar
- crème double, clotted cream or crème fraîche
- homemade fig jam
- a few fresh figs
- new harvest walnuts
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
2. In your electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla sugar in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. That should take about 3-5 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon and baking powder.
4. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour and eggs alternately into the creamed butter mixture.
5. Fold in the ground walnuts and then the chopped ones.
6. Grease a 20 cm (8 inch) baking pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper, butter and flour the paper and the pan and shake out the excess.
7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan.
8. Arrange the figs, cut side up, in a neat layer on top of the cake batter.
9. Bake the cake for about 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer poked in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
10. Leave to rest in the cake pan for about 10 minutes before turning out and placing on a wire rack.
11. Let the cake cool on a rack.
12. When the cake is cool, dust with confectioners` sugar just before serving.
13. Serve with a nice dollop of crème double, clotted cream or crème fraîche and serve with homemade fig jam and some figs and walnuts (optional).
Walnuts are high in omega-3 oils which make them a healthy snack, but also likely to go rancid quickly. Keep them in a cool, dark place and use as soon as possible.
Walnuts add texture and crunch to salads. Pair them with goats’ cheese and a drizzle of walnut oil or stir them into a classic Waldorf salad. Pickled walnuts can be eaten with cold meats and cheeses - they go particularly well with blue cheese.
Very young walnuts that are still green and in their shells can be salted and pickled to serve with a cheese tray or with cold meats.
* The Dr. Oetker Company in Germany now carries a "Baking Powder with ground Saffron" that I use a lot in baking these days. However, only the regular baking powder is available in the US, other European countries and most other countries where Dr. Oetker products are sold, of course, you can use regular baking powder in this recipe (http://www.oetker.com).
Your cake looks terrific. Fresh figs aren't too common around here, but I'll keep my eyes open for them!ReplyDelete
Beth, thanks - I do realize that the ingredients are not always easy to find when when you do, making this cake with them will be a nice reward.Delete
Oh my, this looks so wonderful - I have to try it. What a treat!!ReplyDelete
Candy, thank you, I am sure that you would enjoy this easy cake.Delete
I made this yesterday! It was very yummy though I did bake it a bit too long. It was just a little crispy around the edges :). It was a big hit. Thanks!!Delete
If I can find figs I'm going to make this today! We love figs but they are hard to find here in Oklahoma. This summer I got some from my sister in law in Tennessee and made fig jam for the first time. My only complaint is I only got 6 pints! Beautiful cake!!!ReplyDelete
Guyla, that is nice to hear - hope it will turn out delicious! Figs and new harvest walnuts can be a bit difficult to find in stores.Delete
Andrea, thanks for giving my cake your stamp of approval! I was very pleased with it and would be honored for you to list it on your facebook page:)Delete
this sounds absolutely wonderful! I love the ingredients which gently bring us into Autumn in the most delicious way. Happy to follow your blog :)ReplyDelete
Mary, thank you so much - what a nice way to say that fall "is just around the corner"! And thank you for visiting my blog!Delete
Really, you have to stop with these posts like this...I have been reading them all, not commenting on them all, but reading reading, reading, and I just want to make them all...part vi??? How many parts are there? I am drooling at the photos and have them marked with "Try to Make All of These!" This fig one is just calling my name loudly today. Beautiful photos.ReplyDelete
kayte, well, it is just one week...thank you for the wonderful comments, I enjoy reading them very much.Delete
Can't wait to try this recipe! When you say 'one package pure vanilla sugar' how much sugar is that?ReplyDelete
Thanks, Michelle :-)
Michelle, thanks for your interest in this recipe, "one package of pure vanilla sugar" is 9 grams or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla sugar. Hope that helps, I will add this to the recipe.Delete
This cake looks wonderful, Andrea. Is that homemade fig jam in the beautiful jar? I've never heard of pickled walnuts, that sounds intriguing. Your fruit desserts in this series are very tempting.ReplyDelete
Betsy, that is homemade fig jam in the Weck jar, to my surprise, even the kids liked it - although the first figs that I bought did not have the dark red color that I was looking for, there were still good. With the coming weeks, there will be darker figs available for jam making.Delete
I wasn't a fig fan while growing up, and missed so many years of eating delicious figs. Maybe because of that I have developped this obsessed love toward figs. :D This cake looks so amazing. I wish I have less fear about baking so that I just stand up and start whipping up to make this delicious cake for myself!ReplyDelete
Nami, I never ate figs when I was young, that is not a fruit we ever had at our house. i discovered this only later in life and nowadays I am addicted to them!Delete
Now you're talking. This looks so tasty. My great neighbors, Ray and Dom, have fig trees and they keep me supplied. I did freeze the last lot they brought over so I can make a compote later this Fall. What is so nice about this week of yours, Andrea, is that it shows what great respect you have for the produce products you use, cook with, and put on your table. You've inspired me to be a little more choosy when and where and how I purchase all kinds of food. After reading this Post, I'll never be able to buy a sack of shelled walnuts from Costco again. OhhhhhhhhReplyDelete
Mary, I heard/read that the walnuts from Costco are just fine...but as it is with all produce in life, the fresher, the better but we all know that getting the best that the markets have to offer every time, is simply an illusion. Not possible in real life. But since figs and walnuts are available right now, I splurge and stock up on them as much as is feasible.Delete
I´m crazy about figs and this cake is a dream come true! Andrea, you´re posting one exceptional recipe after another! My fig jam never stays yellow, I wonder what kind of figs you use.ReplyDelete
Paula, here is the recipe for the green fig jam:Delete
And thank you for the wonderful comment - it really does mean a lot to me.