Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Three Little Figs

Phew! Well today has been all about the cooking and baking in our house. I started early, and by 9.30 I had a huge saucepan filled with stock and pumpkin boiling away on the stove. This was lunch, pumpkin soup with crunchy toast. While that was doing it's thing, I started working on the figs that I had received a couple of days ago. When I put them into the sink to rinse, I realised that all the websites I had been reading were right. Figs really do not last very long once they have been picked. This explains why they are so extraordinarily expensive in the stores, once you pick them, you need to use them!

Luckily only four of the figs had fermented, the rest of them were ready for me to use. Yesterday I had researched some more recipes online, but as with the fig paste, most called for dried figs. I found one recipe for a fig slice (or bar) that sounded good, but not really anything else. So I decided to experiment! I am really stretching outside my comfort zone with all this "straying from the beaten path" in my cooking. Basically, I decided to make a cake with mashed figs, similar to the type of cake you would make if you used bananas.

First job was the fig slice which was a lengthy process, I have put the recipe in the other page. When it came out of the tray at the end of the process, it was a real mess. Didn't cut into pieces at all well, due to the top being more of a crumble than a solid layer. The slice is delicious (I took some in to the neighbours, and the reports back are glowing), so we are going to have it for dessert. I am a little disappointed with it (not from a taste perspective) as I understood the recipe to be more of a "bar" or slice that you could pack for a lunch. It will make a great dessert, but that's not what I was shooting for.

The cake was a better success, although my first attempt was a flop, literally. I didn't allow for the denseness of the cake batter, and my cooking time was far too short, resulting in a hollow, sunken cake. I have adjusted the cooking time, and managed a further two cakes that look to have turned out perfectly. If I was to cook this again, I would definitely use the ring tin as I did second time around, instead of the loaf tin that I would usually use for a banana cake. It came out really well. I have iced it, and we will take it to my nephew's christening tomorrow for afternoon tea. The other cake was delivered next door. Funnily enough, we are supposed to be watching our weight in this house, and I keep baking! Better share it around, so I don't eat it all myself.

The photo doesn't really do it justice, but it has a beautiful golden crust with a vanilla cream icing on the top. I had another photo, but the uploader has failed me, it didn't want to work. I will take a photo of the cut cake tomorrow so you can see what the inside looks like.


Cheltenham Home said...

I'll publicly confirm that the fig slice was awesome as a dessert, served warm with or without ice cream. Thank you!

Maybe "Something I Whipped Up" could have a home garden produce themed series - dishes whipped up from what people commonly grow in their gardens?

Jen said...

Sounds like a great idea. Maybe Cheltenham Home can provide the fresh produce? :)

Cheltenham Home said...

We're on to it! From mid-year we'll have extra chooks laying eggs, and of course, all the lemons that we let go to waste at present. There's a fair pit of free produce floating around - I've blogged about it, so just duck over to!

Jessica said...

hey jen, just catching up on your posts. I totally agree with the ring for baking dense cakes. I use a Donna Hay recipe for banana cake (which uses sour cream as part of the wet ingredients) and if you use a round tin or a loaf pan it takes a ridiculous time to cook through to the centre.