Sunday, 8 January 2017

Orange, Fig And Cardamom Cake

Nothing like a new year to start afresh with this blog. Last year was a nondescript year for me and yours truly is more than ready to welcome the new year. As for this blog, it seems that all I managed was nine posts for the whole of 2016. So, this year will be all about getting all those posts floating around in my head onto this little space of mine. 

And getting straight onto the job with a cake that I baked this weekend. For some reason, almost every post in the latter half of the year was chocolate. So, am taking a break from chocolate and turning to my other love, baking with the fruit of the season.

That would be figs and oranges today. I found this cake in Nigel Slater's 'Ripe', his weighty ode to cooking with the fruit in season. This is essentially an almond cake, flavoured with oranges and cardamom that has a layer of fresh figs, running through the middle of the cake. As the cake bakes, the figs cook into a soft, jammy consistency.

Once baked, a lemon and orange syrup is then poured on top of the hot cake. You will be tempted to give it a miss but don't. You will appreciate the citrus syrup when you help yourself to a slice. 

The cake does not score high on looks but cut yourself a slice and you will realise that all the drama is in the taste and texture of this cake.

This is a moist cake that uses not only almond meal but chopped almonds too and that gives it this nutty, grainy texture, very different from your regular cake. This is a cake where you must wait till it completely cools down or else you won't taste all the flavours that this cake promises. On first taste, it's the orange that will hit you but later you will discern the cardamom as well as a hint of lemon from the citrus syrup. The cake looks so moist that I wondered if it was too sweet but turns out that the syrup in fact infuses it with extra citrus notes that balances out any fears on the sugar front. 

Whist figs are a personal favourite, any other fruit such as strawberries or plums should work just as well.  
As the new year started, articles all over were about how we need to slow down, be mindful and move out of our social media bubbles. I couldn't agree more. So, here's to a new year, where you make the time to discover, connect, embrace and rejoice in life's simpler pleasures. Happy New Year..x!


Orange, Fig and Cardamom Cake

Recipe : Adapted from Nigel Slater 'Ripe'

Makes one 6-inch cake. Serves 4-6

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 75 gms ground almonds
  • 25 gms almonds, blanched, skin removed and chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 3 figs
  • For syrup:
  • Juice of one orange
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Line the tin with parchment paper and grease the sides of the tin
  • Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the almond meal and the chopped almonds to the mixture.
  • Break the eggs in a small bowl, beat them lightly with a fork and stir them into the mixture. 
  • Mix the flour and baking powder together, then fold them into the mixture together with grated orange zest and juice. 
  • Crush the cardamom seeds with a mortar and pestle and add to the cake mixture. 
  • Cut the figs in quarters.
  • Transfer half of the cake mixture to the lined pan, add the figs as a layer and then add the remaining cake mixture and smooth the top level. The figs will appear as a moist layer towards the bottom of the cake. 
  • Bake for thirty minutes and then turn down the heat to 160 deg C and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the cake is firm to touch and a skewer inserted should come out clean, without wet cake mixture sticking to it.
  • To make the syrup, squeeze the orange and lemon juice into a stainless steel saucepan. Add the sugar and bring to a boil. Keep the liquid boiling for four or five minutes, until it has formed a thin syrup.
  • Spike holes into the top of the cake (still warm and in its pan) with a skewer. Spoon over the hot citrus syrup. Leave until almost cool, then lift out of the pan. 
  • Serve in thick slices, by itself or with some natural thick yoghurt. 


  1. I love everything about this cake Sarvani! Orange, almond, Fig and cardamom! I can only imagine the smell and the flavor combination .
    I really missed your wonderful creations in 2016 and I can't wait to read more of your thoughtful posts in 2017

    1. You are such a dear friend Sawsan!! You know what would be perfect with this cake.. a cup of mint tea! And lets hope we can keep in touch better in the coming year.. Hugs!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...