I baked a fig cake instead of freaking out.
Yes. It’s true.
I’ve come to realize that baking is more than just a hobby that I do for fun; it’s a tool I use to deal with this crazy thing called life. At this point, I’m fairly certain that baking and yoga are the only things that are keeping me from having a small mental explosion (no big deal). Everybody has coping mechanisms, and these happen to be mine. Baking is a really nice way to channel frustration and stress into something positive.
This cake is a perfect example of what happens when I get frustrated. A few days before school started (junior year, yikes!), I got my class schedule… let’s just say that I wasn’t thrilled with it. So, while I moped around about my misfortune (in reality it wasn’t even something to complain about, but still), I started searching for recipes. Joy the Baker just happened to have a gorgeous picture of this fig cake on her blog, and my aunt had just dropped off a basket of fresh figs. It was so meant to be!
By the time we were all enjoying cake, I was cool, calm, and collected.
The next afternoon, however, my school counselor called out of the blue and told me that I had to drop one of my classes because the school’s master schedule had changed. I actually exploded (yelling, crying, phone-throwing, ranting, being a complete brat). No amount of yoga or baking could’ve prevented that meltdown; it was pretty bad. But, that’s a story for another post; I have a recipe to go along with that one, too!! Actually I have five recipes… it was really stressful.
Anyways, everything worked out in the end and I’m not exploding at the moment, so back to this fig cake! It’s a basic, staple recipe: mild in flavor, hearty, and not overly sweet. Seriously, make sure you don’t skip the the sugar sprinkling step! Even though it’s a breakfast cake, the extra sugar adds a much-needed crunchy sweetness. If you like figs, you’ll definitely love the cake! If you’re like me and you really don’t enjoy figs (FIGured that one out after trying this recipe), just pick the figs off and eat the cake. No big deal. It’s lovely by itself as well!
Happy fig eating, or fig picking!
P.S. Hi. I’m still alive. Just casually decided to forget to blog for the past three months. Summer was crazy busy, but I’m back! For those of you who are interested, I started a flickr account that has some of my food (and non-food) photography on it. Thanks for reading!
Fig and Almond Breakfast Cake
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, or a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract (didn’t use it because I can’t stand the the flavor)
- 6-8 fresh figs, washed and sliced in half
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 3 tbsp. turbinado sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 or 10-inch cake pan. Set aside,
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients for the cake.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and extracts. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and pour all of the buttermilk mixture into the well. Stir until just combined and no lumps remain.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and top with the figs, almonds, and sugar. Push the figs down into the batter a bit to make them stay in place. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool to room temperature in the pan. Then, slice and serve! This is one of those cakes that you keep in the pan- no flipping or inverting or anything.
The cake will keep for up to three days well-wrapped and refrigerated. The refrigerating part is really important, hence the italics. I thought Joy was kidding when she said that (I wasn’t thinking), but after two days of sitting on the counter, the cake sprouted mold on the figgy parts. So, don’t be me; listen to Joy and refrigerate the cake.