It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chocolate, Fig & Almond Cake Recipe

I'm still on my baking jag and I've just put this amazing cake in the oven.  The house smells glorious and I managed to scrape the mixing bowls and lick the beaters, so at least I know that the mixture is fabulous!

I did make a few changes though, I didn't have any Amaretto so I used Malibu, and I used a bunch of milk chocolate that I had in the pantry instead of the 60% cocoa solid chocolate that they recommended.  Fingers crossed it all turns out okay!

Oh, and this is another of those "use all the bowls in the house" recipes.  Make sure your dishwasher is ready!


This cake is light and moist and the flavour of the chocolate and the almonds together with the texture and taste of the figs combine to make it truly unforgettable. Rachael Vingoe sent us this recipe, inspired by a cake that she bakes each Christmas.
Preparation time:20 minutes
Baking time:50 minutes
Use:23cm (9in) springform cake tin

  • 150g (5oz) dried ready-to-eat figs
  • 3 tablespoons Amaretto
  • 250g (9oz) unsalted butter
  • 250g (9oz) caster sugar
  • 75g (3oz) ground almonds
  • 100g (3½oz) plain flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 200g (7oz) dark chocolate, minimum 60% cocoa solids, chopped
  • 3 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 100g (3½oz) whole peeled almonds

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Butter and line the cake tin with greaseproof paper.
Remove the hard stalks from the figs and chop the figs in a food-processor into very small pieces. Place in a small bowl and pour the Amaretto over them. Set aside.
Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Mix the ground almonds with the flour in a separate bowl. Beat the eggs and add a little at a time to the creamed mixture, beating gently between each addition. (If you are using an electric mixer it should be on its slowest speed.) Then add the almonds and flour a third at a time, continuing to beat gently.
Carefully fold in the chopped chocolate, the figs and Amaretto to the mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and smooth over the top using a palette knife. Dust the top evenly with 2 heaped tablespoons of the cocoa. Arrange the whole almonds on top and then bake the cake for 40 - 50 minutes or until it is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool and then use a fine sieve to sprinkle the remaining cocoa over the top before serving.
HINT: Serve with freshly chopped coconut stirred into whipped cream.


  1. CAKE UPDATE:- Made the cake and it's very yummy, but one of the last steps before you put it in the oven is to shake 2 tablespoons of cocoa over the top of it. I would NOT do this again. All it does is make the top of the cake look horribly burnt and it also smells like it's burning in the oven. So, basically, lose the cocoa and you'll be fine.

  2. This was amazing, thank you for sharing. I used dark chocolate but I think you're right about using milk chocolate. I baked it for my Clandestine Cake Club and they loved it.

    1. Lucky you! I tried to set up a Clandestine Cake Club here and only had two takers - would love to be in one. Just made a fresh fig and almond cake on Sunday, will put the recipe up in a bit. Have a fab day!


Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment!