I had seen a gorgeous photo of a fig cake floating around Pinterest and had it bookmarked ever since my friend drew my attention to it. Although the only figs I'd ever tried were fig newtons (not nearly even remotely close to the real fruit), I was drawn to the vibrant color and unique shape of them, along with this creamy looking cake. I didn't think I'd ever really get the chance to make it though, since I had no idea where to get figs.
Turns out, I just wasn't looking for them. Has that ever happened to you? I have a bad habit of turning a blind eye to certain things, until someone points it out and then I start to see it everywhere...
A blog reader who frequents the market stopped by my stall with a box of figs one day. When she heard I had never tried them before, she graciously shared one with me (her husband told me I should feel very special, hehe) and it was surprisingly delicious! They were perfectly ripe and juicy. A very unique but delicious flavor. Not to mention they're gorgeous to look at. I didn't have time to shop at the market, but found them at Trader Joe's and decided to finally try out this cake. And of course, I sent some over to her and her hubby as well :)
TJ's has both dried and regular figs. Although I'm not a fan of dried fruit, I was on a fig high so I bought both. I used the dried ones to make a goat cheese ice cream swirled with fig sauce--it'll be at the market this Saturday! Any suggestions on what to make with the leftover dried figs?
When I actually looked at the recipe for this cake, I noticed the figs were just a side addition--simply served on top. That wouldn't do for me. I chopped up the figs in thin slices and added them to every layer. I would have also loved to use fresh raspberries but alas, mine went bad before the making of this cake. If you have fresh raspberries and get to try them with this, lemme know how it goes.
This is an ideal dessert for someone who doesn't have much of a sweet tooth. It's delicately sweetened with honey and brown sugar, and the mascarpone with cream keeps it smooth and moist.
The best of all is that it was a cinch to make. I had never made an almond dacquoise before but it's very similar to a macaron shell. In fact, I'd say this was even easier to make than a regular layer cake. No awkward slicing! Just pipe it out on parchment paper, bake, let cool, and then stack in a springform tin with cream and figs. You'd have to make it a day ahead, but that's not too much ask, considering how easygoing it is. Do it!
Fig & Honey Mascarpone Cake
Adapted from here
Makes 1 8-9inch cake
6 egg whites
200g almond flour
110g granulated sugar
60g powdered sugar, sifted
50g all-purpose flour, sifted
Beat the egg whites on low with an electric beater.
After a minute, add in the granulated sugar and beat on high until stiff and glossy.
Fold in the powdered sugar, flour, and almond flour, gently.
Pour into a piping bag with a round tip.
Use a pen or sharpie to draw out 8-9inch circles on parchment paper.
Turn the paper over and pipe out batter to fit the circle.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes.
Remove and let cool.
Mascarpone Honey Cream
3 egg yolks
60g brown sugar
2 cups mascarpone
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbs Amaretto (or other liqueur of choice)
Combine egg yolks and honey in a heat-proof bowl and whisk over simmering heat for 7-8 minutes until pale and thick. Remove from heat and beat until cold or room temperature. Beat in the mascarpone and cream until smooth. Add in the liquor last.
Place a dacquoise cake into the springform pan (you can trim the edges if you need to) and spread mascarpone cream on top.
Add a layer of thinly sliced figs and then put another slice of dacquoise. Repeat until done. Save some mascarpone cream to frost the outside of the cake (unless you want to be able to see the layer). Let sit in the fridge overnight.
The next day, remove the sides of the springform pan and use a spatula to spread the cream on the sides of the cake.
Drizzle with honey (optional) and adorn with figs and raspberries, if you have 'em.