Thanks to our ‘Brown Turkey’ fig tree fruiting its little socks off this year, we’ve been able to enjoy eating ripe figs straight off the tree and cooking them in lots of different and delicious ways. There is something very magical about watching the small green bullet hard fruit develop into gorgeously sweet purple – brown, juicy, ripe- meaty figs.
Figs are rewarding to grow, but don’t despair its not essential to have homegrown figs for this cake! Its the fig season and you can get hold of them in most farm shops, green grocers and super markets this month. Or replace the figs with halved fresh ‘ Victoria’ plums. A delicious old fashioned plum, oval in shape with yellow flesh and a beautiful mottled pinky red skin.
- For the cake
- 3 large fresh figs ( 5-6 if small ), stems removed, cut into quarters
- 180g plain white flour,sifted
- 1 heaped tsp baking powder,sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 180g softened unsalted butter
- 180g caster sugar
- 3 medium free range eggs
- finely grated zest of 2 lemons and juice of half a lemon
- For the syrup
- 80g icing sugar and a little extra for dusting
- juice of ½ lemon
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ / Gas mark 4
- Line a 1.2 litre/ 2 pint loaf tin with baking parchment.
- Put all the cake ingredients into the food processor and whizz until combined (not the figs).
- Spoon half the cake mixture into the lined loaf tin and arrange the fig quarters on the top.
- Spoon over the remaining cake mix.
- Put into the middle of the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until well risen, firm and golden.
- Take out of the oven and make the syrup by putting the icing sugar and lemon juice into a saucepan and over a low heat stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Using a skewer prick through the cake in lots of places, spoon over the syrup.
- Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin and when ready to serve dust with a little icing sugar.
I love figs and they look gorgeous and taste delicious sandwiched within this quick and easy to prepare lemon drizzle cake.
Home baked cakes don’t need to be difficult or complicated and this all in one cake mix always works a treat. The ‘all in one’ cake making method is exactly what it suggests, you mix up the cake base mixture ingredients altogether and in one go. A hand held electric mixer or food processor does much of the work but you can mix by hand in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon if thats what you prefer.
This basic cake mix of plain flour, baking powder, unsalted butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and a little milk or fruit juice (to lighten the mix) is the one I use all the time for the base of lots of different cakes and tray bakes. It makes a very good victoria sponge cake and cracking cup cakes. To ring the changes you can vary the flavourings, adding cocoa for a chocolate cake, adding spices (such as mixed spice, cinnamon, caraway seeds or nutmeg) , dried fruits (such as dates, prunes, sour cherries, cranberries or sultanas, fresh fruit (such as figs, plums, apples, raspberries or blackberries), nuts and seeds (such as walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachio nuts, pecan nuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sun flower seeds, poppy seeds or sesame seeds). The nuts, fruits and seeds can be stirred or added to the cake mixture after it has been well beaten/mixed.