Whenever I taste something delicious, I want to know how to make it, and this Spanish Fig Cake is no exception. Turns out, it is the easiest thing in the world. However, there is a ginormous caveat here. I have my suspicions that because it is so very simple, there is wild competition out there regarding the type of figs and almonds you use. Apparently, it makes all the difference in the world to the taste.
Well, it may make all the difference to some people, but I just wanted to give it a go with the figs and almonds I can buy in the shop round the corner. Which is exactly what I did.
It also seems to me, that once you have the basics – 1lb dried figs, 2/3 cup of almonds, 1 tablespoonful honey, 1 teaspoonful spices 2 tablespoonfuls of fortified wine or brandy – you can play around with the ingredients to suit yourself.
So, for example, I, in my first attempt, used ground cloves and cinnamon as my spices, and a lovely brandy called Lepanto that Shirley very kindly donated to us at Christmas. Next time, I’m going to try a different combination.
Meanwhile, you are supposed to process the figs in a food processor, and then toast and process the almonds (you could, of course, use sliced almonds, but give them a cheekie quick toast anyway, as the heat brings out their natural oils). However, I don’t have a food processor, so I just used my beautiful mezaluna. I then went on to read a blog by someone who cursed using a food processor on the figs as it nearly ruined his blades. Who knows. What I do know about using a mezaluna is that, through sheer laziness, I don’t think I chopped them enough.
It’s a learning curve.
So, when you’ve chopped, put everything into a bowl and mix together with your hands. Get a piece of greaseproof paper and line a tin – I used a Victoria sandwich tin, but once again, I think it’s totally up to you. The main thing is to push it all together, fold over the greaseproof paper, place a plate on the paper and something heavy on top of that.
Leave at room temperature for 2 days. Yes, 2 days.
Eventually you can open up the Pan de Higo, make a cuppa and cut yourself a slice.
I absolutely love it, and am desperate to try another combination of spices though I must remember to put more effort into the chopping this time.