October

I think most people are saying the same thing… “October Already??!!”  Fall seemed to hit this week, with what appeared to be a snowy morning this morning.  Not really snow, just some left over ice from the lightening, rain and hail storm last night.  And I really don’t see any trees changing much.  I really hope we get more than our classic ‘three weeks of fall’ this year.  Fall is my favorite season.

 

I looked at some recipes, and one thing stood out.  Figs.  I love figs, and right now Sprouts has them.  So I dug into some fig recipes.

 

Since fresh figs are so delicate and perishable, some of their mystique comes from their relative rarity. Although dried figs are available throughout the year, there is nothing like the unique taste and texture of fresh figs. It’s best to look for Fresh Figs May – December. There are six unique and different flavors – try them all to find your favorites!

 

Fresh Brown Turkey Figs are available mid-May through December. They are a light purple to black skinned fig with pink flesh and a robust flavor.

Fresh Black Mission Figs are available mid-May through November. They are a purple to black skinned fig with pink flesh and an intense earthy flavor.

Fresh Calimyrna Figs are available July through September. They are large pale yellow skinned figs with a nutty, sweet flavor.

Fresh Kadota Figs are available June to October. They have a creamy amber color when ripe with a light delicate flavor.

Fresh Sierra Figs are available June through October. They have a light-colored skin with a fresh, sweet flavor.

Fresh Tiger Figs are available July through September. They have subtle green stripes and striking raspberry color and flavor notes.

Figs are VERY perishable and should be purchased only a day or two in advance of when you are planning on eating them. Look for figs that have a rich, deep color and are plump and tender, but not mushy. They should have firm stems and be free of bruises. Smelling figs can also give you clues into their freshness and taste. They should have a mildly sweet fragrance and should not smell sour, which is an indication that they may be spoiled. Figs range dramatically in color and subtly in texture depending upon the variety. The majority of figs are dried, either by exposure to sunlight or through an artificial process, creating a sweet and nutritious dried fruit that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

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Honey Cake with Mascarpone, Figs and Pistachios

 

 

 


Ingredients

2 cups plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup honey

1 ½ cups caster sugar

3 eggs, room temperature, gently beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup espresso, cooled slightly (not hot)

 

Topping:

200ml whipping cream

200g mascarpone

4-5 figs, quartered

Handful of pistachios, chopped

2-3 tablespoons honey

 

Method: 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease tin. 

Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a large bowl.

Make a well in the centre and add oil, honey, caster sugar, eggs, vanilla and espresso. Whisk well ensuring ingredients aren’t stuck to the bottom of the bowl.

Once combined well, pour into greased tin and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add mascarpone and beat for a minute. Spoon on top of cake, scatter figs on top and sprinkle with pistachios. If you want to add an extra taste of honey, drizzle a spoonful or two over the top. 


Honey Earl Grey Fig Cake

 Ingredients

Earl Grey Cake:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 earl grey tea bags
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste, or vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

 

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  •  

Toppings:

  • figs
  • honey
  • pistachios 

Instructions

Earl Grey Cake:

1.   Heat milk until very hot. Steep tea bags for 20 minutes. Squeeze out as much liquid from tea bags. Remove tea bags.  Stir in egg whites and vanilla paste. Set aside.

2.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour two 6-inch cake pans. Line with parchment paper and set aside.

3.   Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

4.   In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together softened butter and sugar. Add 1/3 of dry flour mixture. Mix on low speed. Add 1/2 of liquid mixture. Continue to mix on low speed and add another 1/3 of dry flour mixture. Add remaining liquid mixture. Mix on low and add remaining 1/3 of dry flour mixture. Scrape down bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing. Batter should be smooth. 

5.   Divide batter between two prepared cake pans. Level batter using the back of a spoon or a mini offset spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating once halfway through baking. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before unmolding. Place cake on wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:

1.   In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Scrape down bowl as needed. Add confectioners' sugar, honey, and salt. Mix until frosting is smooth and thoroughly combine.

Assembly:

1.   Level cooled cake as needed. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or cake plate. Spread a generous amount of honey cream cheese frosting into an even layer over cake. Place another cake layer on top. Top with frosting. Place sliced figs on top of cake. Sprinkle pistachios on top. Drizzle honey as desired. Keep cake stored in the fridge until ready to serve. Let cake sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow cake to soften. Drizzle additional honey, as desired, before serving.


Happy Fall

                                                                     © Michelle Young 2012