Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Fig, Almond, and Raspberry Yogurt Cake

It's my first time trying fresh figs. Alice is yelling at me, "You're mad, bonkers, off your head!" I know... These juicy, succulent, sweet delicacies, why didn't I go out in a mad search for these earlier?

I've been eager to work with fresh figs before the summer season began. My only experiences with figs are using the 'Chinese method'; adding dried figs to Chinese soups (which are usually broths) for sweetness and flavour. Eating fresh ones is completely foreign to my family. So are a lot of other foods; I constantly open my parents' eyes to new and exciting food. 

My neighbour has a fig tree in their backyard, and over the years, its branches have grown over to our backyard. For those that love figs, this would be a dream come true. However, I didn't know when the right time was to pick the fruit so we ended up with starchy, unripe figs in our mouth every time we decided to cut one open. That discouraged us from picking anymore. 

A bowl of fresh Black Mission Figs
During my last visit to our local Superstore, I scored a box of black mission figs for only two dollars! These babies could easily cost five dollars or more. Cha-ching! Finally, I can experiment with these luscious fruits. Hmm... with ricotta, in a muffin, or simply roasted? I can't decide. 
Beautiful, soft insides of a fig
A ripe fig should be soft and its thin skin should almost be wrinkly. A really delicious fig may have syrup beginning to drip out from the bottom end. The downside to purchasing from a grocery store is that the figs may not have been picked at its peak ripeness.

I was surprised at the soft, almost jelly-like flesh of fresh figs. Like dates, it's like nature's candy. It's unlike any other fruit I've tried and this made me very eager to get on with incorporating them into some recipes. After an evening of brainstorming a list of ideas, I decided to begin with a simple yogurt cake, pairing the figs with a drizzle of honey.

Grab a slice!
This cake is moist, flavourful, and fragrant. The yogurt replaces much of the fat while keeping the cake moist. That leaves us with only a quarter cup of coconut oil in an entire cake! I wished the figs had more time to roast and shrivel up a bit more; that would increase the sweetness of the fruit. But even after a bit of cooking in the oven, the figs provided much of the flavour and sweetness necessary for the cake. A sprinkle of sliced almonds gives a bit of textural contrast, and everything is better with some nuts ;)Raspberries give a pop of bright colour to the cake. It's the first time frozen raspberries haven't failed my entire baked good, I haven't had great experiences with using frozen raspberries... ahem. The hidden magic comes from the Meyer lemon zest. A Meyer lemon makes all the difference. The concoction of aroma coming from the oven while this cake is baking is mind-blowing. Ripe fruit, coconut, caramelizing honey, and zingy zest are all present.

A slice of Fig, Almond, and Raspberry Yogurt Cake
I've even healthified it by replacing some of the flour with whole wheat flour, wouldn' be a recipe from Coconut Crumpet without it being guiltless. Low in fat, sugar, increased fibre, and flavoured with fruits and nuts, this makes a fantastic afternoon snack or dessert. It's also very classy and would impress adults. Oh ho ho! Reheat a portion of this cake in the oven and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, honeyed yogurt, or whipped cream and top with a few quarters of fresh fig. De-lish.

Time to dig in!
Click below to view the recipe!

Fig, Almond, and Raspberry Yogurt Cake
Adapted from Diethood
Yield: 1 8-inch cake


  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • A few grinds of Himalayan pink sea salt
  • A scant ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon (Meyer lemon is prefered)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, soft but not melted
  • 1 egg, at room temperature*
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • About 5 black mission figs, stemmed and sliced in half lengthwise
  • A few frozen raspberries
  • Sliced almonds**
  • Honey 
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F and line the bottom of a round cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flours, baking powder and soda, and salt until combined. Set aside.
  3. Toss or rub lemon zest with sugar and let it sit for about 5 minutes. This helps draw the fragrant oils out of the peel and infuse the sugar.
  4. Cream together softened coconut oil and sugar mixture until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix thoroughly.  Add vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add flour mixture and yogurt alternately to the creamed mixture, gently folding until almost combined. After the last addition, fold until homogenous. 
  6. Spread the cake batter in prepared cake pan and smooth top. Press fig halves into batter and fill gaps with raspberries and top with sliced almonds. Finally, drizzle top of figs with honey.
  7. Bake in centre of oven for 30-32 minutes or until the top is brown and the figs have slightly shriveled up like they've been roasted. 
  8. Cool for 20 minutes before loosening sides with a knife and turning onto a cooling rack.

*It is important that the egg is at room temperature because a cold egg will solidify the coconut oil and you'll end up with chunks of fat in the batter instead of a uniform distribution throughout the cake.
**The sliced almonds on my cake didn't brown very much so I think toasting them slightly before adding onto cake batter will be better.

Love from Coconut Crumpet's Corner ♡

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