If I had it my way, I would spend most evenings by myself, sipping on a cup of tea and dunking an almond granola bar into a glass of milk.
Ryan is an extrovert.
If he had it his way, he would spend most evenings out with friends, going from one show to the next.
And we are in love.
But we do share this in common: we take refuge in small intimate groups of friends. Even my introverted self finds immense pleasure in sharing a plate of food and a few hours of warm conversation with a close friend. Over the weekend, we had a small dinner party. We ate, we talked and we played scrabble. Both Ryan and I felt like our introverted and extroverted selves were content...and that is a success worth noting.
Last Thursday, I received an amazing shipment of California figs from Teenie cakes, which is a wonderful blog that everyone should take the next few moments to peruse...her recipes and words constantly impress me.
On Thursday morning, I opened my newly delivered box to find 4 cartons of fresh figs and two huge bagfuls of dried figs. For a girl that has never bitten into a fresh fig before, this seemed like heaven. And are they not beautiful? I stood and marveled at the first fig I sliced for several minutes-what a gift!
But even better than those fresh figs was this cake. Moist, spicy and studded with figs, the cake was the star actor in our dinner party production.
Now being a bundt cake, you must remember to allow this baby to cool in its bundt pan for at least an hour. In order to prevent crumbling and possible cake disaster, please don't attempt to flip it out until its completely cool to the touch. I've learned this lesson many times, and yet I'm always tempted to turn it out early (thankfully Ryan has become adept at steering me out of the kitchen once I've pulled the pan from the oven)
But I promise you this: if you make this cake, it will be delicious and you will be in fig heaven. For those of you who don't have access to fresh figs, I would try substituting pears or apples. Dried figs simply don't have enough moisture for this recipe (but perhaps soaking them for a few hours could give you the necessary plumpness?) I hope you enjoy your Monday and that your week is filled with joy and peace.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each of cloves, all spice and ground ginger
2 cups fresh figs, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or cashews
1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a regular size bundt pan.
2. Beat the eggs and sugar in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer) until fluffy. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the vanilla and the oil.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Stir into the egg mixture. Fold in the figs and nuts. Spoon into your prepared pan and bake for about 45 to 60 minutes, until springy and dry in the center. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack, then turn it out. Freeze until ready to use or just wrap and store for up to 2 days.
I drizzled my cake with some melted butterscotch chips and finely crushed cashews. A simple maple syrup glaze would also be delicious.
Anecdotes and Apple Cores
PS. Follow me on Facebook...the link should be on my sidebar