Fig Cakes with Orange Blossom Water

I figured it’s been a while since I last posted a cake recipe, so I decided to take action. Never mind that it’s gone totally freezing and horrible in the UK and the thought of a warming oven sounds like a very reasonable idea. And oh, that comforting baking smell! I really think that the smell of freshly baked goods has a damn fine psychological effect – it must trigger some kind of happiness pheromones or whatever you call them!

In fact, I once had a housemate asking me to specifically bake when we’d have flat viewings, so that people would get a favourable impression of the premises… And it worked.

Now that I think of it, I have a hunch that I should get together with an estate agency and be paid to bake in flats that are a tough sell. I guarantee that would instantly turn their luck around! Anyone in the housing business reading this? Get in touch! Haha!

Right, so over to this week’s recipe. As you might notice, I’m still in fig land and making the most of their season!

I’ve only ever baked with dried figs – adding them to stollen and fruit loaves, but never actually used fresh figs in a cake. So, I’ve decided to make a very classic buttery cake base but give it a twist by adding orange blossom water to it.

It’s not that far fetched when you think that orange blossom water and figs are both used in Middle Eastern cuisine. And it worked, the combination is really nice. The pungeant perfume of the orange blossom is mellowed down by the buttery cake, and the crunchy texture of the figs’ popping seeds contrasts well with the softness of the cake sponge. A very pleasant recipe indeed! ★

October 27, 2010