I have always loved fruit. Growing up my mum would buy it and the next day it would all be gone. I was a bit over the top.. if I had one delicious tasting peach… I would eat about 3 of the same batch. As Marge Simpson quite eloquently put it, fruit is natures candy… and sometimes it hits a spot that chocolate and sweets just can’t.
My mum is Sri Lankan, but she grew up in Malaysia. As a result she introduced me to a wealth of crazy looking, and sometimes crazy tasting fruit such as rambutan, dorian, jack fruit and my ultimate favourite mangostine. When we would go to Malaysia to visit family and friends everyone would laugh at how I would eat the stuff by the kilo… and then I would sit quietly as I felt… a little bit sick from eating too much.
However, figs are not a fruit that I have eaten or used in cooking a lot in the past. Actually having moved to Berlin has made me much more aware of them. The turkish shops in my area all stock 2 kinds of fig… not sure if they are different types actually or if they are just at different stages of ripeness. But anyway, apparently they are quite the luxury product, selling at 69 cence a piece. I wanted to use them as a garnish on this cake, because they are have such a wonderful palette of colour inside, from green, yellow, red, brown and purple… even magenta! Cutting them up was a visual delight!
I don’t know if I have mentioned the fact that we have the most generous of neighbours. A family who bring us food a couple of times a week. When I moved in I was astonished at this… especially as we don’t often give them anything and although, their kids borrow our bike pump once in a while or come up and ask for newspaper etc, that is hardly worthy of the year round cooking the wife does to fill our stomachs. Stuffed courgettes, vine leaves, moussaka, salads… you name it.. they bring it.
As it is Ramadan at the moment and they are fasting, the family have been bringing us stuff EVERY night.. as soon as the sun sets. So I thought, I should make something luxurious to say thanks in a way. I hope they liked it! My flatmates had a piece and said it was good.
I used this tray from Barcomi‘s – it wasn’t cheap but I really can’t recommend it enough!
Here is the recipe:
500g caster sugar
470g self raising flour
3 tbsp. ricotta cheese
2 tsp. vanilla essence
7 ripe figs300g icing sugar175g butter200g white chocolate2 tbsp. ricotta cheese
- Preheat the oven to 175°C and line your baking tray with baking paper
- Mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
- Beat in the eggs
- Sieve in the flour and fold in gently
- Add in the ricotta cheese and mix until thoroughly combined
- Add the sultanas and mix until evenly dispersed
- Place in baking tray and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
- Leave to cool completely because doing the topping
- Melt the white chocolate and butter together (either in a microwave or over a boiling pot of water in a pyrex bowl)
- Using a sharp knife, make small cuts on the surface of the cake and then use a pastry brush to brush on about 4 tbsp. of the white chocolate and butter mixture – ONLY 4 tbsp. max. You need the rest!!!
- Mix the rest of the mixture with sieved icing sugar and ricotta cheese – if it is too thick to spread on the cake add a tsp. or two of milk or cream.
- Spread the mixture on top of the cake evenly
- Cut the figs up into segment like sections and place on top of the cake as you like.