Fig & Almond Cake
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I wanted to share the Valentine’s Day meal I made for Joe. This little fig cake cake – which isn’t baked and naturally gluten-free – was the component that made the meal extra special.
I first had a fig & almond cake (a Spanish dish, also known as Pan de Higo) at the Fancy Food Show last summer. It’s traditionally made with dried figs and marcona almonds. The sweet figs and slightly floral almonds are pressed into a cake and then sliced and served with a Spanish cheese, like manchego. The paring is heavenly.
Making it at home was painfully simple and every bit as delicious.
Our meal required no cooking except for a loaf of bread, which I baked the day before. I arranged our favorite proscuitto and salamis on a platter with a bowl of fresh berries in the center. Manchego and Castelinhos cheeses, the fig & almond cake, and thinly sliced gluten-free bread that had been toasted under the broiler was placed on a wooden cutting board.
We cudddled together on the couch and talked, combining pieces of Manchego with the fig & almond cake, wrapping the proscuitto around slices of cheese, and making little salami and cheese sandwiches.
It was the perfect meal.
The Martha Stewart Interview
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Fig & Almond Cake
makes a 5″ round cake
8 ounces dried black mission figs, stemmed and cut in half
1/4 cup raw almonds (preferably marcona, but I used regular almonds)
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
a sprinkle of water, if needed
Place the almonds in the food processor and pulse several times until they’re coarsely chopped. Add the figs and cinnamon and pulse again until the mixture comes together like a shaggy dough. If your figs are really dry they might need a sprinkle of water. Line a shallow dish about 5 inches in diameter with plastic wrap and press the fig and almond mixture firmly into the dish. Place a small, flat plate or a small dish with a flat bottom on top of the mixture and set a can on top to further compress the cake. Let sit uncovered at room temperature for a day or two to dry. Serve at room temperature with Spanish cheese, crusty gluten-free bread, and your favorite meats.
Note: Make sure to verify that your deli meats are gluten-free.