I brought this cake into my folks last week, just to check it with my one of my chief testers (Dad) and the verdict was gorgeous. He loved the idea that it was made from honey so he didn’t feel too guilty on his post Christmas diet. Unfortunately it brought up the subject of honey with my Mam. She had bought a jar of local honey during the week to make a special face scrub, to beautify herself for a night of dancing with Dad. She is beautiful enough, but of course he had to go and eat the whole jar, and, and, AND left the empty jar in the cupboard! Not a drizzle left. On fruit, brown wheaten bread & straight from the jar with a big spoon. He sat tittering laughing queitly in the corner, after eating this cake, while lil Diva did his hair ‘special’ for his night of dancing. He is well used to adventurous hairstyles after raising three daughters and has a sense of humour. Of course he never needed it, we will be beatified as Saints.
So, after all the baking of Christmas the larder was still full of dried fruit, nuts and bits and bobs of half empty bags. I wanted to do a clearout of leftovers ingredients and bring back some order, as I couldn’t find or see the wood from the trees in there. This cake isn’t too sweet or rich, and keeps for a week in an airtight container and freezes well. Dried figs are fine to use but if you happen to have a fig tree or orchard, (as you do) you probably have made a similar version of this cake already. The chewiness of the figs is delicious.
250ml melted butter/margarine/olive oil
5 tbsp honey
5 tbsp caster sugar
250 ml buttermilk
450g plain white flour
5 tbsp chopped pistachios
1 1/2 tsp allspice
seeds of 15 cardomom pods ground or 1 1/2 tsp dried
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
This is a batter cake, so line a regular size loaf tin with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
Slightly wet the paper first and scrunch up tightly, this helps when fittig the paper into the tin.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
Beat the eggs with the buttermilk.
Melt the margarine or butter if using and add to the mixture beating well. Add the honey and beat again briefly.
Sieve the flour and baking soda, and add the cardamom and allspice. Add the sugar to the dried ingredients.
Chop the nuts roughly and the figs to 2cm in size.
Add the sieved dry ingredients and sugar in 3 stages to the mixture, beating well after each addition.
Add the vanilla extract.
Stir in the nuts and dates and pour into a loaf tin, shaking to fill the edges.
Bake at 180C for 10 minutes
Reduce the heat to 160C for 30 minutes more.
Cool in the tin.
Serve warm with custard and drizzles of honey.
The figs sink to the bottom of the cake and give a lovely chewy texture.
(Slices of this cake re-heat well in the microwave briefly too)