Sunday, 12 September 2010

Sour cream fig coffee cake

September is not an easy month. After a long, hard and humid summer it would only make sense to take this time to regenerate, recuperate, gather strength and the last of the summer fruit in preparation for a yearned winter.

I am, however, trying not to get my hopes high considering last year I turned the heating once and once only.

Instead, September is host to no less then 4 different holidays, full of meaning and symbolism, family orientated (a challenge in itself) and revolve around food, or the lack of.

So far, its 1 down and 3 to go. The New Year celebrations are finally over and Yom Kippur is in store for the nether part of the week. Traditionally this is a day for internal contemplation, fasting and solitude. No cars, no shops, no restaurants, no TV. Nothing. It’s wonderful. Everything is quiet. Instead of cars the roads are filled with pedestrians and bicycles. Car engines hibernate for the day making way for street cats to take over the tarmac territory and forgotten urban aromas to get noticed in the air.

Riding a bicycle is traditional, watching movies back to back and picking up unfinished books.

With nowhere to go and hours at home, contemplating I clean my slate for the coming year in the kitchen.

Not traditional and perhaps controversial, but I contemplate around food.

On second thought a day with no computers, work and other distractions could do me good. A day of no food; no cooking, no eating, no writing and no thinking of food could be good. Equipped with good books, a dead serious British drama and the company of good friends, I look forward to this fast and welcoming a new year with a clean slate.

With the last of the figs for this season nothing like a sour cream fig coffee cake. For starting over with a new slate.

Sour cream fig coffee cake

Makes 1 loaf


4 ripe figs, washed and diced + 1 fig, sliced

¾ cup all purpose flour

¼ cup chestnut flour (alternatively, you can use 1 cup AP flour)

¼ Tsp baking powder

¼ Tsp baking soda

¼ Tsp fine sea salt

1/3 cup sour cream

1/8 Tsp almond extract

90gr unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ cup cane sugar

1 egg

1/8 Tsp cinnamon

Fresh thyme leaves (optional)

Preheat the oven to 175C

In a large bowl sift together the flours, baking powder and the baking soda. Add the sea salt.

In a separate, small bowl mix together the sour cream with the almond extract and the diced figs.

In another bowl beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Beat in egg until combined, add the cinnamon and alternating between them, add the flour mixture and the sour cream mixture until just combined.

Transfer the batter to loaf pan, smoothing the top.

arrange the fig slices on top and sprinkle with a little cinnamon.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then invert onto rack.

Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and serve.

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