30 Mar Fig and Frangelico Cake
This beautiful Fig and Frangelico cake is sure to turn some heads. The deep purple crown of fresh figs and generous cascade of sauce will entice the senses of your guests even before they know it’s full of Frangelico!
The cake is composed of three layers of hazelnut and fig sponge soaked in a boozy Frangelico sauce, then sandwiched together with a creamy mascarpone icing and decorated with fresh figs and more Frangelico sauce. It’s a gorgeously grown-up and sophisticated dessert that’s suited to a celebration.
The whole cake can be made and assembled up to 2 days in advance, then simply decorated before serving.
For the cake:
40g dried figs (¼ cup)
100ml Frangelico liqueur
100g blanched hazelnuts (⅔ cup)
200g salted butter, softened (⅞ cup)
200g soft brown sugar (1 cup)
5ml vanilla extract (1 tsp)
4 large eggs
200g flour (1½ cup)
10ml baking powder (2 tsp)
For the Mascarpone Icing:
450g mascarpone cheese (2 cups)
225ml cream (⅞ cup)
160ml icing sugar (1¼ cup)
5ml vanilla extract (1 tsp)
For the Frangelico Sauce:
175ml Frangelico liqueur (¾ cup)
100ml brown sugar
125ml cream (½ cup)
2,5ml salt (½ tsp)
15ml butter (1 tbsp)
10-12 small fresh figs
- Finely chop the figs and place in a small bowl. Cover with the 100ml Frangelico and leave to soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Place the hazelnuts into a frying pan over high heat and toss frequently until just turning golden brown and beginning to smell toasted. Immediately remove from the heat and place on a baking tray to cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 20cm x 30cm tin with greaseproof paper.
- Set aside 25g of the hazelnuts. Place 75g of the cooled hazelnuts into a food processor and process until finely ground.
- Add in the figs and liqueur, and process until a coarse paste is formed. Add the butter, sugar and vanilla, then the eggs one at a time and mix well.
- Lastly add in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined. Spread the mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing the surface, and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack and peel off the greaseproof paper. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.
- To make the Frangelico sauce, add the sugar and 150ml Frangelico to a small saucepan and cook on low heat until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to high, bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Add the cream and simmer for a further 1 minute.
- Remove from the heat and add in the salt, butter and remaining 25ml Frangelico. Allow to cool slightly.
- Brush the cake with about a third of the Frangelico sauce and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
- For the icing, gently beat the mascarpone, then add in the icing sugar and mix on low speed until smooth. Add the cream and vanilla and beat on medium speed until stiff. Do not overbeat.
- To assemble, slice the cake into equal thirds (each piece measuring 10cm x 20cm). Place 1 piece of cake onto your serving platter, spread some of the mascarpone icing on top, then top with the next rectangle of cake. Spread more of the icing onto this layer, then add the last rectangle of cake. Now roughly ice the outside of the cake with a crumb coat (this is a thin layer of icing that seals in the stray crumbs before the second layer of icing is applied. This takes a little extra time but ensures the icing is perfectly smooth.) Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then use the leftover icing to cover the cake completely.
- At this stage the cake can be refrigerated for 2 days (it actually tastes better after a day or two!).
- Before serving, slice the figs in half lengthways and use to decorate the top of the cake.
- Drizzle some of the Frangelico sauce down the sides of the cake. Chop the remaining 25g of hazelnuts and sprinkle on and around the cake.
- Serve slices of the cake with the Frangelico sauce on the side.