A recipe I want to dedicate to the transition from Summer to Fall. The day I'm writing this intro, it's September 21st, last day of Summer. To be honest it was a weird hot season (for everyone), I feel like Summer never came 🧐Oh well, never mind. How about making this soft apple ricotta fig cake to transition to the cold(er) season?
This is part of my #AppleCakesSeries, recipe number one!
Stay tuned for the others!
Apple fig cake, a transition from Summer to Fall...
Short premise, part 1: I bought a new book a while ago, it's called The Flavor Matrix, by James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst.
When it arrived, I immediately started leafing through it. Page by page, I was more and more fascinated by all the information I found and the new things I discovered!
This book has been described as "a revolutionary new guide to pairing ingredients, based on a famous chef's groundbreaking research into the chemical basis of flavor". FASCINATING.
Short premise, part 2: about a month ago I asked you guys on Instagram if creating an #AppleCakesSeries (with ⅘ recipes) was a good idea. I was so excited for Fall 🍂 to come, and couldn't wait to use this beautiful fruit. And luckily most of you said yes!
So, when I was researching/looking for inspiration to develop these recipes, I found out (in the Flavor Matrix book) that apples and figs are great together. And ricotta is simply amazing with figs.
Immediately I thought "well, that's a nice pairing to create a recipe to softly transition into Fall".
Hope you enjoy this combo!
Fun fact (always from the book): fig was one of the first plants to be cultivated by humans!
How to make this apple fig cake
As usual, the recipe is very simple.
The base is just a variation of my ricotta lemon cake. I loved that cake so much, it was so moist and soft, and I've always credited that to ricotta.
Ricotta pairs amazingly with figs so...that's a win.
- Wet ingredients
Whip these two ingredients with a whip hook, for about 30 seconds.
Then add sugar, oil and vanilla extract. Mix again.
- Dry ingredients
Add flours, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Incorporate the wet ingredients.
Add chopped fruit and warm milk (to make the batter less dense).
Stir, gently, with a spatula paying attention to clumps.
Do not overmix.
Bake your cake for about 40 minutes (check at 35) or until a toothpick comes out clean.
IMPORTANT: do not overmix!
Over-mixing your batter would result in a tough cake. We want a soft apple fig cake, right?
Feel free to omit this (the cake is great without it), but if you want to decorate just combine ricotta, maple syrup and spread it on your cake. Then decorate with fresh figs.
Important note: the fruit
Fruit is a key ingredient here so do not expect to have a great result if your fruit isn't good.
I ate some unappetising figs a while ago, they had no flavour: if I used those, for example, this cake would have been definitely dull.
Same with apples.
Figs have a sweet honeyed taste. Aim for that.
Apples' flavour differs from one variety to another.
I've tested this cake a few times both with Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. For some reasons I preferred the one with Red Delicious even though someone says it's not the best for pies.
Enjoy your apple fig cake!
If you make this recipe, please be sure to give it a rating and leave a comment! It would make me so happy! 🙂
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APPLE RICOTTA FIG CAKE
- 2 Eggs
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons Fresh ricotta cheese - 125 gr
- ⅓ cup + 1.5 tablespoon (approx) Brown sugar - 80 gr
- ⅓ cup Oil (or melted butter) - 50 gr
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ½ cup (approx) Whole wheat flour - 70 gr
- ⅓ + ¼ cup All purpose flour - 80 gr
- 2 teaspoons (approx) Baking powder - 10 gr
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 or 2 small Apples (about 1-2 cups chopped) | Use your favorite (PLEASE READ THE NOTES below) - 150/300 gr
- 3 Dried figs (approx ⅓ cup - chopped) - 55 gr
- 5 Small fresh figs (about ½ cup - chopped) - 125 gr
- ¼ cup (approx) Warm milk - 50 gr
- ½ cup (approx) Ricotta
- to taste Maple syrup
- Fresh figs
- Preheat the oven at 355°F (180°C)
- In a stand mixer with whip hook (or by hand), cream eggs and ricotta for about 30 seconds, at medium speed.
- Add sugar, oil and vanilla extract. Whip another 30 seconds.
- Now add flours, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a bowl, then add wet ingredients and mix with a spatula (pay attention to clumps!)
- Add chopped apples, chopped figs (both dried and fresh) and warm milk, and stir with a spatula (again, pay attention not to overmix the batter).
- Grease an 8-inch round pan, then dust with a bit of flour, add the batter and bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let it cool, then enjoy!
- If you want to decorate it (the cake though is good as it is!), just stir ricotta with maple syrup, and spread it on your cake. Then decorate with fresh figs.
- Since it has ricotta in it, I like to store in an airtight container in the fridge. When I want a slice, I warm it in the microwave for just a few seconds.
Feel free to experiment.
Also experiment with the apple variety! *Calories for 1 of 10 pieces
© Healthy Little Cravings – Roberta Dall’Alba.
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