Monday, September 2, 2013

Fig-Almond Cast Ion Skillet Cake

Todays blog post will begin with a fun little factoid I learned from our local zoo's website about figs and my current university's mascot:
"A bearcat eats a fig, travels a ways, then passes the seeds out the other end, helping fig trees grow in new places."
So, if you enjoy this blog post and/or this cake, thank your friendly neighborhood bearcat for his contribution. :)

I had never had a fresh fig before making this cake, but they have started popping up in recipes across the blogosphere/pinterest. I was at our local Meijer, saw these beauties on sale, and decided to give them a try. 
Fresh figs are surprisingly mild, juicy, and sweet, but they still have that distinctive fig flavor that everyone can recognize from their childhood Fig Newtons! 

Fig-Almond Cast Iron Skillet Cake (Adapted from JoytheBaker)
Serves 8-10
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon homemade(!) vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 cup finely chopped, dried figs
10-12 fresh figs (depending on the size), sliced in half
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 375.
Gently whisk together all of the dry ingredients (flour through nutmeg) and set aside.
In mixer, beat eggs, buttermilk, and butter.
Add sugar to blender and beat until fluffy.
Blend in vanilla and almond extract.
While mixing, pour in dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined.
Fold in dried figs.
Prepare your cast iron skillet with butter and flour.  Pour batter into skillet.
Arrange sliced figs and almonds on top of the cake.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until just golden brown.

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