This light almond and fig cake is the perfect ending for a laid-back autumn picnic.
- 6 large (about 120g) dried figs
- Melted butter, to grease
- 250g icing sugar
- 115g (3/4 cup) plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 155g (1 1/2 cups) almond meal
- 1 teaspoon finely grated mandarin rind
- 2 eggs
- 4 egg whites
- 130g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Brown sugar mascarpone
- 250g mascarpone
- 55g (1/4 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
- Place the figs in a heatproof bowl and add enough boiling water to cover. Set aside for 15 minutes to soften. Drain. Cut the figs in half horizontally.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 170°C. Brush the base and side of a round 20cm (base measurement) springform pan with melted butter to grease. Line the base and side with 2 layers of non-stick baking paper.
- Sift the icing sugar, flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the almond meal and mandarin rind. Stir to combine.
- Whisk the eggs and egg whites in a bowl until well combined. Add the egg, butter and vanilla to the icing sugar mixture. Stir until the mixture is smooth and just combined.
- Pour into the prepared pan and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Arrange the fig, cut-side up, on top. Bake, covering with foil if necessary to prevent over-browning, for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan to cool slightly, then remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the brown sugar mascarpone, stir the mascarpone and brown sugar in a medium bowl until well combined.
- Serve the cake with the brown sugar mascarpone.