Fig, Almond and Coconut Cake



8 oz dried figs - halved if large

2 tablespoons clear honey

4 fl oz water

2 fl oz Grand Marnier

3 oz flaked almonds

4 oz almond marzipan

9 oz plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 fl oz coconut milk (canned)

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

5 oz butter or block Stork or M&S ‘baking block’

12 oz caster sugar

4 large eggs

3 tablespoons canned coconut milk

2 tablespoons clear honey

1 tablespoon Malibu

pinch of salt

2 oz white chocolate, grated

3 tablespoons cream cheese

6 - 8 whole fresh figs (if in season) or

6 - 8 dried figs, simmered in 2 fl oz water until all water has been absorbed into the figs.


Place 8oz dried figs, 2 tablespoons clear honey, 4 fl oz water and 2 fl oz Grand Marnier  in a pan and place over a moderate flame. Bring to the boil and simmer until almost all the liquid has been absorbed into the figs. Remove from heat, cool for 5 minutes, then add the flaked almonds and the marzipan, cut into sugar-cube-sized pieces. Stir together to take up the last of the liquid and set aside to cool.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Cream the fat and sugar until pale and smooth. (Kenwood Chef, speed 2, about 3 minutes)

Beat together the eggs, 6 fl oz coconut milk, vanilla bean paste and almond extract. (I use a Pyrex measuring just and table-fork - no need for a machine for this part.)

Beat the egg mixture into the creamed mixture a little at a time (Kenwood Chef speed 1) adding a little flour if the mixture starts to curdle. Reduce mixer speed (if using) to minimum and fold in the remaining flour. Mix gently until completely smooth.

Remove from the mixer (if using) and gently fold in the fig and marzipan mixture with a spatula or tablespoon.

Line 2 1Lb Loaf tins with baking parchment. Weigh out the mixture into the tins - you should get between 1Lb 14oz and 2Lb per tin.

Place cakes into a cold oven then switch oven on to Gas Mark 4 (180 degrees C).

Bake for about an hour to an hour and a quarter, until a knife or skewer inserted comes out clean.

Cool in the tins for 15 minutes or so, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave overnight.

Place 3 tablespoons coconut milk, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon Malibu and a pinch of salt in a pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for only a minute or so then turn off the heat and whisk in the grated white chocolate until well combined and smooth in texture. Add the cream cheese, 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisk in well until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes, stirring once, until the mixture thickens.

Drizzle most of the mixture over the tops of the cakes and allow to trickle down the sides. Decorate with whole and sliced figs and drizzle the last of the glaze over the figs too. If you like you could also scatter a few flaked almonds over the very top whilst the glaze is wet and sticky.

The undecorated cakes can be frozen and the decorated cakes should keep for up to two days in a Tupperware container at room temperature.