I decided on this torte because I had some figs from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods that were looking to go bad rather quickly. Plus, I also really love figs. In the Midwest, where oceans are only an image of our imagination, figs can be hard to find. So when I run across them, I usually stock up, end up over-buying, and not-so-sadly have to revert to baking.
Through this torte-making experience I learned that a torte is more of a cake while a tart is more of a pie. If you just learned nothing new, you probably have way more skill than me when it comes to baking. For those of you who wince a bit at things involving copious amounts of flour, butter, and the not-so-forgiving yeast…that was for you.
Me, personally…I’ve always been convinced that combining staple baking ingredients like butter, sugar, egg, and flour…there’s just no going wrong taste-wise. Baking is just all about the aesthetics.
On that note…my torte turned out pretty well, I think! The figs sunk a bit so the final product wasn’t quite so show-stopping, but for me this is by and large a huge success. Besides, I’ve been looking for ways to use almond meal…and that random bottle of almond tequila I came back with after a dune buggy ride through the slums of Puerto Vallarta on my honeymoon. That story will have to come another day…
2 1/2 ounces/71 grams blanched almond meal (1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp)
2 1/2 ounces/71 grams all-purpose flour (1/2 cup)
dash of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 stick/113 grams unsalted butter, softened
3 ounces/100 grams sugar (1/2 cup)
1 Tbsp light rum (I used almond tequila, but sub in any liquor here)
2 large eggs
4 to 5 ripe figs, sliced or quartered
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line the base of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, then tighten the springform ring to keep the parchment in place, trimming the excess.
Stir together the almond meal, flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside while you prepare the wet ingredients.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until pale yellow and fluffy. Switch to the lowest speed setting then add the rum, the dry ingredients and the eggs. Return the speed to medium and beat for another 5 minutes until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Scrape the batter into the prepared springform pan, using your spatula to spread the mixture so that it evenly covers the base of the pan. Arrange the fig pieces atop the batter and bake for 45 minutes or until the top of the cake turns golden brown. A toothpick test should also come out clean.
Run a knife around the perimeter of the cake before unlocking the pan, then leave to cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Yield: 8 servings.
Nutrition Information (per 1/8th): 271 calories; 17.6 g. fat; 54 mg. cholesterol; 97 mg. sodium; 27.1 g. carbohydrate; 2 g. fiber; 4.5 g. protein
Result: A light fall dessert that’s crumbly and buttery. The cake itself resembled a rich, sweet, airy cornbread which I consider to be an excellent quality. The consistency is what you would expect from a fine-grain cornmeal, but it’s a more nutritious almond meal instead. Simple to make and very good! Enjoy!
I’m excited to slip on my scrubs and head to the dialysis unit today. Teaching is exhausting and my feet hurt! I am learning that I walk and move a lot (and more than my mouth) when I teach. My feet are welcoming the gym shoes today!
Question: Have you ever had a fresh fig? Do you like them?