This famed flour less cake is made from dried figs rolled in almonds, walnuts and anise, served with cheese.
recipe adapted from The Gilded Fork ===Pan de Higo Spanish Fig Cake=== makes 1 large loaf or 8 mini fig cakes
cinnamon, cloves, anise seeds, sesame seeds, and dried mission figs
1 pound dried figs, stemmed
1/2 cup almonds
2 tablespoons whole sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
a pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
brandy, as needed
Almond meal is a good substitute for the 1/2 cup of whole almonds. Toast about 5 ounces of almond meal on a dry skillet briefly and use in place of the whole almonds.
- I only needed about 2-3 tablespoons of brandy to bring everything together. If my mom’s fruit cake making wisdom is accurate, the alcohol acts as a natural preservative.
Toast the almonds in a dry skillet and grind in a food processor or spice grinder. Pulse gently until roughly chopped, keeping the almonds from turning into a paste.
Using a food processor or two Chinese cleavers (guess which method I used), mince the stemmed figs until a rough paste is formed.
Mix the figs with the ground toasted almonds, sesame seeds, anise seeds, ground cloves, and ground cinnamon.
Add the honey and a few tablespoons of brandy to the fig mixture. Knead until a smooth and pliant ball is formed. The fig mixture will be crumbly but keep kneading until the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Add more brandy as needed.
Form the fig mixture into a loaf shape or use a muffin pan as a mold to form 8 single-serving fig cakes:
Let stand in a cool and dry place for 2-3 days before serving. The anise seeds, cinnamon, and cloves will mellow and meld together nicely, serving as a nice accent to the sweet figs and toasted almonds.
Serve with Manchego cheese or with any cheese platter. I prefer dipping pan de higo slices in honey and then in ground toasted almonds.