Figgy Almond and Whisky Christmas Cake
Yes I know Christmas is still a few weeks away, but Stir-up-Sunday is fast approaching. It falls on the Sunday before Advent which is the 22nd November this year. It’s traditionally the day when the Christmas puddings and cakes are made and when the family all take a turn at stirring, not forgetting to make that all important wish whilst they’re at it. So to get you in the mood and to offer a little inspiration for your Christmas baking, I made this fig almond cake yesterday with a very cheeky slug or three of whisky – Whisky Galore.
Last year I made this fig and mincemeat cake for Christmas and it was so delicious that when Waitrose challenged me to make a Christmas cake with a twist this year, I knew immediately I wanted to make one with figs and almonds as the principle flavourings. My aunt, who lives in Spain, sends me a pan de figos for Christmas every year. I love this pressed fig and almond wheel, which is delicious on its own or with a slice of Manchego, or any other cheese for that matter.
These traditional Mediterranean ingredients go together very well and are often combined with honey. The bees can buzz off this time though as I wanted to use a British tipple instead. CT recently returned from Scotland but for some unknown reason, he forgot to bring any whisky back with him. Luckily a trip to our local Waitrose sorted out the water of life deficiency – important, as I wanted it for my fig almond cake.
As always with my bakes, I like to make them as healthy as possible. This one uses wholemeal flour with real butter and muscovado sugar. The figs, almonds and eggs are all nutrient rich and the whisky? Hey, it’s Christmas. I made six cheeky mini fig almond cake bundts with a little of the mixture, so that I could try one straight away. It was even more delicious than I thought it would be: moist, slightly sticky and with an occasional crunch from the almonds.
- 300g dried figs - chopped
- 6 tbsp whisky + 1 tbsp for the icing
- 240g unsalted butter
- 250g light muscovado sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 230g flour - half wholemeal, half white
- 100g ground almonds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1 organic orange - zest & juice
- 50g blanched almonds - chopped + a handful to feature on top of the cake
- 50g icing sugar
- Soak the figs with the whisky in a covered bowl overnight - even a couple of hours will help.
- Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, alternating with a spoonful of the flour if necessary.
- Sift in the flour, almonds, baking powder, bicarb and spices. Stir until just combined.
- Grate in the orange zest and stir in together with the orange juice.
- Add the figs and whisky and stir until just combined.
- Oil a large bundt type mould or tin, then place a few almonds on the base - when turned out, these will be on the top. Spoon the batter on top.
- Bake at 180°C for about 45 minutes or until the cake is well risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Mix the icing sugar with the whisky and just enough water to make a slightly runny icing. Drizle this over the cooled cake.
- Add sprinkles as desired.
- For best results, overnight soaking is also needed.
- Can bake in a deep 8" tin instead of a bundt type mould.
- You can easily hive off 6 tbsp of mixture and bake them in muffin tins to create 6 mini Christmas cakes.
Having made some mini bundt cakes from the recipe, I am joining in with Cook Once Eat Twice over at Searching for Spice.
As I mentioned earlier getting a fig and almond wheel for Christmas has become a bit of a family tradition, so I hope that’s not too tenuous a link for this month’s Inheritance Recipes which is Festive Foods. This is hosted alternately by Coffee & Vanilla and Pebble Soup.
And this also goes to Kerry Cooks for Christmas Cake Club.
For other twists on a traditional Christmas pudding or cake, head to the Waitrose Christmas puddings with a twist page.
Other fruity Christmas cakes you might like
- Festive fruit cake via Farmersgirl Kitchen
- Festive light and fruity whisky marmalade cake via Farmersgirl Kitchen
- Slow cooker Christmas cake via Baking Queen
- Traditional Christmas Cake via Supper in the Suburbs