A holiday twist on the classic Spanish cake, Pan de Higo, which is made with dried figs and eaten with cheese and honey.
The cake is inspired by the Spanish fig cake, known as pan de higo, and the recipe may be found in Good Food. Pan de higo, a dense and flavorful bread made with dried figs, almonds, honey, and spices like cloves, is sweet without being cloying. Nora, our in-house cheesemonger, has noted that this classic “cake” is a great match for any type of cheese.
The version from Good Food also include dried apricots and cranberries, which give it a seasonal flavour. Using a food processor and some hand kneading, you can rapidly combine the ingredients into a thick, sticky mixture. After shaping the mixture and coating it with sesame seeds, it only needs to sit for about a week to dry and for the flavours to fully develop.
The recipe calls for Spanish marcona almonds, but we used normal almonds and it turned out well. We used the Calvados (apple brandy) we had on hand, but a sweet, thick Spanish brandy would work just as well.
This recipe may be halved to create 12 golf-ball sized balls or 24 smaller balls, perfect for snacking. Alternatively, you may serve the same blend in a variety of interesting forms. For other examples of wrapping and shaping, see the following sites:
Apple Pie, Patis & Pâté’s are shaped in muffin tins; The Gilded Fork’s are fashioned into logs; Capricho de hoy’s are fashioned into cakes; La despensita Andaluza’s are adorned with almonds; Straight Into Bed Cakefree & Dried’s are pressed between sheets of rice paper; My Comfort Food Network’s are fashioned into small discs tied with bows.
100g whole almond , toasted
500g pack dried whole fig , hard stalk and centre of base removed
85g dried apricot , chopped into small pieces
50g dried cranberries
1 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp clear honey
1 tsp ground cloves
100g sesame seed , toasted
- Put the almonds in a food processor and pulse until most of them are coarsely chopped. The figs should be roughly chopped and then blitzed into a smooth, sticky paste. Using your hands, thoroughly combine the almonds, dried fruit, brandy, honey, and cloves.
- Form the dough into six balls. The sesame seeds should be dumped onto a tray, and the balls should be rolled in them until they are completely coated. Leave the fig balls out to dry for a week with a clean tea towel over the tray before storing them. In a cool environment, it should last for around two months.
- First, you’ll need to remove the tough stalk from the figs’ central base, and then you may coarsely cut them.
- Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and whir until they form a thick, sticky mixture.
- Put aside in a big basin for mixing.
- First, finely chop the almonds in a food processor.
- Roll the sticky fig paste with the chopped almonds in the basin.
- Dice up some apricots and throw them in it.
- Don’t forget to combine the dried cranberries, honey, and brandy!
- After everything is combined, portion it out into six or eight balls.
- On a sheet, combine the shredded coconut and sesame seeds.
- Cover the balls one at a time by rolling them in the tray.
- Leave the fig balls to dry under a clean tea towel covered tray.