Chocolate Fig Cake

This weekend will be filled with friends coming over from Amsterdam (!) to Frankfurt and I feel super excited. In anticipation, I have filled my fridge with baked goods (wine, did I mention wine?). In my opinion making snacks are a part of the happy preparation, just to make sure that we will be able to have a low-key weekend without doing dishes or being unnecessarily hangry while in the shower queue.

I wanted to give the figs a little stage to shine as well as making something that looks pretty enough to be considered festive. The recipe of the dough is my go-to for fruit cakes, and is based on Cees Holtkamp’s recipe (undoubtedly the best baker of the Netherlands and a legend on his own). I usually take the small effort to multiply the amounts to make sure I have portions stacked in my freezer to make sure I can make an apple pie (appeltaart!!) on a whim.
The combination of figs with bitter, dark chocolate and coffee came after reading the Flavour Thesaurus of Niki Segnit, which is definitely one of the best books I’ve read the last few months.

The chocolate layer is rich and a little bitter due to the coffee and makes the perfect contrast with the sweet dough and figs. After baking, the fig juices mixed in perfectly with the chocolate and the figs itself become chewy and offer consistency among the soft filling.

If this isn’t the basis of a life-long friendship (we’re condemned, according to this article;)), then it is at least a very good treat.

Dark chocolate fig cake
12-14 portions
Simple dough

  • 125 gram butter, softened
  • 125 grams sugar
  • 1/2 egg
  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 3 grams of salt
  • 5 grams of baking powder
  • optionally 15 grams of water (depending on the flour)

Chocolate filling

  • 200 grams of 80% dark chocolate, broken in pieces
  • 80 milliliters of hot coffee
  • a good pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla essence
On top: 6 large figs, top removed and quartered. Knead the ingredients into a supple dough. You can refrigerate the dough, but I use it directly with consistent good results. There is no need to roll this dough out, I simply push it into the tart form. Buttering the form is not necessary as I find that the pieces will come out easily. You might however want to use baking paper to avoid any trouble.

My tip is to double or quadruple the recipe and to freeze it in portions in sandwich bags.
Make the chocolate filling by pouring hot coffee over the chocolate. It might be enough to melt the chocolate, in case that isn’t enough I would suggest you to shortly microwave or warm it au bain marie. Mix it until the mixture looks glossy, then add the salt and vanilla extract. Without pre-baking the dough, pour in the chocolate filling. Leave it shortly to firm up a little (it will make it easier to place the figs on top, as they might tumble over into the chocolate when it is still runny, although that is all very vain reasoning of course).

Place the fig pieces on top. Bake for 40 minutes in a moderately hot oven on 180 degrees Celsius, but keep a close eye as the temperatures and times might vary.

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