This past week it finally cooled down in the Bay Area, the air was crisp and ever so slightly chilly in the morning, and I love that crisp air blowing across my face! It feels really good! Evenings are much cooler, and its been a pleasant change from the hot weather! I have been asked several times, when I say that the summer weather is too hot for me, that aren’t you from Bombay – which is a tropical place! Well, I have been here in the US long enough where I am used to this weather now, and cannot stand the hot weather anymore! I actually like winters, wearing sweaters and boots and scarves, I love the change in the season, and especially the fallish weather which makes me happy!
This week it will be hot again, but it will not last beyond a few days. Days are getting shorter too, and soon we will be into daylight savings! Figs have been available in grocery stores, and they are super sweet! I have been munching on them and loving them as a snack or with granola in yogurt! I am personally for getting fresh produce from the farmer’s markets because they come directly from the farm to the market. But our market does not carry figs unfortunately. I used to eat figs a whole lot when in India. My mom loved figs too, and my dad loves them and still eats them practically everyday. They are readily available year round in India and are pretty sweet there too.
I decided to make a Fig, Pistachio and Star Anise Cake with the beautiful figs. Star Anise is my favorite fall spice. I love the licorish flavor that star anise gives to any baked good, and it smells floral and earthy. The combination of fig, pistachio and star anise works really well together. I used pistachio flour and almond flour, along with dark rye flour in this cake. I added dried mission figs and chopped pistachios to the cake as well. Orange zest gives a vibrant, fresh, fallish vibe to this cake. The frosting is a whipped mascarpone cream frosting. What makes it so special is that it has vanilla bean paste in it, along with orange zest, giving it so much depth in flavor. I topped it with fresh figs, thinly cut into slices along with pistachios, and a drizzle of local honey from Vermont, that was gifted to me by Aysegul of FoolProof Living. She was so sweet to send me some local honey and maple syrup, both of which are so wonderfully pure to taste!
The cake has to be baked well because it is dense from the flours, and it requires a longer bake time. It makes for a perfect tea cake with some tea or coffee. A small piece goes a long way. I love the textures and the flavors in this cake, and I hope you get a chance to make it too!
If you do get a chance to make it, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment in the blog post below!
So appreciate you reading this blog post :).
Thank you so much friends,
Until next time.
- For the cake:
- 8 ounces unsalted room temperature butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup finely ground unsalted pistachios (make sure they are unsalted)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp star anise powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp finely grated zest of an orange
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped into half
- ½ cup chopped dried black mission figs
- Mascarpone frosting:
- 8 ounce mascarpone
- ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 10 figs thinly sliced
- ½ cup coarsely chopped pistachios
- Good quality honey to drizzle on the top
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8-inch nonstick cake pan with parchment paper.
- 2. In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and blend well. Add the orange zest, orange juice and vanilla extract mix well. Then add the ground pistachios and mix until combined. Do not over mix. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the all purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, star anise, salt; do not overmix. Fold in the pistachios and chopped figs.
- 3. Pour the batter into the cake pan, and bake until the top is firm and a light golden brown, about 45 minutes. Lightly cover the top of the cake with foil and continue baking until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry, about 10-15 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for half an hour, before finally removing it onto a cooling rack.
- 4. To make the whipped Mascarpone Frosting: Whip the heavy whipping cream two minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Keep it aside in a large bowl. Now add the mascarpone cream in the bowl along with the confectioners sugar and whip it for a minute. Fold in the heavy whipped cream. Add in the vanilla bean paste and orange zest and fold it in.
- 5. To assemble the cake: Spread the frosting with a generous layer onto the cake. Layer the figs in a pretty pattern. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios on top of the fig cake. Drizzle honey all over the cake for a final touch!