Fig Jam and Cardamom Cake with Goat Cheese Mascarpone Frosting and Fresh Figs

September is upon us! There are a lot of figs, pluots and plums in the market – a fantastic transition from summer to fall, with the fruits and the colors. There are a lot of leafy greens too at the market and apples and grapes have started to show up.  Figs being in abundance, I decided to make a sheet cake with figs. I grew up eating a lot of figs in India. It was one of my favorite fruits. Super sweet and mom would actually make fig juice too! Do you know that fig juice has a lot of benefits like providing iron, great for skin and hair, very cooling for the body, incase you have a lot of internal heat causing skin diseases, good for blood pressure etc. My mom would mix dried and fresh figs, along with water to make the juice. We ate Fig and walnut ice cream too growing up, which was also delicious! Dad’s favorite fruit is figs! He pops them in his mouth like grapes LOL.

Sheet cake is such a fan favorite with everyone. Fluffy cake with a luscious layer of frosting on the top, along with sprinkles is the traditional way. I took the quintessential sheet cake, and turned it into an exotic sheet cake.

 

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The sheet cake uses cake flour to make it fluffy. It is easy to make cake flour at home. Simply replace 2 tbsp of all purpose flour with corn starch, in every cup of all purpose flour. Make sure you use a sieve thrice to blend the mixture well. I used Fig jam and Cardamom for the sheet cake. The frosting is made of butter, goat cheese, mascarpone, which makes it tangy and silky at the same time! The frosting is flavored subtly with rose water which makes it so fragrant and a perfect pairing with figs! I used Black Mission Figs and Tiger Figs to make a pretty pattern on the top. Figs, pistachios, rose and honey make a fantastic combination and garnish the beautiful sheet cake!

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I actually got inspiration to use figs and goat cheese together, because of a Balsamic Fig and Goat Cheese Ice cream that I had made when I started this blog. The ice cream recipe is here. It was absolutely divine and full of flavor and so delicious! I need to make it again and reshoot the pictures, since the pictures are really horrid in my blog post! I was just starting out, and learning so much about food photography at that point! Figs and goat cheese, along with honey and walnuts make a great cheese plate as well, and hence the inspiration for my ice cream! Inspiration is everywhere! It is simply how you use it and what you want to do with it.

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If you do make the sheet cake recipe, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on the blog post! That would really make my day! 🙂

 

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In other news, I am so honored to speak at the next Story Slam organized by Real Food Real Stories Organization, founded by Pei-ru Ko! Real Food Real Stories is an organization, whose mission is to humanize the food system for a connected, sustainable and just tomorrow. As quoted by Carmen Naranjo – “Stories break the silence and nourish those who work, feel and dream” ( from the RFRS website). And that is so true, stories around food especially, bring us together in conversation, in community and in harmony.

 

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The event is in San Francisco next week and the topic is Rooted and Rising. I will be talking about my roots, the challenges I have faced, my upbringing, my inspiration, my loves, my passion and where I am today. It was very emotional for me to write this story and I really hope I am able to present it and articulate it to the crowd. I will be presenting next to really amazing people in the food industry like Francis Ang- owner of a Filipino pop-up restaurant, Nicole and Stuart from State Bird Provisions, Leslie Jonath – founder of Connected Dots Media, Kenji Lopez – cookbook author of Food Lab, Michelle Tam – Author of Nom Nom Paleo,  Hence I feel really blessed to be able to present at this event.

 

I am loving the weather change to slightly chilly nights and thicker cardigans! Hope you all are having a fabulous September!

 

Cheers!

XO

Amisha

 

Fig Jam and Cardamom Cake with Goat Cheese Mascarpone Frosting and Fresh Figs

Ingredients

  • Fig Jam and Cardamom Cake:
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
  • ½ cup warmed fig jam(warmed so that it is a bit viscous in flow)
  • Rose and vanilla bean Goat Cheese and mascarpone Frosting:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 ounce goat cheese
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tbsp rosewater
  • Garnish:
  • 1 pound of black mission figs, sliced thin evenly
  • 1 pound of tiger figs, sliced thin evenly
  • 1/3 cup of coarsely chopped pistachios(remove from freshly from the shell for the brightest color)
  • 2 tbsp dried rose petals
  • Honey for drizzle

Instructions

  1. Fig Jam and Cardamom Cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9x13 deep pan, spray with non-stick spray. Add in a parchment paper such that it has an overhang on both the sides to lift the cake once done. Spray once again over the parchment.
  3. In a medium bowl, add in the cake flour, almond flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt, and whisk together to combine.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment, add in the butter and sugar and whisk for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time and whisk after each addition to combine. Add in the vanilla extract and mix. Now gently add in the flour and milk, alternating in 3 additions. Whisk until combined. Do not over whisk else it will be stiff.
  5. Now add the cake batter to the pan and gently make it smooth using a small offset spatula. Add the warmed fig jam in 4-5 areas and using a butter knife, swirl it around in the batter to gently mix the jam in the batter.
  6. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Check if it is very lightly brown and using a tooth pick or a skewer, check for doneness. If the tooth pick comes out clean from the center, you know the cake is done. Let it cool in the pan for an hour.
  7. Gently remove the cake, using the overhang of the parchment paper and place it on a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Rose and vanilla bean Goat Cheese and mascarpone Frosting:
  9. In the bowl of a standmixer, add in the butter and whip for 30 seconds. Add in the goat cheese and mascarpone and whip again for 30 seconds. Add in the vanilla bean paste, rose water and whip to combine. Add in the powdered sugar and whip for a minute until it looks smooth, and is frosting consistency. Keep it in the fridge for about 45 minutes.
  10. Assembly:
  11. Once the cake is completely cooled, and the frosting is chilled, using an ice cream scoop or a rubber spatula, scoop out the frosting and put dollops across the entire cake. Using an icing spatula, gently spread the frosting across the entire cake, in swish swosh patterns, letting it go till the edge but leaving a 1 cm border on the edge. Now gently place the fig slices however you want, close to each other to form a pattern. Sprinkle with the rose petals, chopped pistachios and drizzle honey over the entire cake.
  12. Let it set in the fridge for atleast half hour. The cake is ready to cut and eat!
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