Black Fig Frangipane with Walnuts


My parent's garden is littered with figs at the moment so I thought this would be a fun combination.  This is quite an easy one and it is the first time that I have made a frangipane with sunflower spread.  It works the same as butter but you just have to pay a little more attention when adding in the beaten eggs to make sure the batter doesn’t curdle.  This is gluten and dairy free and it has a lovely moist, nutty texture with gentle crunches from the walnuts.  I like to serve it with a good dollop of whipped coconut cream!


Serves 8 (or 10 if you don’t live in my house)


For the figs

about 10 black figs, halved

1 tbsp sunflower oil spread

1 1/2 tbsp light soft brown sugar

skins from 2 vanilla pods

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

For the frangipane

150g sunflower spread

150g light soft brown sugar

3 medium eggs, lightly beaten

200g almond flour/ground almond

2 tbsp gluten-free flour (or rice flour would be fine)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

zest of 1 lemon

80g walnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and lightly grease a 23cm loose bottom flan tin.

For the figs, set a large frying pan to a medium to high heat and add in the sunflower oil followed by the sugar.  Let the spread melt and then add the figs cut-side up into the pan.  Open the vanilla pods and scrape the seeds out with the back of a knife and add the skins into the pan along with the cinnamon powder.  Use tongs to carefully mix everything around the pan and then turn the figs over and leave to fry and colour for about 5 minutes.  Once the figs have gone a little golden turn them back over and remove from the heat.

For the frangipane, add the sunflower spread, sugar and vanilla seeds and beat together until light and fluffy which should take about a minute.  Combine the almond flour and gluten-free flour together and add a couple tablespoons to the batter before mixing in a little of the beaten eggs.  Continue adding a little of each until everything is incorporated and you can do this by hand with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.  Stir in the walnuts, lemon zest, vanilla and almond extract and then use a spatula to scrape this into the prepared baking tin.  Arrange the figs cut-side up on top of the batter and discard vanilla skins from the pan drizzling leftover fig sauce over the cake.  Place into the oven for about 50 minutes - 1 hour or until the top is golden and a skewer inserted comes out fairly clean.  Leave to cool on a wire rack before eating and serving with some soured cream.  This cake will last for around 4 days covered in a cool dry place.

Nina ParkerComment