Monday, May 07, 2012

Fig and Raisin Buttermilk Spice Cake With Butterscotch Sauce

This cake is deceptively light, so eat with caution. I baked mine in two 8 inch layer pans, and promptly froze one layer. You are of course free to bake it in a 9x13 pan, but I don't want to hear about it when you confess to demolishing most of it in a sitting.

I did not think the cake required a frosting, but it needed, something. I already had a jar of butterscotch sauce on hand, so I used it, but whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be great too. If you must frost this cake (some people have different expectations when it comes to cake) a cream cheese frosting would probably be good, or a creamy white frosting. Much as I like penuche (and I really do love it) I think it would be a bit heavy for this light of a texture cake. Save that for your gingerbreads, or heavier spice cakes.

For The Cake:

3/4 cup dried figs, soaked an hour in boiling water and then drained and cut-up fine
1/4 cup plumped raisins
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarb.
2 teaspoons mixed spice
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk

Butter and flour two 8 inch round pans or 1 9x13. preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light. Sift dry ingredients together. Set aside.

Beat eggs, one at a time into the creamed butter and sugar. Add dry ingredients alternating with milks. Fold in fruit at the end. Pour into pans and bake 25-30 for layers, about 40 for the sheet. Cake will pull from sides and have no crumbs clinging to a toothpick when done. Cool in pans on rack 15 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on rack. Serve with butterscotch sauce (recipe follows).

Butterscotch Sauce:
(From Best of Food and Wine, 1987)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon (not a typo) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice, strained

Melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Stir in corn syrup. Whisk in the cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened (it will thicken more upon cooling) 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in the vanilla and lemon juice. Cool to room temperature, then chill. Store, tightly covered in the fridge. keeps several weeks.

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