While re-organizing the huge mess in the cabinet which houses all of my muffin tins, pie, tart, and assorted sheet pans, I came across a mini-popover pan, wrapped in plastic with the receipt taped on it, from the year 2000. I must have meant to return it, but obviously, I never did. Instead, I packed it and moved it from our condo in Orange County, CA to our apartment in downtown Seattle, to our house in Bellevue, WA, and back to Southern California, first to an apartment and then to our current house, still wrapped in its original packaging.
Apparently, thirteen years ago, I wanted to make popovers. Now, looking at the pan, I had two choices: either put it in the giveaway pile or finally unwrap and use it. I started searching for a recipe for popovers, but found this one for fig cakes first. So, I used my “new” mini-popover pan to bake these cute mini cakes and they turned out beautifully. I love their shape, which you don’t often see in baked goods. I love baking little cakes like these because they’re so playful and fun to eat!
Along with their pretty appearance, they tasted great, as well. Figs and honey are a great combination and paired well in these moist and flavorful cakes. The orange zest provided a citrusy brightness to them while the addition of hazelnut flour added some texture and nutty flavor. These little cakes are perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee or served with scones and other sweets for afternoon tea.
Now, if any of you have a recipe for popovers, please pass it along so I can use my pan the way it was intended.
Fig and Orange Honey Cakes
Yields 12 mini-cakes
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons finely chopped orange zest (save the juice)
6 ounces (12 tablespoons or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup hazelnut flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
9 figs, washed and stemmed
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice (from the zested orange)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray mini-popover pan with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
Combine the sugar and orange zest, pressing down with a spoon to release the oil from the zest. Cream the butter and sugar/orange zest mixture until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
Whisk together the flour, hazelnut meal, salt and baking powder in a small bowl. Add the dry ingredient mixture all at once to the egg mixture and beat to combine.
Cut 3 figs into quarters and cut the remaining 6 figs into 4 slices.
Fill the molds equally about 2/3 full and submerge a fig quarter into the batter. Arrange two slices on top of the batter. Bake for about 16 to 18 minutes or until the cake is just firm. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes then invert the popover pan to remove the cakes.
While the cakes are cooling, stir together the honey and orange juice until well combined. Brush the orange honey generously over each cake.
Cakes can be served warm or at room temperature, perhaps with a dollop of mascarpone cream and chopped walnuts.
Recipe adapted from Suzie Sweet Tooth.
- Fig, Almond Frangipane, and Orange Tart (daisysworld.net)
- Caramelized Fig Breakfast Bruschetta (daisysworld.net)
- Rosemary, Honey, and Fig Cake (seriouseats.com)
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