I’m hosting a big dinner party this weekend as a part of the McCormick Dinner Party Chain, and have been prepping my apartment non-stop all week. I know it seems kind of ridiculous that I am still unpacking after a month and a half, but I also have a ridiculous amount of stuff. And I might have had the crazy idea to build my own entertainment center, coffee table, dining table, and bookshelf…all while still unpacking. Yep, I’m clearly clinically insane. That or a sadist. But luckily, I’m also a workaholic, so I was able to put the finishing touches on a lot of these tasks while Jeremy was away for work this past week (with my tall blonde distraction gone I had to pass my after-work time somehow, and for some reason woodworking seemed like the perfect fit. My brain works in strange ways.) Also, my plants are exploding. Not literally, but they’re getting too big for the yogurt containers I started them in so there’s been a lot of transplanting going on. So that’s been my week: cleaning, sanding, staining, gardening and organizing. I’m going be posting about the dinner party next weekend, so between the million tasks I created for myself, I needed to fit in the time to make something for this weekend’s post. Something simple, easy, and tasty. And that’s where this cake came into play. I’d seen slices of dried fig and almond cake for sale at Whole Foods wrapped up and on display by the fancy cheeses, and looking through the ingredients I realized it was pretty much almonds, pureed dried figs, and vanilla. I’m in love with dates (they’re nature’s caramels, don’t you know?) and thought their soft and gooey texture would go great in the dried fig cake, too. And because dates and figs are incredibly sweet, I sprinkled in some some Greek sea salt to create a nice, contrasting salty crunchy crunch in every bite. All I did was puree the figs and flavorings, mix it all up with the dates, salt, and almonds, press it into the cake pan, let it dry overnight, press on some sliced almonds, and it looked pretty good. Not as beautiful as a frosted cake, but elegant in a bare-bones kind of way. Plus, it tasted wonderrrrrrful, which more than makes up for it’s simple appearance. Seriously delicious, and a great accompaniment for fancy cheeses.

Also, last post I held a giveaway for a beautiful box of Chambre de Sucre’s Sucre Ronds. They’re perfect for weddings, bridal/baby showers, late mother’s day presents, or simply sprucing up any dining area. The lucky winner of these intricately designed and decorated sugar rounds is….

Congratulations!!! I will be getting in touch with you shortly 🙂

Date, Fig and Almond Cake with Sea Salt {Gluten-Free}

Author Eva Kosmas Flores

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Dried Figs stems removed
  • 2 Cups Dried Dates chopped & with seeds removed
  • 1/2 Cup Roasted Sliced Almonds
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Cognac
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Instructions

  1. Place the figs in a blender or food processor with the vanilla extract and the cognac and blend until pureed. You might need to smoosh the unpureed figs down towards to blades in between blending sessions since the mixture will be so thick and sticky (this means you should only do this when the blender is off, don’t want to mix any fingers in with those figs!). Once all of the figs are pureed, remove the thick paste from the food processor and set it on a flat, clean surface (large plate or cutting board will work great). Knead in the chopped dates and sea salt. Once they’re fully incorporated, knead in the sliced almonds and set aside.
  2. Place a large sheet of plastic wrap over an 8-inch cake pan. Place the cake mixture in the cake pan on top of the plastic wrap and press down until the cake mixture is molded into the shape of the cake pan. Then, try to make the exposed surface as flat as possible, (since this will end up being the bottom of the cake, you want it to be nice and even so it doesn’t end up lopsided when you flip it over the next day).
  3. Place the pan in the refrigerator and allow it to sit there overnight, do not cover the exposed end as you want the cake to dry out a bit.
  4. The next day take the cake out of the refrigerator and remove it from the pan by gently pulling up on the plastic wrap. Flip the cake over onto a serving plate so that the exposed side is on the plate and the plastic-wrapped side is facing up. Peel the plastic wrap off the cake and discard the wrap. Decorate the outside of the cake with the sliced almonds, allow to warm to room temperature, and serve.
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