Sue Mitchell is owner of Cafe Musa on the Mound. Today she is sharing one of her recipes with us…

I started baking as a young girl, thanks to my Mum‘s encouragement. She is a very accomplished baker and thought I would enjoy it too.

She was right. I tried it, loved it and since then, I have baked all sorts of cakes.

I have many favourites, but sticky pistachio and fig cake stands out for me, not just because it is delicious, but also because it is easy to make.

It is based on a Gennaro Contaldo recipe which I have adapted to my own tastes, by adding lime and papaya.

It also appeals to me because I love to find cake recipes with unusual flavour combinations – in this case figs and pistachio nuts. It is exciting to find out how they taste together.

Figs are not the most obvious ingredient to use in a cake, but they add a distinctive sweetness of their own. I have found that they work well in this cake whether you use fresh or the tinned variety.

Another attractive element of this cake is the colour – the pistachios add a touch of green and if you use fresh figs, you will see a pink tinge to it too.

So, whether you are a beginner or an experienced baker, why not give it a try?

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

250g unsalted butter at room temperature
100g blanched almonds
200g shelled pistachios
250g golden castor sugar
4 large eggs preferably organic
1 large orange
1 lime
125g plain flour
3 ripe figs or 1 tin if not in season
1 tablespoon dried papaya
1 tablespoon golden syrup

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4.  Grease a square cake tin (approx 21 cm).

Whiz the almonds, most of the pistachios, papaya and the sugar in a food processor until fine.

Add the butter until the mixture starts combining together, crack in the eggs and blitz again.

Add the zest of the orange and lime, and the juice of the lime. Add the flour and mix till well combined.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin, top with the figs sliced into 1/2 cm thick slices, with some of the pistachios scattered over (keep some for decoration)

Put in the oven for 45-55 minutes, check with a skewer to see if it comes out clean – if so, the cake is ready.

While the cake is in the oven, put the honey, syrup and the juice from half of the orange on a low heat to simmer for 5 minutes and let it cool. Drizzle the syrup over the cake to finish it off and scatter with a few of the remaining pistachios – then enjoy with a nice caramel latte or hot chocolate!

Sue Mitchell is owner of Cafe Musa on the Mound, 16 North Bank Street www.cafemusa.co.uk  Twitter @musaonthemound  Facebook.com/Cafemusa

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