A moist almond cake, slightly crunchy from the almonds ground at home (don't skip this step), is studded with sweet, ripe figs sprinkled with sugar right before baking. The figs and sugar become almost jam-like, and this cake is just as delicious as it is lovely to look at.
So maybe I can't live in Paris. But I know that I can bring some of its great qualities into my own life, with the help of some sugar and maybe a lot of butter.
Fig and Almond Cake
(from The New York Times)
4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus butter for greasing pan
1 cup natural raw almonds (not blanched)
1/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling (I used sparkling sugar for sprinkling)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
12 to 14 ripe figs
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9" fluted tart pan or pie pan; set aside. Put almonds and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor and grind to a coarse powder. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; pulse to combine.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, honey and almond extract. Add almond mixture and beat for a minute until batter is just mixed. Pour batter into pan.
Remove stem from each fig and cut in half. Arrange fig halves cut-side up over the batter. Sprinkle figs with sugar and bake for 30 minutes, until golden outside and dry at center when probed with a cake tester. Cool before serving.