At Christmas, I love to prepare this deliciously rich Fig Compote Cake at parties or at lunch on the special day. Make mini cakes and give as Xmas gifts.
This will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container or four weeks in the fridge.
Make these in muffin tins topped with the figs and then wrapped in calico or cellophane as a great Christmas gift idea.
Preheat oven to 180c.
Remove the stalk off the figs and slice in half. Place the figs into a heavy based saucepan with the water and the brandy and simmer for 15 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the figs have softened. Set aside to cool slightly.
Place the dried fruit into a large saucepan with the water and the brandy and simmer for 5 minutes, add in the grated pear and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the orange juice. Leave to cool completely for 10-15 minutes.
Sieve the flour with the baking powder and the spices and set aside in a large bowl.
Whisk the egg whites until firm peaks. Fold the egg whites into the fruit mixture and then fold in the flour and spices until just combined.
Pour the mixture into a 20-1/2 cm square baking tin, lined with baking paper. Top with the figs and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the almonds and bake for a further 15 minutes.
Allow to cool in the tin before removing and cutting. Serve with vanilla custard or ice cream.