What is it that makes baking so much fun? Is it the precise measurements that you need to follow? Is it the tempting smell when it is baking in the oven? Or is it the sweet taste of success once you open the oven door and take out the golden deliciousness…. I honestly don’t really know, but I love to bake. It makes me happy.
I can have a really crappy day, but as soon as I go into the kitchen and bake…. It’s immediately better. I know I am not the only one as I have heard people say they went into baking mode in the middle of the night, trying to fight insomnia.
I probably wouldn’t go that far but baking…. Has a magical touch to it.
While Tom and I both like to cook, I am usually the one to get into desserts and cakes. And I like the baking more then the eating, although that can be very rewarding too. But if I would eat everything I bake I would end up looking more like an elephant then a human probably… As it is, I eat too much of it already but hey, you cannot give something away until you know it is perfect right?
I wouldn’t call this cake perfect, but it’s pretty good as it is. I had to use the black box ingredients which in this case were Arizona green tea, dried figs and dulce de leche (well technically condensed milk but that was transformed into dulce de leche earlier). I’m not a big fan of dried figs. I love them in their fresh variety and I also love other dried fruits but figs for some reason always tend to be too sweet and I just don’t like the texture. But the rules were clear; you have to use them…. So I did.
I decided to pair the figs with hazelnuts in a chocolaty batter and use some of the dulce de leche in the batter as well as the green tea. I would have added orange juice or anything else rather then the green tea and you really don’t taste any of it (I added only 1/3 of a cup) but at least I stuck to the rules. As usual when I bake in a regular round tin the middle of the cake sank in. The batter is normally used for bundt cakes so that is never an issue but it was a fairly heavy batter for a regular round tin so I probably should have turned the heat down a bit and left it in longer. As it was now I had to take it out or the cake would have been too dry on the sides. As it was it had the perfect consistency.
The middle sank (as you can clearly see from the uncovered cake) but it was actually cooked, soft and a little bit gooey but totally edible so no harm done. The top of the cake – once cooled – was spread with luscious dulce de leche and topped with chopped hazelnuts and more figs. I will certainly leave out the figs for next time but overall a pretty good cake. And thanks to Tom I am now officially addicted to dulce de leche! I’m still amazed at how something so disgusting as condensed milk, can be transformed into something so delicious, so easily!
Dulce de leche cake with hazelnuts and dried figs
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 60 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
- 3 eggs
- 100 gr Greek yogurt
- 50 gr dulce de leche
- 1,5 cups (232 gr) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (50 gr) unsweetened cacao powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 170 gr unsalted butter, softened
- 170 gr (1 packed cup) light brown sugar
- 200 gr (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 cup dried figs (140 gr)
- 1 cup of hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- 1/3 cup Arizona green tea with honey
For the dulce de leche topping; just use generous amounts of dulce de leche!
Preheat your oven to 190 C (375 F) and grease your baking tin (20 cm) well and dust with flour.
Combine the eggs, and yogurt and dulce de leche in a bowl and mix well.
Combine the flour, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl.
Combine the butter and the sugar together in your mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, which should take about 3 minutes, scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice where necessary.
With the mixer turning on medium speed, pour your egg mixture into the bowl in a slow stream, again scraping down the sides where needed.
Turn the mixer on it's lowest speed and add your flour mixture, 1/2 cup at the time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition or when needed.
Mix in your figs, your hazelnuts and the green tea until just combined, Do not overmix.
pour the batter into your prepared baking tin and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Bake the cake until it is firm and a wooden skewer comes out clean when put into the center. This took about 50 minutes in my oven.
Let cool for 5 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack to cool of completely.
Spread a layer of dulce de leche over the top of the cake once it is cooled and sprinkle the top with hazelnuts and dried figs.