This fig loaf is so robustly healthy, so low in fat and so good for you that you might want to do what I do, which is to slather it in butter.
Not the prettiest slice of cake but incredibly moist and delicious with or without butter – and besides being a great energy snack, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a nice cup of tea!
The tiny fig seeds give it a pleasing crunch and if you can manage not to eat it immediately, it tastes even better the following day and keeps well in the fridge for up to a week. Or freeze it.
If you can’t tolerate wheat flour then substitute gluten free or spelt or whatever you prefer. I don’t recommend whole wheat as this is dense enough without adding extra fiber. You can also substitute 1/3 of the flour in the recipe with ground almonds to create extra moistness.
SPICED FIG LOAF
(Makes two 9 inch loaves, or approx 24 slices)
1/3 cup (79 ml) of fresh orange juice
¼ cup (59 ml) of dark rum – one of those mini-bar minis will do
12 oz (340 g) of dried figs, stalks cut off
1 1/3 cups (160 g) of soft brown sugar
1 cup (250 ml) of applesauce
½ cup (125 ml) of fat-free plain yoghurt
2 tablespoons of canola, grape-seed or sunflower oil
4 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 cups (340 g) of all-purpose / plain flour
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon of baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
¼ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon (pinch) of ground cloves
A pinch of salt
Gently warm the orange juice and rum; turn off the heat, add the dried figs and allow them to soften for 20 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C).
Puree the figs and their soaking liquid in a food processor. Add the sugar, applesauce, yoghurt, oil and egg whites – blend.
Sift all the remaining ingredients together into a large mixing bowl.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and stir just enough to mix.
Lightly oil two 9 inch loaf pans and dust with flour, knocking out any excess.
Divide batter between the two pans and bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.
Wrap in foil to seal and keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.