Fig and Chocolate Cake with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh figs and dark chocolate are a perfect marriage. Add extra-virgin olive oil and it comes close to perfection.
Here’s another example of my tinkering with an old recipe, swapping out butter for extra-virgin olive oil. The San Francisco Chronicle published Jacqueline Higuera McMahan’s recipe for a coffee cake with figs and chocolate in 1998. I made her version years ago and found it very tasty. Recently I remembered the recipe and started thinking of using olive oil instead of butter. I made that change, along with a few others, to arrive at this version.
One 9-inch cake, 8 servings
For the filling:
3 ounces 64 to 70% dark chocolate, chopped
4 ounces (about 4, depending on size) fresh figs, diced
2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) dark brown sugar
½ ounce (1 tablespoon) delicate or medium extra-virgin olive oil
For the cake:
9 ounces (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces (1/2 cup) delicate or medium extra-virgin olive oil
7 ounces (1 cup) granulated cane sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
7 ounces (1 small container) whole-milk Greek-style yogurt, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
powdered cane sugar for dusting
Position a rack on the middle shelf of the oven and pre-heat it to 350°F (325°F convection).
Line the bottom of a 9-by-3-inch pan with a disk of parchment paper.
Make the Filling:
Mix the chocolate, figs, and sugar together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the olive oil on top and mix again. Set aside.
Make the Cake Batter and Assemble the Cake:
Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together and set aside.
Beat the olive oil and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle on medium speed until well combined and slightly fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times.
Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat them with a fork. With the mixer running, drizzle the eggs into the bowl a little at a time.
Mix the yogurt and vanilla extract together.
Turn the mixer speed to low. Add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the yogurt. Start and finish with the dry ingredients.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly to the edges with a small offset spatula. Spread the filling on top to within 1 inch of the edge. Carefully spread the remaining batter over the filling to the edge of the pan, making sure to cover the filling.
Bake until the top is puffed and browned, 35 to 40 minutes.
Cool the cake on a rack. Run a table knife around the edge to loosen the cake then remove it from the pan. Remove the parchment paper. Put the cake, right side up, on a serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.