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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mini Moist, Buttery Caramel Fig Cakes

*photos shown are without caramel sauce*
I was craving something sweet with a rich flavor tonight, but I didn't want to make a full-sized cake.  Inspired by Hog's Head Cafe's pineapple upside down cake which is topped in a beautiful caramelized sugar syrup, I decided to bake mine flan style with a sugar syrup in the bottom of the pan.  I made this recipe off the top of my head, just bearing in mind that I wanted a nice rich flavor and moist texture.  I always start with one cup of flour for four ramekins and usually 1-1/2 tsp baking powder, and I went from there.  When I opened the fridge for the milk, I saw the fig jam so I went for it. The result is a wonderful buttery flavored cake with a very tender crumb and a sticky glazed bottom.

The flavor has a nice rich, buttery taste in the foreground and a mild, dark fig flavor in the background.  Serve it inverted to display the caramelized-sugar-coated top.  This recipe is perfect for four ramekins. Enjoy this deliciously delectable cake, mmm, mm, mmmmm!  It would surely be a crowd leaser with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream, and maybe even a capful of dark rum drizzled on top.  In less than 30 minutes you'll be ready to go!

*of course if you want this to be a full size cake, double everything and there you'll have it*
1 cup flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2c + 2TB milk
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 TB dark fig spread (mine is Trader Joe's fig)
2 tsp dark rum (I prefer Barbancourt)
1/2 tsp vanilla

sugar syrup
1c brown sugar
1/4c water (or less, just enough to moisten the sugar, the goal is a thick syrup)
2 tsp dark rum (Barbancourt preferred)
dash of salt


1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees with a water bath pan in place.
A water bath just means that you will place a pan large enough to fit your ramekins into the oven and fill it with water after having placed it into the oven (as this avoids spills).  The water bath prevents the crystallization of the caramelized sugar syrup and keeps it in liquid state.

2. Stir together flour, salt, and baking powder

3. Meanwhile, prepare caramelized sugar syrup in a sauce pan over low to medium low heat.  Do not stir, swirl pan to blend ingredients then let boil until thickened

4. Immediately coat ramekins or mini pans with sugar syrup, swirling to coat generously on the sides and bottom.

5. Blend sugar with melted butter, oil, and rum

6. Alternate blending flour and milk by thirds with a spoon, starting and ending with flour

7. Stir in egg

8. Stir in fig jam and vanilla

9. Divide batter evenly into all four ungreased ramekins or mini pans

10. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back when pressed

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