This time of year brings with it all of the sensual fruits. They seem more decadent, rich and sweet and just a little bit adult. To me they are the fruits of romance. Perhaps it is because the first time I ever ate a syrupy ripe fig was on my honeymoon in the South of France. We had a small house on a hill over looking Saint-Tropez and a fig tree on the terrace. We’d sit under the tree, drink our morning coffee and pluck figs off to eat them while looking at the Côte d’Azur. It is hard not to associate anything in that picture with romance. But the figs were the star. Every year I look forward to eating them on our Anniversary.
For those of you who have never tried a clump of champagne grapes you are in for a great treat. They are intensely sweet and gorgeous. A perfect pair for ripe cheeses if you are inclined to go that route for a final course. Everything you add them to ends up looking like a renaissance painting, which makes them the greatest garnish.They are very special and only available for a limited time every year, right around the fig season.
Today is my 17th anniversary, so it seems fitting that I should bake a cake that contains the most romantic of fruits. Just in case my beloved should decide to read my blog today, and bless his heart he does still read it, I love you more and more every year! This also seems a fitting time to thank you for designing this website for me, a place where I can express my passions, and for all of the technical support to keep it running. You are such a talent and I am so grateful. I look forward to the rest of our life together and by the way I think we should go back to France for our 20th! 😉
I got the inspiration for this simple cake from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours. She used this cake base to create a blueberry crumb cake that looks divine, but I thought the simplicity of the cake would go really well with all of the late summer fruits I wanted to use:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 freshly grated nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 orange zested
3/4 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk (I didn’t have buttermilk so I substituted 1/4 cup milk + 1/4 cup plain yogurt)
10 figs halved
1 handful of champagne grapes
1 pint raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350° and butter an 8-inch square baking dish (or one with an equivelent volume).
In a small bowl rub the orange zest and sugar together and set aside. This will bring out the oils in the zest and perfume your cake. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients and set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed, about 3 minutes until light.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each. Add the vanilla and mix in well.
Reduce the mixer and add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately, the flour in 3 parts and the buttermilk in 2.
You will end up with a think batter. With a rubber spatula spread it evenly in the pan.
Add the fruit decoratively over the batter.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until it is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!! Despite my romantic notions about these fruits my little boys love them too, just because they are so tasty. I guess they aren’t just for adults!
*For those of you who have not yet left a comment in order to win a signed copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day you still have time. We will be picking a winner on September 2nd. Just leave a comment on the Bread-on-a-Stick post.
29 thoughts to “Fig, Champagne Grapes and Raspberry Cake, for my 17th Anniversary!”
Zoe this is just beautiful! Have a wonderfully happy anniversary! I’m having a week just dedicated to figs and look what I found! Great!
happy anniversary! your honeymoon sounds so awesome…
happy anniversary! your honeymoon sounds so awesome…
The cake looks beautiful. Happy anniversary!
Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful happy, delicious post. That cake looks amazing. I grew in La Cote D’Azur… It’s a great place for romance and childhood come to think of it. 🙂
Thank you all!
We had a wonderful evening last night. Graham and I rode our bikes to Lucia’s for dinner and sat outside on the most beautiful evening of the summer!
What a beautiful post… and what a beautiful cake! Congratulations! This week my husband and I are celebrating our 36th anniversary. How time flies.
Oh my. I’m drooling as we speak. I adore champagne graps and usually buy them up when they come around, but this cake TAKES the cake with the addition of figs and raspberries!
Happy Anniversary and here’s to many more (My 5th year was yesterday!).
Hi Eileen and Dana,
Happy anniversary to you too. Congratulations!!!
Zoe, congratulations! How lovely – beautiful post and beautiful cake!
happy anniversary zoe… just plain gorgeous!
Happy Anniversary Zoe! Simple,easy and delectable: the perfect recipe for a great cake and a great marriage!
Love this! The cake turned out lovely!
Thank you all for the well wishes on our Anniversary!
Tartelette, I couldn’t agree more!
Happy Anniversary! Why wait till the 20th Anniv. for France? Ha, we do the same thing! We celebrate the 10th on the 11th and so on. Life gets in the way. What a pretty cake you have baked. I love the colors and I bet it smelled heavenly as it baked.
Happy happy anniversary to you. All those fruits you used are just the types that get me excited about Summer. I can’t wait for them to come into season here.
Happy Anniversary and many, many, more! That cake looks as luscious as the bread pudding I just made from your Artisan Bread book. (I used left over Beignets from your brioche dough…it was wonderful!
Thanks, and again, happy anniversary!
Thanks so much! I’m so glad you made the bread pudding, it is one of my favorite desserts. With all of the rain and chilly weather we are having, I think it is time I made a batch myself!
Happy belated Birthday! That cake looks wonderful! A fantastic creation!
What a beautiful post! I am envious of your lovely honeymoon, you should definitely return for your 20th anniversary.
The cake looks absolutely wonderful! I have always wanted to try cooking/baking with figs, but they are so precious & their season so short-lived I never make it beyond shoving them in my face raw & unadorned. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. I know it is hard to not eat them all raw, which in all honesty is still my favorite. But, when they are in season I end up buying so many of them that I can sacrifice some to a wonderful cake.
I’ll let you know if we do end up back in France for our 20th. I think it deserves some major celebration!!!
How romantic! And what a beautiful dessert. If you can believe it, I just tried figs for the very first time today — both green and black. I enjoyed them, my husband is still processing, and the teen, well…
Congratulations on the figs! It was a big moment in my life. Just look at it this way…if your husband and teen don’t like them, more for you!!!
ooh, that looks super pretty! Love all the fruit you’ve incorporated.
thanks for the inspiration! I have made a similar cake for a friend after seeing your beautiful pictures!
Zoe…I’m a wedding cake decorator, flavor adventurer, and hopeless romantic 🙂 Just had to say that your post made me both cry and drool haha! Thanks for sharing your talent in word and baking 🙂 Here’s to many more wonderful years with your husband and posting…cheers!
I made this, and unfortunately, it is quite bland. I was quite surprised because the ingredients were amazing.
It looks like your link might be wrong. . You did a post on Nutella and banana bread, with a link to this fruit tort. I’m sure the tort is great, but….
Not sure how that happened? Here is the link again: http://zoebakes.com/2014/04/10/nutella-swirled-banana-bread/