Torta di Fichi e Miele

This recipe is one that is close to my heart and embedded well into my memory.

Our plane had landed in Venice after nearly 27 hours of transit time. We had trudged our way through customs and fumbled our way through the public transport system until we were finally at our accommodation. We were jet-lagged and hungry and set out in search of something tasty to eat.

Now I don’t know if it was the magic of the Venice; the incredible architecture, gorgeous laneways and bridges, the beautiful Italian language, or if this meal was quite simply the best I’ve ever had, but we found ourselves at this little piazza surrounded by locals chatting away and sipping espressos and life at that moment could not have been more perfect.

We sat and ordered the most incredible funghi pizza, which to my delight was also available ‘senza glutine’ and we pretty much inhaled it! We then wandered up to a little pasticceria and finished off the meal with a stand up espresso and the most delicious almond torta I’ve ever eaten.

Now I’m well aware that to recreate the magic of that moment is a tall order, but this torta is the closest I’ve come to the taste sensation that was the Venetian torta of my dreams. I hope you enjoy it and create your own Venetian dreams at home!

T O R T A di F I C H I e M I E L E
(Fig and honey cake)

Ingredients:
125g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup gluten free self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp honey (plus extra to drizzle over the top)
8-10 fresh figs (depending on size)

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180°C, line a tart pan base with baking paper and grease the sides well.
2. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar and add the two eggs. Once incorporated, add the almond extract, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix through.
3. Next, add the almond meal, g/f self raising flour and baking powder, along with the honey. Beat the mixture until all ingredients are well combined – the mixture will be quite thick.
4. Spread the mixture over the base of the tart pan, slice figs in half and arrange on top of the mixture (allow room between the figs so that the mixture can rise around them in the oven and almost engulf them into the torta.
Lightly drizzle extra honey over the top of the cake and figs.
5. Throw the torta into the oven for 30-40 minutes.

The insides will be moist and almost chewy and the figs will slightly collapse and release their delicious caramelised honey juices into the torta.

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