Warm fig and chocolate sponge cake

Warm fig and chocolate sponge cake. Photograph: Andrew Scrivani/The New York Times

Warm fig and chocolate sponge cake. Photograph: Andrew Scrivani/The New York Times

Fri, Aug 30, 2019, 05:55

  • Serves: 4
  • Cooking Time: 25 mins
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Fusion


  • 100g superfine (caster) sugar
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange zest, plus 1 tbsp juice (from one orange)
  • 12 ripe black figs (400 grams), tough stems removed and figs halved lengthwise
  • 2 eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 100ml double cream
  • 35g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 40g dark chocolate (70 per cent), roughly chopped into one-centimetre pieces
  • Crème fraîche, for serving


1. Heat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

2. Add 50g sugar to a small, ovenproof, high-sided saute pan with a 15-centimetre base (or similar). Cook over medium-high heat, swirling the pan a few times, until the sugar has melted and turned a dark caramel colour, five to eight minutes. Carefully add the rum – it will spit and seize up a little – and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring until combined and thick. Remove from the heat, stir in the orange juice and figs, and set aside to cool.

3. Add the egg yolks to a medium bowl along with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Whisk by hand until pale and thick, about three minutes. Add the cream, flour, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt and orange zest, then whisk until smooth and thick.

4. In another medium bowl, using a clean whisk, whisk the egg whites by hand with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until they form stiff peaks, four to five minutes. Fold gently into the yolk batter, then pour the mixture over the figs in the saute pan (it should cover the figs completely).

5. Sprinkle all over with the chocolate and bake until the batter rises and is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, divide among four bowls and drizzle with any remaining liquid from the pan. Serve hot, with some crème fraîche alongside.