Girlfriends are a really special thing, aren’t they?
Growing up I switched schools a lot. I’m not sure if it was the constant switching of schools or because I was just a strange little girl, but I didn’t have many friends growing up.
At the time it was not a great thing, but now I look at it a little differently…. 1. I was just saving up all those great girlfriends for this time in my life which is pretty awesome 2. If I didn’t go through a stage of yearning for friendships, I probably wouldn’t appreciate the ones I have now as much as I do.
It’s true though. You appreciate something more when you went without for a time in life.
And since I love and appreciate my ladies, I wanted to have a little fun by throwing a Girl Night In!!!
Arrive in the most comfortable of clothing: PJs or sweats.
Dine on the smorgasbord of food.
Partake of delicious white and red sangrias.
Indulge in the girliest of magazines.
View girly movies (17 Again… my friends love them some Zac Efron)
Hoot and hollar at Zac Efron throughout the length of the movie at various times when there is a general consensus of his hotness.
And talk a lot, because ding-dang-it, we are good at talking.
This night was so much fun just getting to relax and enjoy everyone’s company. It meant so much to me that some of the attendees sincerely thanked me for putting it together.
Now while there was, no joke, a smorgasbord of food…. I want to share with you the dessert that I made for this girlyfest: Fig Cake for Fall.
If you love figs, then you will love this cake. The cake is sweetened with honey and topped with port poached fig which is then accompanied by a sauce made from the figs, honey and port wine. Delicious.
I wanted the ladies to feel fancy…. because they are…. very fancy friends.
Fig Cake for Fall
from Baking: From my Home to Yours
- 3/4 cup ruby port
- 1 cup honey
- 2 thin slices of lemon
- 16-20 fresh figs, stemmed and halved
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cups sugar
- grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
For the Figs and Sauce:
In a small saucepan, stir together the port and 1/2 cup of the honey. Toss in the lemon slices and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat, add the figs, cover the pan and cook for 4-6 minutes, or until the figs are soft but not falling apart. Remove the figs with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl.
Raise the heat a little and cook the remaining liquid for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and line the bottom a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Put the pan on baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone mat.
Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Put the sugar and grated zest of the lemon in the bowl of stand mixer, and using your fingertips rub together until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Toss in the butter. With the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Pour in the 1/2 cup honey, add the vanilla extract and beat for another 2 minutes. The mixture may look curdled but keep mixing, it’ll get better. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients just until they are incorporated. Scrape the batter into the pan and jiggle the pan from side to side a few times to even the batter. Scatter the poached figs over the top.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooing rack for 10 minutes before running a blunt knife around the edges releasing the sides of the pan. Cool the cake to slightly warm or room temperature before serving it with the sauce.