- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 12 California Dried Figs
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 whole large egg, separated
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Powdered sugar for dusting
Start with the caramel sauce and combine the butter, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, and fennel seeds in a saucepan. Heat to a boil; remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the cream until smooth. Reserve ¼ cup of sauce to make a finishing sauce. Set all aside.
To make the cake, remove and discard stems from figs. Cut lengthwise into quarters, then slice crosswise about ¼ inch thick to make 1½ cups. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour twelve 1-cup ramekins or small foil cups; set aside on baking sheet. (See Cook’s Note.)
Combine butter and sugar in mixing bowl. Blend with spoon or electric mixer until creamy. Beat in egg and egg yolk, separately. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in small bowl. Mix well and stir into egg mixture, a little at a time.
In same small bowl, combine sour cream, buttermilk, and vanilla. Blend well and then stir into flour-butter mixture just until smooth. Do not over mix.
Spoon 3 tablespoons batter into each prepared ramekin. Divide and sprinkle fig pieces and lemon zest, evenly, over all. Divide and spoon 1 tablespoon caramel sauce onto each small cake.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in molds for at least 15 minutes before turning onto wire racks to cool completely. Turn cakes sauce-side up and dust with powdered sugar.
Make the finishing sauce by stirring together the reserved ¼ cup caramel sauce, the remaining ¾ cup cream, and lemon juice until smooth. Serve the sauce on the side.
This recipe may also be baked in 9 inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, butter and flour, generously. Spread batter evenly in pan and top with sliced figs and one half of Caramel Sauce, spread evenly, on top. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes and turn onto wire rack to cool completely. Turn onto serving plate so that figs and sauce are on top. Cut into 12 wedges and serve with finishing sauce to pour over.