Fig, Bacon & Chervil Cake
I know what you're thinking by the title of this post.
Has she lost her mind? Figs with bacon? in a cake?
A nice reader sent me an email a few months ago, recommending a lovely little paperback called Lunch in Paris, A Love Story & Recipes, about an American girl who meets a Frenchman on a business trip and falls in love.
And why should I read this book?
Because: It is a sweet story with a happy ending; I love Paris; and the book is PACKED with great recipes! She warned me ("and Stacey, there are a lot of fig recipes in this book, and I know how much you love figs").
I ordered the book to have something to read on the plane on a recent trip and took out my pen and started scribbling immediately.
The first order of business when I got home was to make this amazing sounding "cake" with figs and bacon.
In France, a cake is a "gateau" and is generally a dessert, something sweet.
But a "cake", (pronounced "kek") is another story. It is a savory quick bread type of snack served with a salad as a light lunch or picnic fare.
You may recall I made that amazing olive, ham & Gruyere loaf a few years back.
Don't be sad if you can't find chervil. I couldn't either.
So I substituted fresh flat leaf parsley instead. It was a beautiful thing.
Another note: Don't be jealous of the amazing lardons I used. My friend Noel smokes his own bacon in his backyard and dropped off a huge slab (I don't need jewelry, pork gifts are always welcome).
I give this recipe a 5 star rating, so don't be afraid of the combination. It is truly delicious.
Fig, Bacon & Chervil Cake (adapted from Lunch in Paris)
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 dried figs, cut in half
7 oz. lardons, bacon or pancetta, diced in 1/4" cubes
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp freshly chopped chervil (I substituted flat leaf parsley)
1 cup grated Comte cheese (I used Gruyere)
In a small nonstick skillet, cook your lardons just until the fat is being released.
Blot on paper towels and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the halved figs and mix together.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and olive oil. Combine the flour mixture slowly and incorporate the bacon, the herbs and last, the grated cheese.
Pour into a parchment lined loaf pan and bake in a 325F oven for 55 minutes.
Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before releasing and cooling on a rack.
Keeps a few days (if it lasts that long!) on the counter, wrapped in foil.