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Tuscan Olive Oil Cake with Figs

Ingredients
(Makes one 9-inch cake)

8-10 Mission figs, or enough to scatter evenly in a round cake pan
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1¾ cups granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons ground almonds
3 large eggs
1½ cup whole milk
1 cup Bardi Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract Fresh whipped cream, for serving

Preparation

1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375º. Peel the figs and cut in half. Brush the flesh of the figs with 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with ¼ cup sugar. Place the figs cut side down in a baking dish.
2. Bake the figs for 5 minutes; they should still be firm enough to hold their shape. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.
3. Turn the oven down to 350º. Cover the bottom of a 9-inch round pan with parchment and brush with the rest of the melted butter. Place the prepared figs, cut side down, inside the pan.
4. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, the remaining 1½ cups sugar, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk in the ground almonds and set aside. In a separate bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the eggs, milk, Bardi extra virgin olive oil and vanilla extract.
5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, whisking continuously to avoid lumps.
6. Pour the cake batter over the figs. Bake for 50-60 minutes (every oven is different), or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Remove the cake and let it cool. Unmold the cake and serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream. Buon appetito!