The beauty of this cake is even if the figs are not completely ripe, as is often the way in England, cooking them in caramel softens them and makes them delicious.
Upside-down Caramelized Fig & Almond Cake
6 large figs
125g golden granulated sugar
150g butter, softened
125g golden caster sugar
75g ground almonds
75g self-raising flour
1 tsp. Vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Grease a 20cm diameter, spring-form cake tin and line the base and sides with one piece of baking parchment.
Cut the figs in half. Put a deep frying pan over a medium heat and add the granulated sugar. Melt the sugar and stir and gently boil until a deep caramel colour. Add the 50g of butter. Mix well and add the figs face side down and fry in the buttery caramel for five minutes. Flip the fig halves over and bubble away for another five minutes. The figs should be soft and released some of their juices to make a more liquid caramel sauce. Put to one side to cool a little.
Put the remaining butter and sugar in a food processor and cream together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla essence. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the ground almonds and the flour and fold in gently. Finally add the amaretto and stir. Arrange the fig halves in the bottom of the cake tin, face-side down and pour over the caramel sauce. Top with the cake mixture so that the figs are covered. You may need to dot it on and then spread it over afterwards. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until a knife pushed into the center comes out clean. Place the tin on a wire rack to cool. Remove the edge of the tin and place a large plate on top of the cake. Turn the cake upside down on to the plate and remove the grease-proof paper. Serve warm or cold.