Fig, Walnut, and Chocolate Torte

Serves 8–10
Baking temperature (450° F)


8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, divided 1 Tablespoon and 7 Tablespoons
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup coarsely chopped dried figs
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
4 large eggs
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Powdered sugar for dusting


Brush the inside of a 9-inch cake pan with ½ tablespoon melted butter. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper and brush the paper with the remaining ½ tablespoon of butter. Add 1 tablespoon flour and shake pan to coat completely. Combine the figs and walnuts in a bowl and sprinkle over the bottom of the prepared pan, covering evenly. Beat the eggs and sugar until creamy in a large bowl; add the 7 tablespoons butter and vanilla. Sift the remaining flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Fold in the chocolate. Using a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the fennel seeds and pour batter evenly over the figs and walnuts. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Check after 10 minutes—if the nuts are getting too brown, lay a piece of oiled foil over the top. Torta is done when a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack. Place the rack over the pan upside down and invert. Remove the cake pan and peel off the parchment paper. Place a plate on the torta and quickly flip right side up. Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar and serve.