Have figs, bake cake, blog it

A week ago the sailor went into the world looking for a snack, and came home with a pack of figs, some bacon and a slab of smoked mozzarella. He had visions of stuffing the figs with the cheese, wrapping them in bacon and frying them up until everything was squidgy, smoky and crispy.

It sounded interesting enough, but because of the control freak that I am I already had plans for dinner (imminent), I discouraged him from going ahead. (I love him dearly, but seriously? Why can’t a snack just be an apple or a handful of nuts?)

A week later the snack pack lay untouched in the fridge, so bacon became breakfast this morning, and the figs are now on the way to cakey goodness, thanks to Dorie Greenspan, who tempted me with this picture in her lovely baking book:

Tweak-freak that I am, I immediately disobeyed her instructions to poach the figs in ruby-port and honey, instead using the dregs of a bottle of The Goatfather and several squeezes of imitation maple syrup (I am a cheapskate, and proud of it). I also threw in some star anise, because I could.

And when it came to the cake-making part, I subbed dessicated coconut for the cornmeal (because I didn’t have any, and because coconut makes everything better – as does brandy, which I added to the cooled syrup for a better boozy kick when it’s time to eat a syrup-drizzled piece).

If I were a foodblogger, I’d give you the (tweaked) recipe, with something like “adapted from”, or “inspired by” Dorie Greenspan. That’s the convention, and a reasonable one too (as I, ahem, point out in my forthcoming book on food and social media). But I wouldn’t want to be mistaken for a foodblogger, and while I thank Ms. Greenspan for her inspiration, I plan to take all the credit (or blame) for the final product.

I used to know someone who was obsessed with being credited for playing any small part in someone else’s endeavours. Of course credit must go where credit is due, but if I suggest that you bake a cake, or write a book, or muddle a cocktail, surely the credit for the success or failure of that thing goes to she who broke eggs, crafted sentences, or measured bourbon? (Did I mention I put brandy in the syrup?) Time for tea and cake.