Dalmatian Fig TorteDalmatinska torta od smokvi
Fresh figs grow in Croatia and are used in some desserts. This cake though, is made with dried figs, making it easy to obtain the main ingredient, not to mention more affordable too!Serves 10 to 14Cake layer:1 1/2 cups ground almonds or walnuts, plus additional (optional) for garnish 1 cup chopped dried figs1 cup raisins 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour9 egg whites 10 tablespoons sugarFilling:1 package (6 ounces) vanilla pudding mix (not instant) 3/4 cup sugar2 teaspoons vanilla extract2 1/2 cups milk1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter Cake Layer: mix the nuts, figs, raisins and flour together in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 10" round cake pan. Beat the egg whites over medium speed, slowly increasing the speed to high as you gradually add the sugar. Beat until high, soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the flour mixture and then pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on rack to cool.Filling: combine the pudding mix, sugar, and vanilla extract and 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl. Stir until smooth and blended. Heat the remaining 2 cups of milk in a double boiler until boiling. Stir in the pudding mixture, and bring to a boil once more, while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.Cream the butter. Then beat in the pudding 1 tablespoon at a time until you have completely blended in all of the pudding mixture.Assembly: cut the cake layer in two horizontal pieces, place filling between the layers, reserving some filling for the sides and top of the cake. Decorate by sprinkling ground nuts on top if so desired.$ Make the cake layer a day ahead. Just cover in foil so it doesn't dry out. ? Use low-fat or skim milk.
Source: The Best of Croatian Cooking