Snuggle up this autumn with a slice of spiced fig and walnut loaf cake and a mug of something hot!
Pre-heat your oven to 180C / gas mark 4 and line a loaf tin with grease proof paper or a loaf liner.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and light brown sugar until soft and creamy.
Next, beat in the eggs one at a time until the batter is pale, fluffy and has doubled in volume.
Add in the fig preserve and make sure it is mixed well.
Fold all of the self-raising flour and spices into the wet cake batter mix.
When the flour has almost completely been combined, add in the chopped dried fig and walnut.
Avoid over mixing and stop as soon as all of the flour is mixed in and the fig and walnuts are well dispersed throughout the batter.
Pour into your lined loaf tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes - 1 hour or until the sponge is springy and a skewer placed in the centre of the cake comes out clean. (See Note 1).
Leave the cake tool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Using an electric whisk, beat together the butter, half of the icing sugar and the seeds from the vanilla pod until smooth and creamy.
Next, beat in the cream cheese by hand until the frosting is smooth and creamy but thick enough to spread.
Spread the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake.
Place quartered, fresh figs on top of the frosting then spoon over the fig preserve that has been thinned with a little hot water.
To finish, sprinkle over a handful of chopped walnuts.
Note 1: if the cake is not cooked after 45 minutes, avoid the cake catching by covering with some grease proof paper or tin foil.