Recipe Contest Winner: Flourless Paneer & Fig Cake

Recipe Contest Winner: Flourless Paneer & Fig Cake

The winner of the November's 'Best Fruit Cake Recipe' contest is Daphimanroi Warjri of the Flourists. This flourless fruit cake is made with fig, dates, almonds and pine nuts, and comes together in a jiffy, while still preserving all the depth and richness that a fruit cake promises. Ideal for the holiday season!

This recipe is my take on the Rachel Allen classic. I’ve replaced ricotta with paneer, and made a few other tweaks to match my palate. The cottage cheese keeps the cake moist and dense, and the lemon lends playfulness to an otherwise decadent and festive cake. It is also the perfect dessert for a mixed dinner party, keeping the gluten-free guests as happy as the others. Just remember not to skimp on the pine nuts!


250g Butter
220g Powdered sugar
150g Cottage cheese (paneer)
Zest from 2 lemons
4 Eggs
75g Pine nuts, lightly toasted
100g Dates, chopped
200g Dried figs, chopped
75g Ground almonds
1 tbsp Ground almonds, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 180 C.
Grease the sides and bottom of a 9" diameter cake tin and line the bottom.
Cream the butter until soft. Add the sugar, paneer and lemon zest, and cream the mixture till light and fluffy.
Lightly whisk the eggs together in a small bowl and gradually add them to the creamed butter mixture, beating all the time.
Add the remaining ingredients and fold into the batter until well mixed in.
Tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out moist but clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 mins, then loosen the edges using a knife.
Scatter a tablespoon of ground almonds over the top of the cake, then place a plate on top and carefully turn the cake upside down and out onto the plate (the almonds will prevent the cake from sticking to the plate).
Transfer the cake to a serving plate and leave to cool completely.
Cake is ready to serve.