Sweet in the form of a circular pressed cake made with dried figs, almonds and other dried fruits, flour and sugar, which is consumed mainly at Christmas and produced in a variety of Spanish regions, although the most longstanding tradition is in Andalusia. There are two popular varieties of the dried fig cake known as pan de higos; one is more similar to a cake made with dried fruits and the other is simply pressed dried figs.
Mainly sweet. This type of pastry offers a spongy texture.
It is basically a round flat cake made with ground dried figs together with various fruits and nuts and seasonings or spices which, depending on the manufacturer, may be almonds, aniseed, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, orange rind, aniseed liqueur, all mixed together with fennel water.
This type of cake is more similar to a sweet then to other types of bread, as essentially it contains sugars, fat from the nuts (unsaturated and good for cardiovascular health), and large amounts of fiber, plant protein, vitamins and minerals.
It normally comes shaped like a round cake, although in the case of fig bread it is usually shaped like a bun. One firm also presents the product in the form of energy bars of 55 g / 2 oz.
Production / Processing method
The preparation method depends on the quantity of figs in the product.
• In the case of regular fig bread, it is made by adding figs to a mixture of 2 kg / 4 ½ lb of margarine, 1 kg / 2 ¼ lb of sugar, water, yeast, starter dough (made with flour and yeast to ferment the dough) and salt. The first stage is to knead together all the ingredients, except the figs which are added at the end. The mixture is then left to stand for approximately 15 minutes. The pieces are divided, shaped into circles and allowed to stand again for another 15 minutes. After this time they are formed into tightly-packed loaves and left to ferment for two hours, during which time they double in size. Finally the surface is brushed with egg to give them their shiny golden color in the oven, a few cuts are made in the top and they are baked at about 190ºC / 374º F.
• In the case of pressed fig cake, the figs are first ground, and then the mixture is kneaded. The nuts are added in the corresponding quantity (depending on whether they are walnuts or almonds), together with honey and aniseed in grains, which as mentioned above –depending on who is making it and the area in which it is made– can be replaced or accompanied by cinnamon, cloves, pepper, orange rind and aniseed liqueur. It is finally left to ferment and dry for the necessary time (depending on the dough) and decorated (normally by brushing with egg).
It normally comes shaped like a round cake, although in the case of fig bread it is usually shaped like a bun.