They say never to experiment on guests...
But that's advice I ignore. I figure, if I can't try out new dishes, recipes and flavours on my friends, then who can I try them out on? They know me well enough to know that eating together is about having fun, talking a lot, eating more, drinking a fair bit and trying something new (or old) and, ideally, all of it tasting pretty good.
If they want perfection and decorum, they'll go to a restaurant with a proper chef and white linen, not come to the controlled chaos of my kitchen.
This fig and almond cake was the latest experiment I inflicted on my dinner guests – and it didn't get any complaints.
I'm not keen on cakes that are too sweet, and the thought of spending hours decorating a cake makes me want to weep.
I like cakes like this, made with lots of ground almonds, a little bit of brown sugar or honey, a small amount of white and brown flour, three eggs, a pinch of cinnamon and allspice and a bit of baking powder. And figs, obvs.
You just whip it all up in bowl, pour it into a prepared a cake tin, decorate the top with sliced figs and bake it on a lowish oven until it's firm. I served it with yogurt with heather honey stirred through.
That's pretty much it. The best things are the simplest.