Fig Torte & A Paper Lovely Giveaway

**This giveaway is now closed, and a winner has been selected. Thanks to everyone who participated!!**

Fig Almond Torte

If there’s anything better than summer, it’s late summer when fig season begins. I have a serious love affair with this fruit, but you wouldn’t know it considering that I’ve only written about them once in the two years I’ve been blogging. Oh the injustice!!

After a few false starts with some early season picks, we’ve arrived at the peak of fig season at our market. Plump Brown Turkey figs as sweet as nectar, with a good weight in the hand, vanish practically on sight. With fruit this ripe and delicious, you don’t need to do much. But since I seem to have issues of self-control at market stands, particularly in the presence of high-quality produce from farmers I know and believe in, alternatives have to be found, and I’m happy to have come across Molly‘s recipe for an Apricot Almond Torte. Replace figs for apricots, add a dash of rum and increase the amount of almonds used, and we have a sophisticated treat for weekday breakfasts.

Paper Lovely Letterpress

Since this torte will probably be gone by the time you read this, I’ve got another treat in store for you. When I started Beyond the Plate, I was on the hunt for a good stationery designer for my blog’s business cards. After all the effort that went into designing the look and feel of this site, I wasn’t going to settle for a run-of-the-mill print job! Instead, I indulged my inner stationery geek and worked with the delightful Kim Burks at Paper Lovely on custom designed letterpress business cards. Yes, yes, I know, this isn’t the most rational decision out there, but I’d argue that rationality and aesthetics don’t always go hand-in-hand. Besides, what better way to stand out from the crowd than with a letterpress calling card?

Custom letterpress stationery

Paper Lovely's Assorted Coasters and Personalized Stationery Set {Images courtesy of Paper Lovely}

Because I know that my readers are likely to be people with a good sense of style, who pay attention to the small details and love to entertain, Kim and I have been working on a giveaway to help round out your summer entertaining season (or, if you’re living in the Southern Hemisphere, begin yours).

Up for grabs is a set of 12 assorted letterpress coasters for a fun twist to brunches and soirées, and a set of personalized stationery with 20 flat notes and envelopes for hand-written invitations and thank you notes.

To win both items, just leave a comment below sharing your answer to the question: “When was the last time you wrote or received a hand-written note?”

This giveaway is open to readers worldwide and ends at midnight PST on Tuesday, September 13. One lucky reader will be picked at random and I’ll announce the results next week.

And now, the recipe!

Fig Almond Torte

Fig Almond Torte

Adapted from Orangette / Serves 8

I use Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal for this, but you could certainly make your own by whizzing up blanched almond slivers in the food processor. I recommend either slicing the figs lengthwise till they’re about ¼-inch thick or quartering them, arranging them in a pretty little circle. I wouldn’t halve the figs, however, as they’d sink to the bottom, and miss out on the chance to get all sticky and caramel-like. Unless of course, you’re looking to make a Fig Torte Tatin. While we tend to enjoy this torte au naturel, I imagine it’d be equally good with ice-cream, mascarpone or lightly whipped cream.


  • 2½ ounces/ 71 grams blanched almond meal
  • 2½ ounces/ 71 grams all-purpose flour
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 stick/ 113 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 ounces/ 100 grams sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light rum
  • 2 large eggs
  • About 4 to 5 ripe figs, sliced or quartered depending on your preference (see headnote)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F/ 200C. Line the base of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, then tighten the springform ring to keep the parchment in place, trimming the excess.
  2. Stir together the almond meal, flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside while you prepare the wet ingredients.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until pale yellow and fluffy. Switch to the lowest speed setting then add the rum, the dry ingredients and the eggs. Return the speed to medium and beat for another 5 minutes until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared springform pan, using your spatula to spread the mixture so that it evenly covers the base of the pan. Arrange the fig pieces atop the batter and bake for 45 minutes or until the top of the cake turns golden brown. A toothpick test should also come out clean.
  5. Run a knife around the perimeter of the cake before unlocking the pan, then leave to cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

Brown Turkey Figs

Disclosure: This giveaway was made possible via a donation from Paper Lovely.

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  • heather f

    I’m pretty good at sending cards, but with just a “dash” of a note.

    My mom has every letter she ever got and she can pull it out just at the right time. for xmas last year my daughter and son in law had a one month old baby

    my mom gave my sil a letter that his father had written her announcing his birth 35 years ago. he was really delightedReplyCancel

  • Joyce L

    I LOVE figs too, thanks for the recipe! My mother in law just got a batch of figs from neighbours, perfect!

    I wrote a sweet note to my hubby, a few months ago~ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen Peterson

    I wrote a hand-written thank you note this morning! I had lunch with a business acquaintance yesterday and I love writing hand-written notes with a fountain pen. It’s so unusual in my field (law) and it gives me a great excuse to buy great paper.ReplyCancel

  • What beautiful coasters and notes! I’m ashamed to say the last time i hand-wrote notes was the thank you cards from when we got married…that was near 3 yrs ago – I’m sure if I had these beautiful note cards I would be writing notes much more often 🙂 And a gorgeous torte too, simply lovely.ReplyCancel

  • i love handwritten notes! the last one i wrote i left for my local farmer who was dropping off tomatoes for me. i love turning something small into something that-much nicer.ReplyCancel

  • Lovely photos, Danielle. I’ve been seeing figs all over the blogging world and must get my hands on some soon.

    I wrote a note to a fellow photographer friend a few months back thanking her for introducing me to the “foodie blog” scene. With it I sent homemade strawberry jam and a spoon and fork from an antique store. She loved the package 🙂ReplyCancel

  • One of my best friends is always moving all over the country and both of us always adore writing and receiving mail. Right now she is in Washington D.C, and I sent her a letter about 2 weeks ago!ReplyCancel

  • Yum! I love the fig recipe. I’ll definitely try it out. As far as hand-written notes go, do post-it notes count? If so, I get those every darn day. Otherwise, the hubby and I leave eachother nice notes every month or so. Yep, it’s true. My fella is as sweet as Plump Brown Turkey figs. Yesireee.ReplyCancel

  • I wrote a thank you note to my mom for my birthday gift! My handwriting was super that day which made me really happy!ReplyCancel

  • Christina

    The last time I received a handwritten note is was from my dear friend Mallory — she’s the violist of our quartet and for that reason, the quirky and in-charge one of the bunch. The last time I sent a hand written card it was actually to her as well! I sent her a pair of safety goggles and a chicken scratched note about how she should start the new year off safely in her chemistry class.ReplyCancel

  • I wrote a thank you note just this morning! I love handwritten notes.

    Beautiful cake!ReplyCancel

  • Mikki

    I wrote a handwritten note a couple of weeks ago along with a little package and also some handwritten postcards from a trip.
    Very cute stationary!ReplyCancel

  • Ellen

    What a delicious looking torte, and lovely coasters and notes! I just finished writing out a birthday card to my best friend! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Nickie Gorsky

    A beautiful torte and paper goods! I am constantly amazed at what the internet brings my way!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel

    The most recent hand written note I received was a thank you note. I was really touched because was for a little favor I did for someone that maybe took 10 minutes of my time, but they were so thoughtful to sit down to write out a little note to say thanks!ReplyCancel

  • I love personalized stationary! My birthday was about a month ago and I wrote thank-yous to gift givers 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Over a year ago, a fellow blogger from interstate sent me a letter, handwritten in fountain pen on parchment paper with matching envelope. After email and IM exchanges, this letter felt so much more personal. We’re now friends and I got to meet him and his partner in person during a trip to his city. And I still have that letter! It’s too beautiful to throw away.

    P.S. The figs look mouthwatering! Gorgeous photography as always.ReplyCancel

  • Britt T.

    I last wrote a handwritten note in June of 2011!


  • Darcy Allen

    I actually handwrite notes on at least a weekly basis. I find that it gets me back in touch with words… and is a small way of telling friends and family that I love them. I particularly like postcards…..and have been trying to find an easy way to turn my own photographs into postcards to send toward loved ones.

    I have a sister whom is going through a divorce…and I recently spent an evening writing about 25 random, funny, inspiring, or remembering comments and addressed/stamped them. I have been carrying them around in my purse so that every few days I can drop one in the mail.
    And as my stepdad was a 35 year postal worker; I know that the really good ones often get enjoyed at the post office for a little bit before delivery.
    So I brighten my day… someone at the post office’s day… and my loved one’s day. Pretty good return on investment of paper, stamp, words, ink & time.ReplyCancel

  • The torte looks delicious! and the photos are beautiful (gosh, you’re making me all hungry, haha)
    I LOVE the coasters! ♥
    And I just happen to be making a birthday card for my friend at the moment (:ReplyCancel

  • New to this blog — and I love it so far! Beautiful photography, delicious food. Last note I wrote was just today (unsent)- a birthday card for my mom. Aside from cards, every once and a while I try to start up correspondance with my grandmother… but when she emails back it kind of takes the fun out of it. I think I might start sending postcards to my friends, though, I feel inspired!ReplyCancel

  • Hi Danielle! Your food styling is beautiful! You’ve done so well for yourself. I received a note from my husband last week. It was stuck to the mirror in the bathroom and said, “I love you so much. You are my darling.” I still haven’t taken it down.ReplyCancel

  • OH, I am right there with you, a sucker for nice stationary and decent business cards. I feel it tells a lot about a person. I always try to send personal notes as thank you or even hellos! Makes one smile to receive that little envelop in the snail mail. Love the coaster idea, would look lovely in our new “house”.

    I am glad you found some decent figs, they look so much prettier than the ones we played with. I finally found some the other day but they barley lasted one sitting. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • I enjoy writing letters but love receiving them more! I last wrote to my gran, who lives in Scotland and is nearly fully deaf. So instead of calling, we love to write to each other. It would be lovely to write to her on this lovely paper.ReplyCancel

  • Oh that is so lovely! I actually have some of Kim’s work tagged as my ‘Favorites’ on Etsy! Love letterpress!

    I love writing notes & cards and do so on a weekly basis. Sadly the last written correspondence I had were 2 Condolence cards, for friends who lost their parents.ReplyCancel

  • Trish

    Today! Receiving “real” mail is like opening your mailbox and finding a sunbeam. It’s my personal goal to spread as much sunshine as I possibly can.ReplyCancel

  • I love writing notes to those who have loved me or my family well. My most recent handwritten note was a thank you for a wonderful camp experience for my three daughters. I wrote a note to the camp director, thanking her for all that her family does to provide a wonderful camp experience each summer. My sentiment could not be typed in an email or left as a voice mail. I needed to linger over the words and put time into my thoughts. The camp invested so much time in my girls, shouldn’t I do the same in a handwritten note… picking it out, handwriting and then stamping and mailing.ReplyCancel

  • I attended the most darling baby shower recently and being that the mother-to-be is a friend, I was so filled with joy after meeting the future father’s family knowing that the baby would be born into such a loving family on both sides. The sentiment just simply deserved a carefully penned note.ReplyCancel

  • absolutely stunning photos 🙂 love figs! I wrote a note just last week for my love! It’s nice to leave each other little notes sometimes.ReplyCancel

  • I just discovered a handwritten note that made me gasp in delight and cry. It was taped to the inside of the dish cupboard by my daughter, Lila, just she before left for her 2nd year at college (UBC -Vancouver) last Saturday. Her stationery has ice cream cones on it and she knew I’d find the note after coming home from dropping her off at the airport.

    We’ve been having a tiny battle over empty Bonne Maman jam jars. She wants us to save all of them for her because they “make cool drinking glasses”. But they take up not a little space. So her note started, “Think of me when you see jars and I’ll think of you when I see the stars…” She went on to express her love and appreciation of us. I stood there and wept that my sweet daughter would surprise me with her heartfelt words.

    P.S. Figs are nature’s candy!ReplyCancel

  • I can’t remember when I last received a handwritten note – but I wrote one just this morning.ReplyCancel

  • Your blog/posts make me smile every time I come visit! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Moments ago, actually — a “Thank You” to my family friends of my fiancee for a wedding card received in lieu of being able to fly to WI from CO to attend the occasion. What a coincidence upon reading your post! Or not so much, really, considering we’re one month out from our wedding date. I have a feeling my hand will be in a perpetual state of cramp shortly.

    Lovely paper, even lovelier torte. Fresh figs are such a rare treat.



  • Heidi

    The last time I wrote a handwritten note was just today: a thank you for an early wedding gift! The last time I received a handwritten note was probably a month or so ago from my Uncle in Germany. We write letters back and forth keeping in touch.ReplyCancel

  • I must say the fig torte is beautiful. It’s the perfect dessert for the transition to fall. I had to laugh when I read about your letter press business cards. It’s hard not be be drawn in by the lure of good craftsmanship. The last time I wrote a handwritten letter? Last month, to my niece. Lovely giveaway, by the way.ReplyCancel

  • Natalie A

    I wrote a note tonight!ReplyCancel

  • Really lovely torte! I can’t get enough fresh figs right now. I read about your wonderful giveaway on Twitter. The coasters and note cards are perfectly simple and beautiful. The last time I received a hand-written note was yesterday. It was a Thank You note for a shower gift I had given an expectant mom.ReplyCancel

  • margie s

    I got a handwritten note about 3 weeks ago, from a friend of my daughter’s. Lovely, as is she.ReplyCancel

  • Meghan

    oh stationary is just lovely! and so are hand-written notes! The last one I received was from my dad and I just sent a birthday card to a friend on adorable stationary!ReplyCancel

  • Absolutely divine! I have a fig tree in the garden and I’m searching for fig recipes… I love late summer, when I can eat my favorite fruits and veggies!
    The last time I received a hand written note was 2 weeks ago, it was a postcard from Thailand written by my best friend! Nice 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Ashley

    Writings funner than calling and over the last two years my cousin and I write to each other every few weeks. Its nice to know that she’ll answer and its exciting to see a personal letter in the mail box.:) – lovely blog, go food!ReplyCancel

  • Cali

    I am so so behind on writing my thank you notes! I’m pretty sure the last one was to my boyfriend’s mom for a fun weekend visit.ReplyCancel

  • Meg

    I think the last hand written note I received was a thank you from my sister-in-law after her wedding. Sadly, the last one I wrote was also a thank you note for wedding gifts. Maybe with such pretty stationary, I would be motivated to improve my handwriting and write more notes!ReplyCancel

  • This is absolutely outrageous. So simple, but so perfect. I can’t get enough figs right now. Shaun and I used to leave sticky notes and cards for one another often, I’m not sure why we’ve stopped doing that as of late. Things have been busy, but that’s really no excuse. I often write notes and bake quick breads for out of state friends and send them on a whim – a home-made card and some zucchini muffins is my favorite way of showing old friends I’m still thinking of them. I recently have reached out to a few bloggers to start pen-paling so this stationary would be a lovely start. Enough of my rambling.ReplyCancel

  • Hi! I stumbled upon your blog through a retweet from ShutterBean, glad I did 🙂

    The last time I received a handwritten note was sometime last year. I was given these yellow old fashion looking envelopes from an ex’s mother and ever since I’ve been trying really hard to take some time out of my busy schedule to write to friends. Even it’s just a random thing or two. People always love getting mail that aren’t bills and I always find it fun to hear how excited they were to get my letter in the mail. A few have even written back 🙂


  • Amy

    I love picking out cards so I tend to write cards a lot. The last one was to my mum in Australia, telling her how much I missed her. The last time I received a note was for my one year wedding anniversary.ReplyCancel

  • Oh, Danielle. Your photos are too beautiful–perfection!ReplyCancel

  • What a lovely recipe, I’d love to try it! And the letterpress giveaway is equally lovely. So here goes. I am a mail enthusiast so I write letters/postcards almost everyday. The last time I wrote a letter was about 12 hours ago and I will be writing another in a few minutes. The last notes I received were delivered yesterday, they were postcards from several countries. 🙂 I just love mail!ReplyCancel

  • Amber

    An invite to a party at my dad’s house. But I’m rather more fond of the notes my boyfriend leaves me in my school books.ReplyCancel

  • This torte looks just beautiful, ive never baked with figs but have been really wanting to lately, really does sound divine! In answer to your giveaway question i received a few lovely notes for my birthday a couple of weeks back 🙂 I adore handwritten letters so this giveaway is simply lovely 🙂ReplyCancel

  • First of all, I can hardly get past that lovely torte. It’s just perfect right now for using figs and I have been doing my part, but here’s another recipe that is calling out to me. Secondly, I do write handwritten notes frequently but I have a feeling bloggers are that way and love the printed word in all forms, especially the old-fashioned letter and note.ReplyCancel

  • Jess G

    My grandparents really appreciate hand-written “just because” notes and thank you notes, so I try to check in with a nice card on a regular basis. It makes me happy to take the time and create something and it makes them happy to get a well thought out note!ReplyCancel

  • Claudia

    What a beautiful recipe! I also love figs and am always looking for new ways to use them while they are in season. I always write handwritten cards to say “thank you” for a nice dinner or when a friend lets me stay with them while visiting a new place: the last one I sent was less than a month ago to an extremely nice family in Norway who went out of their way to take care of me.ReplyCancel

  • omg fabulous recipe and giveaway! Just found your siteReplyCancel

  • I bought my first two cartons of figs recently, and I had no idea what to do with them. I am definitely making this.

    For your question, I am actually pretty good about writing notes. I just wrote one today, in fact, to my aunt. However, I don’t think I have received a note for quite some time. The last hand-written (more like hand-drawn) one was probably from my 5-yr old cousin. Sending me a picture she drew and asking me to send her some shells from the beach. Too cute!ReplyCancel

  • I just bought two pints of figs yesterday. Can’t stop eating them. But will have to — since I want to bake this lovely tart.

    So wonderful to meet you over great food and wine in Portland! 😉ReplyCancel

  • Francesca Holland

    This torte looks simply gorgeous! I have some figs lying around, but I think they may be destined for a compote with some honey and maybe orange. But this is certainly another option…hm….

    And in answer to the question- I don’t think I can remember the last time I got a handwritten note other than a card! My mom will include a card if she sends me something even if there’s no occasion, just saying some sweet words- usually brightens me right up! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Carmen

    With the birth of our child, I wrote lots of thank you notes. But I’m bad about writing just a regular thinking-of-you note. We received one recently from an aunt.ReplyCancel

  • That torte looks great. Last Christmas, I wrote thank you notes.ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful torte, Danielle. I adore figs. The last time I wrote a hand-written note was yesterday! I gave Matt a handwritten card because it was our 2 year wedding anniversary. He gave me one, too, because he knows how much I love cards. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Me and five of my school friends stay in touch while at uni at opposite ends of the country by writing letters and postcards weekly. Much nicer than a text or email and it means we talk even when we don’t gave anything specific to,ask. Pretty notepaper would help me get ahead in our long running competition to write the best notes to keep as mementos. I’m even typing this painstakingly on a phone I can barely use wo I don”t miss out! XxReplyCancel

  • kavita

    Very Inviting Torte…….makes me want to sit down with a big piece & a big latte…………

    just wished a niece for her wedding with a hand written recipe (for a happy married life) card just 4 days ago …………

    I hope to be the lucky one…..ReplyCancel

  • Miriam

    My birthday! I’d be happy to send you a handwritten thank you for a fig torte, though — that looks delicious!ReplyCancel

  • […] now, on to the meat of this post. I picked a winner for the giveaway using, excluding comments that didn’t answer the question posed. There were 59 […]ReplyCancel

  • What a gorgeous torte, and that stationery design is to die for. I have such a weakness for beautiful type and paper. Oh, and sugar! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • This torte looks great, I’ve just written a post on figs in Provence, asking what people like to do with them, this seems like a pretty good start, though the list is endless!ReplyCancel

  • […] ahead?  Here are a few more ideas: Pistachio Biscotti from Zesty Palette Malt Bread from Overdue Fig Torte from Beyond the Plate Challah Bread from Gluten Free Canteen No-Knead Olive Bread from Crumbs and […]ReplyCancel

  • I know the giveaway is over, I just wanted to thank you (alas, without a handwritten note on beautiful stationery) for this recipe. I was my first torte, but it will now be my go-to cake!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle

    @Val: Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a comment – glad you liked it!ReplyCancel

  • […] Fig Almond Torte (from Beyond the Plate) […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Fig Almond Torte adapted from Orangette, as seen on Beyond the Plate […]ReplyCancel

  • Wow! What great experiences in Oregon! Community is great for sustainability! Happy holidays!ReplyCancel

  • […] Rezepte Habe noch tolle frische Feigen bekommen, daher gibt's heute diesen kleinen, aber feinen Kuchen Zitieren + […]ReplyCancel

  • Ana

    There is a mistake in your recipe. It is 2/3 cup of flour. I was making it according to your recipe and it turned out very watery , greasy and flat. While i was making it , i was thinking that there was not enough flour and i was right. I looked up this recipe on Orangette web site. She uses 2/3 cup of flour and only 1/3 cup of almond meal.ReplyCancel

    • Danielle

      @Ana: I’m sorry that the recipe didn’t work out for you. This is not the same recipe as Molly’s, and while she used 2/3 cup of AP flour in hers, I decreased it so that I would get a 50/50 ratio, which would yield a denser crumb. Perhaps you would need to either increase the amount of baking powder you used or let the batter cook for longer.ReplyCancel

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