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Fig & Almond Cake

Bat Week Recipe - Almond Fig Cake

Submitted by Candace Stenzel, representing the Wildlife Habitat Council
Country of origin: United States (Maryland)

4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus butter for greasing pan
1 cup natural raw almonds (bats spread seeds)
12 to 14 ripe figs (bats spread seeds)
¼ cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon almond extract

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter a 9-inch tart pan or pie pan and set aside. Add almonds and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor and grind to a coarse powder. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; pulse to combine. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, honey and almond extract. Add mixture to food processor and beat for a minute until batter is just mixed. Pour batter into pan. Remove stems from figs and cut in half. Arrange fig halves cut-side up over the batter. Sprinkle figs with sugar and bake for 30 minutes, until golden outside and dry at center when probed with a cake tester. Cool before serving.

Role of bats in the recipe:
The following bat species help spread seeds of figs:
Buettikofer’s epauletted fruit bat (Epomops buettikoferi)
Gambian epauletted fruit bat (Epomophorus gambianus)
Peters’s dwarf epauletted fruit bat (Micropteropus pusillus)

The following bat species are just some of the species that help farmers by eating insects that would otherwise damage crops (e.g., almond trees):
Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus)
Western Red Bat (Lasiurus blossevillii