A Taste of Babylonstoren:
Gluten-Free Fig Cupcakes with Hazelnut and Rosemary

In the interest of fairness, we never compare apples and oranges… >

A Taste of Babylonstoren:
Gluten-Free Fig Cupcakes with Hazelnut and Rosemary

In the interest of fairness, we never compare apples and oranges—especially not to luscious figs. One of the last truly seasonal specialties, their honeyed taste is the summer treat we start longing for in May, as their early season approaches. While shooting our May Lookbook in South Africa, we roamed the historic Cape Dutch farm-hotel Babylonstoren and its living pantry of plants, i.e., the lush vineyards, orchards and gardens that fuel its restaurant. It was there that we found no less than eleven varieties of figs and began harvesting recipes for forthcoming figgy delights. The one we’re most excited about? This sweet-and-simple dessert, courtesy of Babylonstoren, which we plan on whipping up just about every chance we get.

12 whole figs with leaves
½ tablespoon soft butter
2 cups hazelnut flour
½ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon rice flour
1 teaspoon corn flour
1 egg and 1 egg white
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use the fresh fig leaves as cupcake holders: smear the leaves with soft butter, then use them to line a muffin tin, the buttered side facing up. Combine the last eight ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Spoon the hazelnut batter into the leaves until they are all a third full. Place a whole fig on top of each one. Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool and serve with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, ice cream or a dusting of powdered sugar.

Photos & recipe by Babylonstoren.


My experience at Babylonstoren today is really hard for me to put into words.
My mind is totally captivated by the experience I had this afternoon and it feels totally wrong to describe it as one of my favorite places I have visited in a while, but let me try nonetheless.

My afternoon started off with lunch at Babel. The menu is inspired by the seasonal availability of ingredients, and served by the garden’s fresh produce.
I had their Yellow salad, which was a combination of dragon tongue bush beans, Turkish granadilla, tiger figs and the warm smoked chicken with a spicy coconut mango dressing and more.
I ended it off with a Bitter Sweet Dessert, as one should.

After lunch we made our way to the gardens and strolled through, totally mesmerized. Today was cloudy and pretty chilled, so it was the perfect backdrop with the dramatic mountains and beautiful vineyards surrounding the farm in the background. It felt like I was in a movie. Their gardens and vineyards totally inspire you to create new culinary masterpieces and makes you dream of living of a farm like this with chickens ducks, donkeys and guinea-fowl walking around freely.

I cannot wait to return to this magical place and experience the full experience by staying there for a weekend and treat myself to a spa experience, after all it sounds like heaven on earth