Naas and Jenny Ferreira often invite friends to share a relaxed lunch on the veranda overlooking the magnificent gardens of their Cape wine farm, Klein Optenhorst (



  • 120g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 350g honey
  • 145g caster sugar
  • 500g blanched almonds
  • 250g whole dried figs
  • 165g cake flour
  • 60ml cocoa powder
  • 10ml ground cinnamon
  • icing sugar, to serve


  1. Grease and flour a 22 x 12 x 6cm loaf tin. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Gently melt the chocolate over a bowl of simmering water, stirring occasionally. (I use the microwave set on defrost.)
  3. In a separate saucepan, melt the honey and caster sugar over a low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  4. Put the almonds, figs, flour, cocoa powder and cinnamon into a large bowl. Add the melted honey and caster sugar. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over and mix well. Work quickly as it stiffens rapidly to form a slightly sticky mass.
  5. Spoon the mix into the prepared tin and using slightly dampened hands, smooth and pat it down.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes. It’ll seem rather underdone; let the bread cool for about 5 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. To serve, dust with icing sugar and cut into 3cm slices.

Cook’s tip: delicious with coffee, this bread can be kept unsliced and covered for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

This recipe makes 1 bread.