Ingredients: (serves 8)
Melted butter, to grease
3 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup dried figs, chopped
1 tbs finely grated orange rind
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
3/4 cup plain flour
Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush a 3 x 10 inch bar pan with the melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing the ends to overhang the sides.
Use an electric beater to whisk the egg whites in a large, clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Add the sugar 1 tbs at a time, whisking after each addition until the sugar dissolves.
Use a large metal spoon to gently fold in the figs, orange rind and fennel seeds until just combined. Sift the flour over the egg mixture and gently fold in until combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until firm and cooked through. Turn onto a wire rack and set aside for 11/2 hours to cool.
Preheat oven to 285 F. Use a serrated knife to cut the loaf into 1/4 inch-thick slices. Place the slices in a single layer on 2 baking trays. Bake in preheated oven, swapping the trays halfway through cooking, for 20 minutes or until dry and crisp. Set aside on the trays for 30 minutes to cool completely. Serve with coffee.