Special equipment: pudding mold or ovenproof bowl
To make the frosting: Empty a carton of plain yogurt (without gelatin or other thickeners), into a strainer lined with a double layer of cheesecloth (or paper coffee filter), and place over a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. After about 6 to 8 hours, the yogurt has released about 1 1/4 cups water, and has the consistency of soft cream cheese. Add the honey, to taste, a pinch of salt, and a few gratings of lemon peel. Mix well.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the cake: In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, bread crumbs, buttermilk, molasses, oil, applesauce, beaten eggs, carrots, cranberries, figs, ginger and orange zest. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir until just combined. Don't over stir. Pour the batter into a well-greased pudding mold or heatproof bowl, and cover tightly. (You can also use leftover tin cans, like a large tuna can, for example). Immerse in a water bath to come 1/3 way up the sides of your mold. Cover with a lid or tin foil. Steam for 1 1/2 hours in the oven.
Slather the yogurt frosting over the warm cake. Garnish with fresh grated orange zest right on top.
Recipe courtesy of Chuck Hughes