Quince and Ginger Cake

In my quest to find new uses for quinces, and a desire not to turn up empty handed to a coffee with a neighbour I decided to try this recipe.  I love Ginger Cake and the thought of a quince  flavour rater appealed.  The recipe comes from Jane McDonald Hunter’s   “Quinces – Growing and Cooking” which has a few interesting recipes.

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It is a straightforward cake, though in my opinion the base recipe was not ginger-ry enough. In the suggested recipe below I have upped the quantity substantially but you might want to adjust to your own tastes.  I also added cloves and nutmeg to increase the spice flavour.

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You have to poach your quinces slightly beforehand leaving them a little firm – something mine were unable to do as they are not quite ripe.  I suspect the quince taste would be better had they been firm as you would have little nuggets of quince in the cake.  Again I think next time I will increase the Quince content by 50% but in the recipe here, I have stuck to the quantity suggested.

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The Recipe

Ingredients

  • 225g softened unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 2tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2tsp nutmeg
  • 4 pieces of stem ginger diced
  • 200g of firmly poached quince
  • 100g of chopped nuts (walnuts/pecans/pistachios)
  • Demerara sugar to sprinkle on the top

The Method

Prepare the Quinces

  • fill a pan with water with the juice of one lemon added
  • peel your quinces, cut into eighths and take out the core and put them in the pan
    • TIP: quinces brown really quickly – as soon as they are peeled put the quinces in the lemon juiced water and only take them out when you are ready to divide and core
  • bring the water to the  oil and then simmer keeping a beady eye on the quinces – they need to be softened but firm
  • immediately take out of the water and allow to cool
  • dice and set aside

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Bake the Cake

  • line a 24cm cake tin with baking parchment
  • heat your oven to 170C / 150C fan
  • sift the flour, baking powder, and spices into a bowl and mix thoroughly
  • in a separate bowl cream the butter and sugar together
  • add the eggs one at a time adding a spoonful of flour with each egg
  • mix in the flour and spices
  • in a separate bowl combine the nuts, diced ginger stem and quince , mix and toss in a spoonful in flour (this will stop them sinking to the bottom of the cake when it is baking)
  • stir these into the cake mix until evenly combined
  • spoon into the cake tin
  • take a small scoop out the centre (this stops the cake doming)
  • sprinkle with demerara sugar
  • bake in the oven for 1 hour
  • allow to cool in the tin

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