This cake combines the fragrant quince flavour with spongy ginger cake and the optional toffee.
4 medium ripe quinces (1kg)
1 lemon – sliced
1 orange sliced
unsalted butter – 60g
caster sugar – 90g
reserved quince syrup – 60ml
cardamom seeds – 1 teaspoon
160 g butter cut into cubes
1 cup caster sugar
4 eggs lightly whisked
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Scrub the down off the quince and cut them into eighths, peeling the skin, removing core and seeds. Place all the parings in a saucepan, cover with water and add the orange and lemon slices. Simmer until soft, strain, and reserve liquid.
Weigh the quince slices. Weigh an equal quantity of sugar and warm it in the oven. Put reserved liquid, quince slices and warm sugar into a large pan and simmer until quince slices are tender, but not falling apart, adding more water if necessary to cover the quinces. Remove quince slices carefully with a slotted spoon and reduce the syrup until thick, skimming the surface occasionally. Strain and set aside.
To make the toffee: grease a 23cm -25cm tin and line the bottom with non-stick baking paper. Melt the butter in a small pan, add the sugar and cook over medium heat until a pale toffee colour, swirling the pan frequently so toffee doesn’t burn. Add quince syrup and remove from heat. Arrange poached quince slices in a hflower pattern on bottom of tin, then pour toffee mixture on top and scatter with cardamom seeds.
To make the cake: preheat oven to 180 °C.
Put all the ingredients for cake mixture into a food processor and process until smooth. Spoon batter over toffee and quinces and bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Leave to stand for 10 – 15 minutes before turning out.
Run a knife around outer edges. Place a large serving plate over the top and tip out. As the cake tips out onto the plate, juices from the toffee will run down the sides, ensuring a moist and very delicious cake.