Spiced walnut & chocolate cake with poached quince

spiced walnut & chocolate cake with poached quince
3H 45M


Poached quince


1.To make poached quince, peel quince, reserve half the peel. Quarter quince, do not core. Combine sugar, the water, wine and vanilla in a large cast iron casserole or saucepan with tight-fitting lid; stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add quince and reserved peel, bring to the boil; cover with a sheet of baking paper then cover tightly with foil, or a lid to ensure quince is submerged. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer; cook 3¼ hours or until tender and a deep red colour. Cool quince in syrup.
2.Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease a 24cm x 34cm (9½-inches x 13½-inches) shallow rectangular cake pan; line base and sides with baking paper.
3.Pulse nuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Combine nuts, chocolate, breadcrumbs, baking powder and ground spices in a large bowl.
4.Beat yolks and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add nut mixture; mix well. Fold in butter. Beat egg whites in a large clean bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold whites, in two batches, into nut mixture; pour mixture into pan.
5.Bake cake 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through cooking time, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand cake 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely in the pan.
6.Strain poached quince through a fine sieve over a bowl. Remove core from quince; cut each quarter in half lengthways. Place quince wedges on a tray, cover; refrigerate until needed. Discard peelings and vanilla. Boil 2 cups strained syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat 15 minutes or until thickened. Cool.
7.Beat mascarpone and ½ cup reduced syrup in a small bowl with an electric mixer until almost firm peaks form.
8.Spread top of cake with mascarpone mixture; drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the remaining reduced syrup. Serve cake cut into squares with quince.

Depending on the variety of quince used, some will turn more of a rusty red colour while others a deep crimson. Also, cooking time can vary between types, with some needing a little longer cooking to achieve a red hue.


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