Quince season is just about over here and I wanted to make one last quince dish before they left the market. I found an interesting spice cake recipe from a lovely blog called Hungry Cravings. I adapted her recipe slightly. I like more spice flavour so I added more ground ginger and added cardamom. I also substituted yogurt for sour cream and used dark brown sugar instead of light. This is a delicious and moist cake, and would also be nice with pears or plums.
Adapted recipe from Hungry Cravings
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
1 cinnamon stick
10 whole cloves
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
113g unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain yogurt, at room temperature
Combine the water, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, vanilla paste and 1 cup of the sugar in a small pot. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Peel, quarter, and core the quinces. Add the quinces to the pot and drape them with a piece of parchment paper. Bring to a boil and simmer for about half an hour, or until tender. Remove the quinces to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the poaching syrup for another use, and let cool.
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease a loaf pan. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, cardamom, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a mixer beat together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar on high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly combined and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then ½ of the yogurt, then 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the remaining ½ of the yogurt, and then the remaining 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing on low for only a few seconds after each addition until just combined, and stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Do not overmix.
Place the batter in the loaf pan. Slice three of the quince halves thinly, but not all the way through, fan out the slices atop the batter, spacing them evenly apart. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the edges of the cake start to shrink away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and finish cooling completely.