What's missing from this cake recipe?

97
10
Joined Apr 26, 2001
A friend of mine bought a house with a quince tree. Anticipating a source of a fruit I don't often see in my local grocery store, I started through my recipe clippings to find things to do with quinces.

I saved the following recipe from the Washington Post Food Section of December 13, 1989, quince and ginger being two things I like. Obviously, though, I haven't made this cake since then, because on reading it, I discovered the recipe has a critical missing step or two: after telling you to cut up the quinces and set them aside, it never mentions them again.

Can anyone suggest what directions were left out? (Or since the original article attributed the recipe, does anyone have the book and the ability to look the recipe up?) The Washington Post's website doesn't go back that far, and in any event would only have what appeared in the paper. My local library doesn't seem to have the book.

Quince & Ginger Cake

5 Tbsp. room-temperature butter, plus extra for pan
2 medium-sized ripe quinces
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 large egg
¾ cup dark molasses
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp cake flour
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. grated ginger, or ¾ tsp. powered ginger
1 cup buttermilk

Butter sides & bottom of a 10-inch cake pan. Line bottom with a circle of parchment, then flour the sides. Cut quinces in half and core with a melon baller. Cut each into 1-inch pieces and set aside.

Using paddle attachment on an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and smooth. Stop two or three times to scrape down the bowl and paddle. Beat in the egg; scrape down again. Beat at medium-high speed, letting molasses trickle slowly into batter. Note: can also be made in a food processor.

Sift together flour and baking soda. Lower speed of the mixer; beat in ginger and half the flour. Add buttermilk, followed by remaining flour. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 1 hour, or until center of cake is firm to touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack, then invert onto a platter.

(Attributed to “The American Baker” by Jim Dodge (Simon & Shuster, 1987)
 
2,938
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
My advice is to pre-cook the quinces, to remove some of the liquid from them, then cool before adding to the batter. Or you can use the quince raw by preparing the cake like an upside-down cake, and arrange sliced quinces at the bottom of the pan, with some butter and sugar.
 
846
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Joined Nov 29, 2001
I have never seen a recipe including quince where the quince was not pre-cooked unless the recipe called for it to be cooked for a very long time (like stewed or baked).

Did you copy the recipe by hand or copy machine? Maybe there are not any directions omitted but the pieces of quince are intended to be cut so small that they actually would soften while baking?

Any chance you can get your hands on the book that's referenced?
 
97
10
Joined Apr 26, 2001
Thank you all for the suggestions. I think I will try this a couple of times, using both the pre-cook and the upside down cake suggestions, and see which one comes out best. (Kimmie - Thanks for the Amazon reference. I'm going to wrestle with myself about buying that book, just to see what was missing from the Post article. Otherwise, another cookbook is just what I need; I only have a few hundred of them. Chiffonade: I actually cut out the article and stuffed it in a folder, so when I typed the recipe into my post yesterday, I was actually transposing from the original newspaper. I have a ton of stuff like that sitting in folders just waiting for me to get time to organize them somehow and try them out. Like I said, this one had sat there for 13 years. I'm sure readers of this site know how that goes.)
 
2,550
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Joined Mar 13, 2001
I never have ENOUGH cookbooks...and a Jim Dodge book is always a nice acquisition. :rolleyes:

Happy wrestling :eek:
 
489
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Joined Mar 3, 2002
Since quince season is months away, if you decide the Dodge book is not at the top of your must have list, why not get it from the library. If your local library doesn't have it, they will borrow it on an interlibrary loan for you. And as you are only after one recipe, they may even be able to get the library that has the book to xerox it for you instead of sending the whole book.

If you decide to do this, look the book up getting full biblio info, including LC# & ISBN to facilitate the process. Some libraries ask for where you found the citation, but the above info will probably suffice. A reference librarian will help you if you're not used to doing this.
 
97
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Joined Apr 26, 2001
... for encouraging a cookbook collector to buy a cookbook. ;) And providing a direct link, no less. Well, at least I'll find out what the missing steps were supposed to be.
 
2,550
13
Joined Mar 13, 2001
So it's the passionate in you who's winning, huh! :lol:

I just hope you're not falling for the $109.90 copy :rolleyes:
 
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