[Apology! We missed out the sugar quantity for the Dune Cake in our print edition. Here's the full version.]
“I don’t really know why this cake is called the dune cake. It came to me via a chef while I was an apprentice and he in turn said it was given to him by a friend called Dune. True or not, the name has stuck. It’s a very dense, flourless chocolate cake and, so long as you use an excellent chocolate, you should find the marriage between it and the soft and fragrant quinces sublime. I’ve added a few shaved walnuts for crunch.” Helen Pratt
I poached these quinces using Sous Vide and added just a little bit of the red wine syrup to the vacuum packed pouch and cooking it for 2.5 hours at 80C. This method gave an excellent controlled result and the fruit softened, while still retaining their shape. Again, a lot less of the poaching liquid is required to achieve the desired end result.
To make in the traditional manner:
- 1 large quince
- 1/2 bottle of red wine
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 star anise
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 1 chamomile tea bag
Bring all the ingredients except the quince to the boil in 400ml water. In the meantime, peel and core the quince and divide into 8 pieces. Drop the quince into the liquid, return to the boil, then simmer very gently until the quince is tender. Allow to cool in its liquid. Reduce a little of the liquid to make a sauce.
The Dune Chocolate Cake
- 300 g chocolate
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 300 g butter
- 190 g cream
- 5 eggs
Melt the chocolate, butter, cream and sugar over a very low heat or baine marie. Stir until smooth. Cool. Beat the eggs until very light and fluffy and then gradually add the chocolate mix while still beating. Pour into a greased and lined 8 inch square cake tin and bake at 155$C for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool over night and then cut cake into squares or rounds.
Gently reheat the quince and the cake in a microwave, arrange onto plates with a little cream fraiche and spoon around the sauce.
Helen Pratt, Cook Learn Love
Issue 23: Winter 11 page 45