Almond cake with quince glaze

Almond cake with quince glaze

I love quince! So I was very happy to be given a jar of quince jelly recently (Thanks, Ellie!) It’s delicious on toast, of course, but it’s so pretty, and has such a lovely, distinctive, mysterious flavor, that I knew I had to make something else with it as well. Obviously I needed to make a cake. Somewhere in the back of my muddled mind, I remembered reading about a Uruguayan confection that combined quince and dulce de leche. So I wanted the cake to have a hint of dulce de leche about it. It doesn’t actually contain any, but it’s made with sweetened condensed milk and brown sugar, so it has that rich, caramel-y flavor to it. It’s a dense cake, and the almonds add a nice texture to it. The flavor of the cake itself is fairly simple, so that the quince-y quinciness shines through in all of its delightful flavor.

Here are two versions of Mr Jelly Lord, by Jelly Roll Morton. Don’t you love that song title? And the song?
Continue reading

Bakewell tart with cherries, cassis and bittersweet chocolate

bakewell tart

My love of black currants is the legendary stuff of legend. Unfortunately, they’re not readily available in America, and my tiny black currant bush doesn’t produce very much in the summer, let alone in January. What bad luck! But black currant jam and creme de cassis are readily available in America. What good luck! For a while now, I’ve been wanting to make a bakewell tart…a tart with a pate sucree crust, a layer of jam, and a layer of almond-cake-like frangipane. I have such fond memories of eating them as a child, when we lived in England, out of a little box, with fondant and a cherry. Mine would be a little different, though. Of course I wanted to use black currant jam. And then I decided to add dried tart cherries and chocolate chips, for a balance of deliciousness. I soaked the cherries in cassis, then mixed them with the jam and the chocolate, and, I must say, the combination is killer! Especially together with the crispy cookie-like crust and the soft fragrant almond topping. A wonderful combination of crunchy, chewy, sweet and tart.

Bakewell tart

Here’s Ska Jam by Tommy McCook and the Supersonics

Continue reading