Quince and polenta upside down cake with spiced creme brulee ice cream
250ml brown muscat
1 vanilla pod, split and scraped
1 cinnamon quill
2 ltrs sugar syrup
200g unsalted butter
220g castor sugar
3 whole eggs
100g self-raising flour
50g plain flour
100g golden polenta
½ tsp salt
40 perfectly sliced almonds
icing sugar to dust
1.75 ltrs cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 cinnamon quills
8 star anise
2 cardamon pod
30 egg yolks
350g castor sugar
1 whole quince
1½-2 tablespoons icing sugar
To poach quinces:
Place port, muscat, vanilla, cloves and cinnamon in a small pot and reduce by ¾, add water and
sugar syrup. Peel quinces and place peelings in another small pot. Pour over half the above liquid, slowly cook peelings over a low heat for 1-1½ hours or until candied.
Quarter and core the quinces and place quarters in the remaining liquor, cover and cook gently until quinces are tender but not soft. approx 20mins. Allow to cool in liquor.
To make polenta cake mix:
Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, beat in eggs one by one until combined. Sieve flours, polenta and salt into creamed mixture and fold gently. Rest for 15-20 mins.
To toast almonds:
Lay almonds on baking tray and roast at 180ºC (160ºC fan-forced) for 1-2 mins or until golden. While hot, dust with icing sugar. Keep in a warm place to caramelise the sugar.
To make spiced brulee ice cream:
In a large pot bring cream, vanilla extract and spices to the boil, stand for 2 hours. Whisk yolks and sugar together until pale in colour.
Reboil cream and spices and pass through a chinois over your yolk mix, continue whisking. Place mixture in an appropriately sized ceramic or stainless steel gastronome, place in a water bath and bake at 125ºC (105ºC fan-forced) for 35-40 mins or until set. Cool.
Spoon cooled brulee into liquidiser/ bar blender and blitz until smooth and liquid.
Pass into ice cream churn and churn until set. Store in freezer.
To make quince chips:
On a meat slicer, slice a whole quince across the core to a thickness of 2 mm. Dust a silicon mat with icing sugar and arrange sliced quinces on top.
Dust again with icing sugar and place in combi oven on 100ºC for 3.5 hours occasionally opening the door to remove moisture from the air. Allow to cool and set before storing in an airtight container.
To finish polenta cakes:
Take four 80mm diameter by 40mm deep ring moulds, wrap one end of each mould firmly in foil. Grease and line with silicon paper. Slice cold poached quinces and layer in the base of the moulds, pour 2 tbls of poaching liquid in each, before spooning in 100g of polenta mixture. Bake at 160ºC (140ºC fan-forced) for 12-16 mins or until skewer is clean when removed.
Whilst cooling, pour 1 tbls of poaching liquid on top of cakes.
Store in moulds. Refrigerate.
Reheat cakes in oven for 2 mins, turn out on plate and remove paper. Arrange quince skins and almonds around cake, spoon on some warm poaching liquid.
Scoop ice cream onto skins, finish with quince chip, serve.