Dark Chocolate Minicakes With Poached Quince


You won’t believe how rich and decadent these cakes are, and they are completely vegan. Make sure you use the best quality cocoa powder you can find (I always suggest Dutch process) as it makes a big difference. The poached quince is a delicious accompaniment here but you could poach pears instead, or use any fresh fruit you like really.

For the poached quince

4 cups (1L) water

1/4 cup (150g) honey

1 lemon, cut into quarters

1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise

100g caster sugar

4 medium sized quince, cut into eighths, cores removed and peeled

For the cakes

140g ground almonds

30g coconut flour

130g Dutch process cocoa

125g light muscovado or coconut sugar

2 tsp baking powder

Pinch sea salt

1 & 2∕3 cups coconut cream, plus extra for serving if desired

1 tsp vanilla extract

1∕3 cup olive oil

80g dark chocolate chips (70% cocoa solids), optional

  1. Poach the quince. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the water, honey, lemon, vanilla bean and sugar. Once the liquid is simmering, place each quince piece into it. Cover the pot with a lid slightly ajar so some steam can escape, or if you don’t have a lid, cut out a circle of baking paper with a golf-ball sized hole cut out of the center and place it on top. Simmer the quince, still over medium heat, for at least an hour, or until they slip off a knife when pierced. This can take up to 2 hours depending on the quince.
  2. Meanwhile, make the cakes. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease or place papers into 10 holes of a large cupcake / muffin tray very well.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or just in a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix in the coconut cream, vanilla, oil and chocolate chips if using, being careful not to overmix.
  5. Evenly divide the batter between the muffin holes.
  6. Take 3 or 4 poached quince pieces and cut into 2cm cubes. Place 2 quince cubes into each little cake and press down firmly, making sure the fruit is covered by batter.
  7. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  9. Serve with a few pieces of poached quince with 2 tbsp of syrup drizzled over as well as a little coconut cream if desired.
  10. Refrigerate in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 3 days.