Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Persimmon Spice Cake



We've been having wonderful but crazy weather for this time of year here in Germany. It's been sunny and warm with temperatures between 15-18 degrees Celsius! It's more like Spring here rather that Fall. And when I think that Christmas is just four weeks away, I am wondering if we will really get that Christmas feeling at all this year. Last year at this time we already had snow!!

So, to force me into the spirit I have been doing a bit of baking. Trying to get to the feeling through my stomach and nose. With the success I had here and here I decided to be bold and daring. I actually created my own cake! Actually I looked through several different ideas on the internet and based on these I was able to make up a completely different flavored cake for this time of year.


We've been in Persimmon fever this Fall and have been eating this luxurious and sweet fruit by the truckload. As I let my imagination wander I thought how would the combination of Persimmon and Christmas spices do in a cake.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Persimmon, you might know it as Kaki or Sharon. They come in two categories - the Hachiya Persimmon, which is large and round. The Fuyu is smaller, flatter and tomato shaped. Both taste very differently from each other. The Hachiya is soft, creamy and tangy sweet, in comparison, the Fuyu remains firm upon ripening and has no tangy aftertaste. They can be used for a variety of things like jellies, cakes, and spreads but nothing beats eating them the way they are.

Selecting and Storing
While selecting you should go for smooth, brightly colored and plump persimmons. They can be ripened at room temperature and then stored in the refrigerator for several days.

Health Facts
Persimmons contain twice as much fiber as apples and play an important role in keeping a healthy heart. Persimmons also contain antioxidants such as carotenoids and polyphenols which affects fat metabolism. In addition persimmons are good source of sodium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and iron. Therefore, for many reasons, adding this colourful fruit to your diet may be a good idea.

This cake has everything one expects in a Christmas type cake. The fruity and sweetness from the persimmon, the luscious aromas from the spices and the nutty crunch from the walnuts. Combined with each other they gave a soft moist cake and the best thing this cake tastes better by the day. Simply because the flavors have more time to harmonize with each other.

You can even freeze this cake in portions and when you fancy a piece simply "nuke" it for a few! Warm, with a bit of melting butter, this cake will leave you satisfied.
Did it bring me into the Christmas spirit? A little closer than before!


Music while baking:

Michael Bublé - Feeling Good
Album: It's Time - Awesome Album with great music.

Music and Artwork courtesy iTunes





Ingredients:

4 - 6 ripe and soft persimmons - peeled and puréed. You can use an electric mixer or blender for this.
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
115 grams butter
200g brown sugar
350g all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground clove powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
60g walnuts or pecans - coarsely chopped





Method:

Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

Add the baking soda to the puréed persimmon. You will notice that the persimmon will set and become more solid. No cause for alarm. Although this might look strange it is perfectly normal.

In a mixing bowl whisk the butter and sugar with and electric mixer, until creamy and fluffy. Stir in the persimmon and egg, beating until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the dry ingredients to the persimmon mixture. Blend in well and stir in the nuts.

Spoon the batter into a round greased cake pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the knife comes out clean.

Take out and allow to cool on a rack. Sprinkle generously with icing sugar. If you would like to freeze this cake then skip this part and freeze in an airtight container.


Verdict:

I was so pleased with the cake and want to really boast about it. LOL! It was gorgeous. The aromas in the kitchen where making me so hungry and I was so curious how it would turn our that I kept coming back and peeking into the oven! When it finally cooled I quickly cut myself a piece and bit into it. It was a piece of heaven. When I told Tom I had baked a persimmon spice cake he looked at me with a very weird look. But when I packed a piece for him and Soeren for the next day, both came back and asked if I had any leftover. Amazingly this cake tasted better on the second day. The cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg harmonize so well with the persimmon's ripe and sweet flavors. The fruit purée also gives the whole cake a wonderful moist texture that is just right - not too dry like some spice cakes can get.


This tastes wonderful with a bit of butter spread on top and a nice cup of tea as a second breakfast too. So, I am sure my dear friend Nandita will enjoy a big piece for her Weekend Breakfast Blogging.



This is a perfect festive cake for the upcoming season and as it brought me a bit closer to the Xmassy feeling, I hope Anna will enjoy it for her Festive Food Fair.





Oh and before I leave you to drool just wanted to say thank you to my fave Cream Puff for this:






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34 comments :

  1. Hello Meeta,first time here,Came over from Nandita's.Congratulations on creating your own cake.I know how difficult it is to get a recipe right and creating a cake recipe is an entirely different thing..wow,you inspire me.I do some baking too,but never tried to create my own recipe.BTW,have never tasted persimmons either.I will look for them here in London,perhaps I will be able to try your cake.Congratulations again!

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  2. Meeta,
    I ate tons of it when I was a kid, yes, persimmon (but only Hachiya type) is my favorite! The spices you chose for the cake really sound perfect with this fruit, love it!

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  3. Wow, your cake sounds really wonderful. When I was living in Paris I ate persimmon all of the time. Here in the US, I have a hard time finding them, and when I do, the quality is really very poor.

    You've inspired me to go out searching once again though!

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  4. Thanks sweetie for this lovely recipe...though I havent seen persimmon here, i guess i'll replace it with some other fruit..

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  5. Persimons and cake!!!!! never thought they would go together..... As you said we are eating them by truck loads as well, so this variation would be my next in trying when the new truckload arrives ;)

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  6. Never had a persimmon either here or abroad

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  7. The cake looks really yummy Meeta,I havent eaten a persimmon yet, but after looking at them in the blogs so often, I think I'll have to go looking for them at the stores !! I am going to try and bake a similar spice cake soon,the combo of spices you have used in the cake feels delicious.
    Is there a substitue for eggs though ??

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  8. Omg, I have to try this! I never thought I cound make a cake out of persimmons. Thanks for sharing.
    beautiful photos as usual!

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  9. Looks delicious Meeta! I love the combination of spices like nutmeg and cinnamon with persimmons, very festive! I'm not entirely certain though if I would be able to freeze any, maybe just leftover crumbs :)!

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  10. This looks fabulous, I'm going to tag it for my must makes this week. I had a dream about Persimmons last night, so it must be fate that you are giving me this great recipe!!! thanks!!!

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  11. I've never had a persimmon but that cake looks incredibly good, sweetie! Wow! You did a most excellent job =))

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  12. Priya,

    U can substitute with any of the ingredients below in place of eggs. I haven't tried the options below but have used vinegar in making eggless cakes with great success.

    2 tbsp corn starch = 1 egg
    2 tbsp arrowroot flour = 1 egg
    2 tbsp potato starch = 1 egg
    1 heaping tbsp soy powder + 2 tbsp water = 1 egg
    1 tbsp soy milk powder + 1 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water = 1 egg.
    1 banana = 1 egg in cakes.

    Hope that helps.

    Shobitha

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  13. Vini Welcome to WFLH? Please do look for this wonderful fruit. I believe in England it is called Sharon Fruit.

    Gattina The Hachiya are also my faves. The spices harmonized very well with the entire cake. Hope you'll give it a try.

    Amy I really hope you do find it. Look out for it at your local Farmer's Market. I am sure they will have some good quality fruit there.

    Nandita While the persimmon has a unigue taste i am sure you can use mangoes or papayas for this too. Would be an interesting combination.

    Rooma Please do let me know when you do make this cake. I would love to hear what others thought of it.

    Jeff You must give it a try. I am sure you will like every bite of it.

    Priya I am looking forward to your verdict when you do try this one out. The only substitute I can offer is banana. i have often seen this being substituted in cakes. However, Shobitha has given interesting substitutes below.

    Riana Thank you! You just have to let me know what you think OK?

    Monisha I was not able to freeze any either ;-) But the cake would be ok to freeze. Thank you!

    Riana Oh how weird but hey - this must be fate!

    Lisa If you ever come across it do buy one and give it a try. I am sure you'll like it.

    Shobitha Thank you so much for your substitutes. It helps a great deal. I will be keeoing the list to use in future writ-ups.

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  14. I am certainly going to add this to my to do baking list. The recipe sounds yummy. I am amazed by the recipes u churn out and the lovely but simple lunch boxes u make for Soeren.

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  15. I've used banana's before Meeta, but want to try a differently flavored cake now !! Bored of having banana cakes and muffins :-) I surely dont intend to meddle with the beautiful spices in this cake by pairing them with banana's :D

    Thank you soo much for the substitutes Shobitha, will treasure this list forever !!

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  16. I was curious about the egg substitutions I had suggested yesterday.So I baked a Apple Coffee cake today with corn starch in place of egg. The cake turned out absolutely yummy. It is very moist and certainly don't miss the egg. So give it a try guys and u would be amazed with the results. I think it is even a better substitution than vinegar.

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  17. Hi Meeta,

    Looks and sounds really tasty!!

    I saw your comment saying you'd be here in Basel for New Year, wasn't sure if you saw my reply. If you have a couple of hours to spare it would be really great to meet up for a coffee!

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  18. Meeta,
    The cake looks so good!No wonder the aromas made you linger in the kitchen.I can understand your feelings.Great capture as usual!

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  19. Dear Meeta,

    The cake does look awesome... well I did try it today! Oh... how much i hate to leave this comment... it didn't turn out well for me. I think i added too much of the fruit pulp:( I pureed 3 1/2 (the half was eaten by me) of the bigger variety. The batter consistency was perfect and i used a 28 cm round pan.

    About 1/2 hour later the batter seemed to suddenly rise a lot and started to fall off the pan (plomp, plomp) and even after 1 hr of baking the centre was uncooked. Please please tell me the quantity of the pureed persimmon in cups so that i can try again. BTW the aroma was so captivating that i'm not giving up on this one, yet!

    Thanks a bunch... Latha

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  20. Shobitha Thank you so much for your comments and glad to see you are adedicated reader of the Daily Tiffin. Let me know how the cake turned out for you.

    Priya Maybe you can use one of Shobitha's other substitutes. But I still want you to come back and let me know how it turned out.

    Pam I'll email you about my plans to Basel.

    Lakshmiammal Yes the whole house was filled with the lovely aroma. A must try recipe.

    Latha I am so sorry to hear that it did not turn out well for you. But I am glad you came back to tell me and also that you do not want to give up on it. So, I think I used about 1 1/4 cups of the persimmon pulp. Make sure that you do not forget to add the Baking Soda to the pulp. This is an important factor as the soda makes the pulp set and when you add it to the cake it is not too liquidy.
    Latha, let me know if it worked the second time.

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  21. Thanks a lot for your quick reply, Meeta! I'm sure i used about 2 1/2 cups of pulp. I should have eaten more of the fruit:) One more question I have is when i mixed the set puree (it was beautifully done by the baking soda) and egg to the creamed butter the mixture was like (wet) scrambled egg. Is this okay too? Hope I get ripe persimmon at the market today and try it out soon... have a great week-end!

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  22. Hi Meeta,
    I should really try this cake as it's so hard to get some Christmas feeling here in Sydney (even in our currently bad weather). When you go to a Christmas market the next time, please have some mulled wine for me cause I can't have any here. And thanks so much for your lovely comment!
    EVA

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  23. I'm so glad you got the postcard!

    I was thrilled to see this post about persimmons. I love them and I'm very impressed that you actually created your own cake! You are so very talented!

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  24. Posts like yours inspired me to go persimmon-picking (we just had our first major freeze here, so it's right on time) and make a persimmon pudding. Oh boy, is it awesome. I never knew baking with persimmons was so easy and wonderful!

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  25. Latha Yes that is just about right. Although it did not 100% resemble scrambled eggs but I get what you mean and that is how it should be.
    All the best for the second try!

    Eva I know what you mean. When I was in the Middle East we had he same issue. But I promise I'll drink plenty of that wine for you LOL! Let me know if you try the cake out.

    Ivonne As that famous song goes "you're the inspiration!"

    Traci Thank you for that lovely comment. Hope you share some of your pudding recipes too.

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  26. hey,
    your cake sounds really wonderful. I even bought some persimmons or kaki as we call em here in japland to try . Could you give the measurements in cups .

    Also, have you tried the persimmon in a salsa. It turns out really good if you choose a firm one and chop it fine.

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  27. hey..... I baked this cake ... check my blog!!!

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  28. Meeta... what a wonderful Sunday. I got the cake right! I already sampled a slice while it was still hot and lecker:)

    I used exactly 1 and a half of the large variety of persimmon (that was one heaped cup of puree) and also added the last 1/4 tsp of fennel powder left over in my pantry. Can't really make out if it made any difference but this is a terrific cake. THANKS A LOT for the recipe...

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  29. have been looking for something to do with persimmon - other than scoff them all!!

    is it ok to leave the nuts out of the recipe though? will it make may cake end up a disaster? in fact if i did that with any cake recipe do you think it would cause problems?

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  30. Bilbo On the sidebar I have a link to measurement converter. It's really helpful. Try that out.
    Rooma, Latha So glad that it worked out for you.
    JennyB Try out out. I have never made it without nuts but give it a go. I think it will work out fine.

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  31. Dear Meeta,

    I just baked and devoured the Persimmon Cake.

    Ever since I saw your post last year I was waiting to bake the cake. So this fall when I saw persimmons in the market I couldnt resist. I've never had persimmons in my life before but the aroma of the cake that you mentioned in your post was something that drove me to buy it. I used your recipe mostly but eliminated the butter and egg and used 2 Tbsp of milk instead. Also instead of the spices I used vanilla extract.
    The cake is so so good and so moist, that I cant wait to finish it. Thanks a million for this recipe and encouraging me to discover a new fruit. Good luck girl.

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  32. Sapna you made my day girl. It's comments like these that keep me motivated to do what I do on this blog. So glad you liked the cake. Enjoy it!

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  33. You've inspired me to go out searching once again though!

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  34. Beautiful! I was making persimmon jam and came upon your blog. So lovely!

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta