Persimmon Cake with Cardamom Crumbles

I’m writing the final blog of the month of Oct as my air-conditioner is running on high. This year the summer has stayed past it’s welcome. And I’m dreaming of an orange Fall where the tree leaves are changing colors, where the smell of the rain fills the air, where holding a hot cup of coffee feels good to your hands.

Oh, I’m dreaming of an orange fall as I bake this persimmon cake with cardamom crumbles.  I can pretend it's fall ..right? 

During summer time, I love baking sponge cakes because we want a dessert that light, less dense, and with lots of fresh fruits. But when it comes to the Fall season, I prefer to bake cakes that are denser using the mixing methods. This type of cakes can be served as the dessert or even better for breakfast or with coffee. 

Persimmon cake is one of my favorite fall cakes. As this cake bakes, the aroma of cardamom and spices make your kitchen smells like heaven. To make this cake, we use about 4 to 5 fresh and ripped persimmons. You know persimmons are rich in flavor, but they lack sweetness. I add some brown sugar to persimmons prior to mixing them with the cake batter because the molasses in the brown sugar add sweetness and flavor to persimmons. I also add a tablespoon of flour to thicken the fruit mix. 

This recipe yields a large 9” or two small 6” cakes. I personally prefer to bake smaller cakes because first of all there is only two of us and one small cake is plenty, so I usually freeze the other cakes and use them as needed. For this recipe, I used 6 small 4” cake pans.

Cardamom crumbles

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, cubed, chilled
  • 1-teaspoon powder cardamom

Process:

Whisk the sugar, flour, and cardamom together in a small bowl and add the cubed & chilled butter, lightly mix the butter with the flour using a fork or a pastry blender until crumbly. Remember avoid touching the mixture with your fingertips, the warmth of your fingertips will melt the butter and it will change the texture of the crumbles. Keep this flour mix in the refrigerator until we’re ready to place them on top of the cake.

Persimmon Cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup butter, soften
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped (to top the cardamom crumbles, optional)
  • 1 cup of persimmon puree (4-5 pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (optional)

Process:

  1. Peel the persimmons and smash them with your fingertips. I know some people puree the persimmons using the food processor, if you like you can do that too, but I love to see the strikes of orange in the cake after it’s baked so I leave all the  in. Now, add the brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of flour to the persimmons and mix well, place this mixture in the fridge until the cake batter is ready.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 325° F ( 175°c)
  3. Grease one large 9” cake pan or two 6” cake pans and cover with parchment paper
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and all the spices, set them aside until we mix all the wet ingredients and then mix them together
  5. To make the cake batter, use a stand mixer or a hand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on a medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar for 10 seconds or until the sugar is melted and creamy. Add eggs one by one and mix well after each addition, add vanilla.
  6. Lower the speed of mixer and alternately add the flour and sour cream start with dry and end with dry* At this point, you will have a thick batter and are ready to assemble the cake and bake it, so we need to get the cardamom crumbles and the persimmons from the fridge.
  7. Before adding the persimmons to the batter, pour about 1 inch of the batter at the bottom of each cake pans and make sure it’s leveled. I normally do this when I bake any type of cake with fruits because the fruit has a tendency to burn and stick to the bottom of the pan and the cake won’t release easily.
  8. Use a spatula to slowly mix persimmons with the remaining of the batter. Divide the mixed batter into the cake pans, leaving some room for the cardamom crumbles. And finally cover the batter with cardamom crumbles and pecans. Place on the medium rack and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  9. Remember it’s crucial not to open the oven door until the cake is fully set. And since this is a fruit base cake, it needs to be baked on low temperature for a long time. Once baked, place on the cooling rack and let cool.

Good to Know: 

  • You might have noticed that some recipes call for adding the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients. Here is the reason: If you start by adding all the liquid or a portion of the liquid ingredients, the fat can't absorb all the liquid and the batter will separate and the fat stays on top. That's why it's always recommended to start by adding the dry ingredients, so the batter become homogeneous.  Information Source: Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri

 

 

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