Monday, November 17, 2008

Persimmon Cake with Candied Ginger and Walnuts

There are many types of persimmons, only 2 are commonly found in the market: the hachiya is an oblong, heart shaped fruit and are eaten when really ripe. Buy these when they are still firm and leave at room temperature until very very soft and I mean very. Eat these is in a bowl with a spoon, peeling the skin away as you eat or with your hands over the sink to catch all the juices, this latter technique has lots of slurping. Hachiya persimmons eaten before it is completely ripe are extremely astrigent and you will know with the very first bite.
The other type is the fuyu which are squat and are eaten when firm. Treat these like apples or pears, eat them with the skin or peeled. Leave the skin on and julienne the fuyus to add salads. It adds a great texture, a bit of sweetness and a wonderful burst of color.

Persimmon Cake with Candied Ginger and Walnut Recipe:
1/2 pound butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 T finely minced candied ginger
4 each eggs
3/4 t salt

3 cups peeled and diced fuyu persimmons (about 3-5 each depending on size)
2 cups water

3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat over to 350 degrees and butter and flour two 9" cake pans.

Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment until the ingredients are creamy and fluffy.

Add egg into the bowl one at a time, ensuring that each egg is incorporated before adding the next egg. Add minced ginger and salt and mix well.

Place diced persimmons and water in a blend and puree to a smoothie texture.

Mix flour, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl and shift about a 1/3 into the butter and sugar mixture.

Add 1/3 of the fruit puree and mix on low speed to incorporate, do not overmix. Stop before the batter is well incorporate, about 4 turns away, and add another 1/3 of the fruit puree and 1/3 of the flour. Repeat mixing and add the final amounts of fruit puree and flour.

Using a rubber spatula fold gently until the batter is mixed thoroughly.

Pour into prepared cake pans and bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes.

Check doneness by inserting a wooden pick/skewer into the center, it will come out clean without batter stuck to it. Or press the center of the cake lightly with your hand, if the depression left by your hand rises back, it is done.


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