The seasonal tastes of nutmeg and brandy make this a real treat to serve at a holiday party along with egg nog, mulled cider or a glass of sparkling wine.
By Nicole Criss
With December here, holiday baking is in full swing. Many people have a favorite cookie or cake recipe they look forward to making every year. I love the idea of traditional holiday recipes but it’s always so tempting to try something new, especially when it features an exotic ingredient. I brought this festive persimmon cake to a holiday party last year and it really stood out from the crowd in both taste and originality.
Depending on where you grew up, you may not be familiar with persimmons. With today’s global market, they are now becoming widely available. Persimmons were introduced in the United States in the 1880’s when a U.S. Commander brought back a native variety from Japan. The “hachiya” variety featured here should be consumed when fully ripe and soft. Preferably not covered in snow, but perhaps with a little cream cheese frosting on a luscious slice of persimmon cake.
- 3½ cups (350 grams0) sifted all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups (380 grams) sugar
- 1 cup (230 grams) melted butter, cooled
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- ⅔ cup Cognac or bourbon (I used brandy)
- 2 cups (450 grams) persimmon puree (Between 2 and 4 persimmons. It is not necessary to peel them)
- 2 cups (230 grams) coarsely chopped walnuts
- 2 cups (300 grams) raisins (I used one cup raisins and one cup of chopped dried apricots)
- Sift all five dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the center and add the cooled, melted butter, eggs, Cognac, persimmon puree, nuts and raisins.
- Mix the dough until it is quite smooth.
- Fill a ring mold or four smaller molds to make individual cakes.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until a tester comes out clean.
Nicole Criss is passionate about international foods and the cultures from which they stem. Nicole writes the blog 'And Baby Cakes Three,' chronicling stories of her global food adventures from New York City where she resides with her husband and toddler.