( SERVES 8 )
Photo by Tamara West
This cake is a slight variation on David Lebovitz’s dense and moist persimmon cake from his cookbook Room for Dessert. Formerly the pastry chef at Chez Panisse in California, David now lives and writes in Paris. If you are planning a trip to Paris, take a look at his website My Paris for great places to eat. His blog comments that “Room for Dessert is now out of print and considered collectable” so I’m a bit chuffed to see I have a personally signed copy! The currants can be soaked overnight.
|¼ cup||Brandy, or calvados (apple brandy)|
|125 g||Butter, softened|
|1 cup||Caster sugar|
|2||Persimmons, very ripe|
|1 tsp||Vanilla extract|
|1 tsp||Baking soda|
|1 cup||Walnuts, toasted and chopped|
|1 tsp||Ground cinnamon|
|1 to serve||Icing sugar, to dust cake|
|1 to serve||Yoghurt, or whipped cream|
- Place the currants in a small bowl and pour over the brandy. Leave to soak for ½ hour.
- Heat the oven to 175C. Line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.
- Cut and peel the persimmons, then roughly chop the flesh. Place in a food processor or blender and puree. Measure 1 cup of puree for the cake. (You can freeze any remaining puree for another time).
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add the vanilla extract.
- Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
- Fold in the persimmon puree with the dry ingredients, being careful not to over-fold. Fold through the walnuts and currants with their liquor.
- Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool.
- Serve dusted with icing sugar and yoghurt or whipped cream if you prefer.
Make sure your persimmons are ripe, just as you would use ripe bananas for a banana cake.