Monday, December 6, 2010

Persimmon Pudding Cake with Sour Cherries, Chocolate and Pecans

Delicious, moist, loaded persimmon cake
Just because I haven't been posting, doesn't mean I haven't been trying. It's just that the results of my experiments lately have been less than note-worthy.

I must say, though, that the husband was glad to see vegan month end (even though he himself is vegetarian). He threw half a tub of Earth Balance in the trash and said he never wanted to see that oily disgusting flavored crap in our house again. He has a point. It really isn't that good. Dear food powers that be, please try again, as you have not yet succeeded in providing us proper vegan butter products.

The recent unwritten posts, in order of Olympic standing are as follows:
Pretty red quinoa. Just pretty, nothing more.
The Bronze medal, by default as there were only 3 contestants, was tonight's Butternut Squash Quinoa. I added roasted butternut squash, green beans, pine nuts, ginger, garlic, onion and lemon zest to red quinoa. This was my first time cooking quinoa and my husband hated it. I didn't find it so repulsive, but according to him, it doesn't really matter what you do with it, because he feels he's chewing on mustard seeds and they're getting all stuck in his teeth. Superfood, schmuperfood - you probably won't be seeing much more quinoa from me once this box is gone.
Burrito? Quesadilla? Burritadilla?
Taking the Silver, we have the BBQ Chicken-less Burrito-Quesadilla. I meant to make burritos, but once I piled the Gardein shreds, brown rice, black beans (cooked with adobo, garlic, ginger and onions), tomatoes and sour cream on tortillas, I realized they were too small to fold closed. Oops! So I just folded them in half and browned them on both sides in a skillet. They were alright. Although, again, my husband really has something against healthy grains and didn't care for the rice. When I made a burrito-bowl out of the leftovers the next day and microwaved it for lunch, it was awesome. The burritadilla was just trying to hard.


The Gold winner of recent trials was the persimmon pudding cake. I really didn't know what to expect when I finally decided on a persimmon pudding cake recipe to use the two Hachiya Persimmons I had bought without realizing they are used in baking. I just thought they would be another pretty salad topping, but found out that if you eat them before they are mushy, they give you cottonmouth. No, not first hand. I always google before I bite.

I froze the pulp from the 2 persimmons, since they decided to get mushy immediately before we left for our Thanksgiving trip. With all that waiting and scooping and freezing I invested in this new fruit, I was not about to mess it up with a major experiment. Especially because as I've said, I'm no baker, I'm a cook.

The persimmon pudding cake kept popping up in my googles, so I suppose this would be the most classic way to enjoy baked Hachiyas. So I started with that in mind, trusting a recipe at Simply Recipes, and made a bunch of changes to incorporate ingredients I had on hand for an ever-so-slightly healthier version of the gooey cake.

If I hadn't researched, I might have thought I needed to bake the cake more - it was very moist and almost raw-like in the middle. But the cherries I added were warm and juicy, and the chocolate chips were like mini molten pockets of sweetness. If you like underbaked chocolate chip cookies (you know who you are), you will like this cake!

Here's how my version goes:

Persimmon Pudding Cake with Sour Cherries, Chocolate and Pecans
1-1/2 cups of Hachiya persimmon pulp (puree with immersion or regular blender)
2 eggs
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup butter (3/4 stick), melted
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon all spice
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped dried sour cherries
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 400F. 
Prepare a 7"x11" glass baking dish with non-stick spray.

1. Mix together all the wet ingredients from pulp to vanilla.
2. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, from flour through spices.
3. Combine wet and dry and mix until moist. Add the nuts, cherries and chocolate and stir together.
4. Pour into baking dish and bake about 50-60 minutes. Serve warm. 
Add whipped cream or ice cream if desired, but not necessary.

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