Persimmons have a natural sweetness that is difficult to compare with other fruits. When making a cake, the sweet flavours are stronger and richer, and the addition of nuts add texture.
Many call this dish a persimmon pudding, but this English-style steamed ‘pudding’ is a moist cake and not at all a custardy pudding.
When are persimmons ripe?
Underripe persimmons are unpleasant to eat because of astringent tannins. However, when they are ripe and soft, the tannic flavours are gone and replaced by a delicate sweetness.
The colour is also important when it comes to the ripeness of the fruit. Bright orange fruit is still firm, but when ripe they look redder, and at first sight you might confuse them with tomatoes.
If you buy persimmons that are unripe yet, place them in a cool, dry place in your home and leave them at room temperature. This ripening process might take a week or two.
How to make steamed persimmon cake?
Although this recipe has several ingredients, don’t let it put you off. It might sound complicated, but it is quite easy to make, and ‘baking’ with the use of a bain-marie or water bath results in a very moist cake, no matter persimmon or any other flavour. Simply pour the batter in a mould, cover it, and place inside a steamer. We used a large Chinese dumpling steamer which was perfect for this recipe, but any other steamer will work.
How to serve steamed cake?
This is a great recipe to finish any dinner during the festive season. The texture of this cake is incredibly soft and flavourful. Bourbon Chantilly, bourbon sauce or a lemon curd will balance this dish perfectly.
Steamed Persimmon Cake with Pecan Nuts
- Soak the blond raisins in hot water and roast the pecan nuts at 160°C for 6-8 minutes.Cut the persimmons in half and scoop out the flesh while discarding the skins.
Prepare all ingredients:
- Mix the persimmon puree in a small bowl with the baking soda.
- In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks with 100 gr of sugar until pale colour.
- In yet another separate bowl whip the egg whites at low speed until they become frothy, then increase the speed to high and add the 20 gr of sugar to obtain soft peaks from the egg whites.
- Use a last bowl to sieve the flour and mix with the pumpkin spices and fleur de sel.
Combine the ingredients into a pudding mix:
- Gently combine the soft peaks of egg white with the egg yolk.
- Fold the mixed flour into the egg mixture.
- Add the melted butter and combine.
- Finally add the persimmon puree, bourbon, lemon juice and zest, the roasted pecan nuts and the drained raisins.
Steam the pudding:
- Grease the inside of the mould with a small knob of butter and place a piece of baking paper on the bottom of the tray.Transfer the persimmon mixture and fill up to ¾ of the mould and cover with thin foil.
- Steam the persimmon pudding for 30 minutes or until the pudding is cooked enough.
- Transfer the mould to a wire rack, remove the thin foil and let it cool.
- When you mix the baking soda with the persimmon puree the mixture will become stiff after a few minutes and this is fine.
- To check if your cake is cooked, insert the point of a knife or a skewer into the centre. The cake is ready if the skewer comes out clean.