Persimmon and Orange Cake

A slightly healthier alternative when your winter sweet tooth hits



Historically January is a tough month for me. The holidays are over, everyone goes back to work, and the dreariness of winter can really start to drag one's spirit down.

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Not to mention the inundation of messages by the diet industry to lose 15 lbs and go on a sugar/gluten/carb/joy cleanse.

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While I totally understand that some people may enjoy cleansing and I agree that the pursuit of health is a wonderful thing, I don't think deprivation and general self-hatred is the way to get there.

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I personally like to subscribe to more of an intuitive style of eating-- and generally find myself naturally seeking out vegetables and fruits after long periods of eating rich foods. This access to vegetables, however, is a massive privilege in itself, and not one I take for granted.

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The flip side of intuitive eating however is also honoring ones cravings. So, sometimes a good baking session is in order--and what better way to uplift one's winter woes than with a delightfully light and airy snacking cake?

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The star ingredients of this cake includes a persimmon and orange purée, olive oil, and whipped yogurt topping. If you choose to omit the frosting, this cake is a great dairy free option for those with allergies, since it uses olive oil rather than butter. The sugar content is slightly cut down as well, which I find really lets the fruits and the olive oil shine.

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To make the frosting , you have to let the yogurt strain for at least an hour or so to reduce some of the water content. To prevent the yogurt from hardening, cover the top of the strainer or bowl with cling wrap or a damp towel.

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For this recipe, I chose to use fuyu persimmons, but you may use hachiya persimmons if they are fully ripe and the insides are completely soft- almost resembling a pudding-like texture. Otherwise, hachiya persimmons can taste extremely astringent- definitely not something you want to add to your cake!

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Onto the recipe!



Persimmon + Orange Cake


Ingredients:


-2.5 cups all-purpose flour

-1 cup persimmon/orange purée (read note below)

-3/4 cup raw cane sugar

-3 eggs

-1/4 cup olive oil (plus extra for cake pan)

-2 tbsp honey

-1 tbsp orange zest

-2 tsp baking powder

-1/2 tsp baking soda

-1/4 tsp salt


Topping-

-2 cups whole fat Greek yogurt

-1/2 cup powdered sugar


Method:


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Oil or butter a 9-inch cake pan and coat the inside with flour, tapping out the excess. Set aside. In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix to combine. In a separate bowl, add the eggs, honey, orange zest and sugar and beat with a hand or stand mixer on a medium-high speed until the mixture has doubled in size and become frothy, about 4 minutes. Add the persimmon/orange mixture in two batches and mix on medium speed to combine. Stream in half of the olive oil while mixing on medium speed. Alternate mixing with half of the dry ingredients and the remaining olive oil. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until just combined. Pour into the cake pan and spread into a relatively even layer with a spoon or spatula. Place in the medium rack of the oven and let bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, invert onto a plate and leave to cool for an additional 20-30 minutes. Place the yogurt into a sieve or a cheese cloth set over a medium sized bowl and wrap the top with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Place in the fridge and let strain for about 1-2 hours. Once some of the water has separated from the yogurt, place the yogurt and powdered sugar into a large bowl and beat with a whisk or hand mixer until smooth and no sugar lumps remain. Dollop the yogurt topping onto the cooled cake and serve. Enjoy!


*To make the persimmon and orange purée, add the flesh of 3 extra ripe persimmons and the juice of 2 oranges into a blender and blitz until smooth. Be mindful to avoid potential persimmon pits.


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