It’s been unseasonably warm here.
Autumn in Brisbane, Australia comes as a luscious sigh of accomplishment after the long dose of heat and humidity. We made it. Bring on the temperate days, the subtle mellowing of light, the faint crispness at dawn and dark. But the calendar had been heralding March for a good while now, the equinox come and passed and still summerlike days and nights are still and thick and stiflingly persistent.
And so as a subtle hint, to maybe hurry things along a bit here’s a little autumn inspired baking
I found persimmons on my latest trip to the farmers markets. Autumn to early winter is when they make their fairly short appearance. Strange looking ….like an orangey coloured tomato, with a flat top, they are one of those fruits I usually pass over, with not much idea of how to use them. Even their name suggests they are sour….. and the astringent variety, Hachiya is mouth puckeringly tannin-ey for sure unless it’s squishy ripe. The non astringent Fuyu is okay eaten crunchy but again, it’s better to wait for them to hit gooey best
The recipe is based on one that appears in a Jamie Oliver website so a couple of things almost go without saying. It will taste fantastic, all ingredients must be dropped with artistic flair from a great height …..
and it needs to be served on a dropped gorgeous rustic serving plate.
Spiced Persimmon Cake with Caramel Sauce
For the cake you need
120g butter, softened
250g caster sugar
4 persimmons, peeled and chopped into chunks
250g plain flour
50g almond meal
2 large eggs from happy hens
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
Pinch of salt
100g chopped pecans
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
For the sauce:
250g brown sugar
142ml double cream
4 tbsp. water
3 persimons, sliced into rounds
what to do…..
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C and grease a 9-inch round cake tin.
Beat the butter and sugar with an electric hand whisk in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour with each addition to keep the mixture smooth.
In a separate bowl, blend the persimons with a hand blender and stir into the butter and sugar mixture.
Sift in the remaining flour and the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves into the bowl and fold in with the ground almonds. Stir in the pecans and lemon zest.
Spoon the cake mixture evenly into the cake tin and place in the preheated oven.
Bake for around 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
While the cake is in the oven, make the caramel sauce.
At this point, the cake becomes a no- fail. Lets face it, everything tastes good when its covered in caramel sauce.
Add the sugar into a pan, stir in the water, then place over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Turn up the heat and bubble for 4-5 minutes until the liquid has darkened to a caramel colour. Be brave…. its a fine line between brilliant and burnt and the closer you come to crossing it, the better it will taste Take off the heat and carefully stir in the cream and butter.
When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Then turn it out onto a platter and arrange the persimon slices on top.
Serve warm with the caramel sauce drizzled on top and a dollop of crème fraîche.
And, by the way…..
According to an LAWeekly article I found on the internet……and who wouldn’t believe what they read on the internet, the persimmon may well be considered the world’s sexiest fruit
Something to do with its voluptuously soft and oozing flesh.
That trying to eat one like an apple is such a gooey tactile overload that it may well come with a stab of shame to be experiencing it in public.
And, according to some theologists, it was in fact the persimmon, not the apple that got Adam in such strife.
Hmmm. It is still pretty hot around here 😁