Monday, December 5, 2011

spicy persimmon brunch cake

The month of November was an emotional blurr.  After 13 years I left my job.  I have started my new life as a stay at home mom.  This is absolutely the best decision for my family and I feel so fortunate that we are in a position that allows me this awesome opportunity.  I have always known that being a stay at home mom would be much harder then my corporate job but, I had no idea how hard it would really be.  My nanny made it look so easy.  At the end of  day I feel tired down to the bone not to mention I look like a frazzle disaster.  Until we get into a groove the me time, baking, bloging, showering, and exercise have fallen to the bottom of the list.  Play dates, tennis lessons, story time and the park have risen to the top.  I need to find some sort of balance in these whirlwind days. 

GG "great grandma" has a persimmon tree in her backyard.  This week a huge box appeared on my doorstop.  Her tree is a hachiya tree which produces the acorn shaped fruit that is used for baking.  My mother in law gave me one of her favorite junior league cookbooks when we got married.  Recently I have read the book cover to cover all the while cherishing the fact that some of my mother in laws favorite recipes come from this book.  The book was written in the 70s and while reading the book you can just feel the homeyness of each recipe.  These are family favorites that have been passed down from generation to generation.  They are not fancy.  They are solid classic dishes.  In honor of two of my favorite past stay at home moms I made this persimmon brunch cake using my mother in laws recipe and her mother's persimmons.  The result was an absolute hit.  This is a simple spicy cake.  You could spruce it up by baking in a bundt pan but, for our casual meal the 8x8 worked great.  There are no eggs in this cake ... weird.  I read the recipe several times and no eggs.  You add the baking soda to the persimmon puree which makes a gelatin like substance after a few minutes.  I have no idea why it does that but, I am assuming this concoction replaces the egg.  As long as the persimmons arrive at our door this will be a family favorite baked with lots of love.

spicy persimmon brunch cake
adapted: california heritage - junior league

1 1/2 cup pureed fresh persimmon, hachiya variety (see note below)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cinnamon chips
confectioner’s sugar

Stir together the persimmon puree and the baking soda in a small bowl until blended and set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the puree to the creamed butter and sugar.  Gradually blend the dry ingredients into the persimmon mixture.  Stir in the cinnamon chips, mixing just enough to blend.

Spoon the stiff batter into a well-greased and floured 8 x 8 x 2-inch cake pan or 5-cup bundt pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes and turn out onto a rack to continue cooling another 20 or 30 minutes before serving (or serve directly from the pan if using an 8 x 8 x2-inch pan). Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and serve warm. Cake is also good at room temperature.  Cake can be reheated with foil cover for 10 minutes at 325.

Note: A fresh Hachiya persimmon should feel soft and jellylike when ripe.  The ripe fruit should feel like a water balloon in your hand.  Cut it in half and scoop the flesh from the skin with a spoon. Use a blender or immersion blender to smooth the pulp. Use at once or freeze. The puree tends to turn brown if left, and a small amount of lemon juice may be added if desired, to prevent discoloration.


Anonymous said...

Super woman much?! My mom actually did the same thing when my oldest brother was born, and was a stay at home mom until we all grew up a bit. She got back into teaching though and has been at it full-time for the past 6 years. I can't imagine squeezing in everything on your to-do list, in addition to blogging/baking, etc.! This cake looks delicious, btw. :)

Made in Sonoma said...

Congrats on being a stay-at-home mom! I hope that one day I'll be able to do the same.

MMM...persimmon cake. In one of my baking and pastry classes we made probably 25 persimmon cakes to sell around Christmas. They were delicious, but I haven't had one since, and that was about 5 years ago. :(

Aimee said...

I was wondering where you have been!! Your balance will happen, but give it time! In the beginning you want it to seem like you can do it all, everyday. Eventually, "doing it all" goes to the bottom of the list!

Enjoy this time with your kids! Love the recipe too :)

That Girl said...

Best of luck on your new career move. And honestly - it is definitely a career to take care of kids! I'm learning this every day.

sportsglutton said...

I grew up on a farm with two persimmon trees so I have always enjoyed persimmon recipes and this looks like a treat.

Hope you find a balance at home soon!

Linda said...

My sister was a stay at home mom and I worked; it was always with mixed blessings as I longed to be home with my kids. But I do know it was not all fun and games for my sister! I always said she worked harder than I did staying home!! At least you can sneak in the kitchen more and this is a fabulous cake!

Kitchen Belleicious said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Those spices in that cake is making my mouth water. I can just taste it now. Congrats on staying home! It was the best decision I ever made when I did it with g! Love the cake!

wok with ray said...

Being stay-at-home mom is best for your kids and that is a good move for anyone who can do it. Nice-looking-delicious persimmon cake. Have a great week!

~ ray ~

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