Too Much Food


National Bundt Day 2010 – Persimmon Coffee Cake Bundt!

Ever since seeing The Food Librarian’s epic 30-days-of-bundts posts from last year and this year, I was determined to bake a bundt this year in honor of National Bundt Day. Armed with a basketful of persimmons (our persimmon tree was especially abundant this year again), I decided to bake some form of a persimmon cake. Since my dad had lamenting that he misses eating the coffee cake at Starbucks, I turned David Lebovitz’s Persimmon Bread recipe into a coffee cake by adding a streusel topping.

Baking at Home: Persimmon Coffee Cake Bundt

As this was my first time making a coffee cake, I didn’t realize that the streusel topping literally “melts” into the batter; what seemed like an adequate amount of streusel pre-bake came out kind of measly-looking in the end. However, my parents enjoy their sweets lighter and less on the sweet side, so this was perfect for them. If you enjoy a thicker streusel, I’d definitely suggest doubling up on the streusel portion of the recipe. Also, my parents aren’t the hugest fans of spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg (these spices aren’t present in Taiwanese desserts at all), so I omitted them. If you wish to amp up the autumnal flavor of this cake, feel free to add those in to your taste.

I’m very happy with the way the recipe turned out, despite my multiple changes to the recipe (if you know me, you know I can’t leave well enough alone when it comes to recipe-following). The cake is flavorful, tender and moist, and has some great texture due to the addition of chopped walnuts and raisins. Perfect paired with a steaming mug of coffee for your breakfast or with a nice cup of tea in the afternoon.

Baking at Home: Persimmon Coffee Cake BundtBaking at Home: Persimmon Coffee Cake Bundt

Persimmon Coffee Cake Bundt
Recipe adapted from James Beard’s Persimmon Bread, via David Lebovitz
Makes 1 10″ bundt cake

What you’ll need:
For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups + 1/4 C all purpose flour (210 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup granulated sugar, to taste (I used 75g, which is about 1/4 C plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon flavorless oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup persimmon puree, from extremely ripe hachiya or fuyu persimmons (this took about 4 small fuyu persimmons for me) (8 fluid oz.)
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled (3 oz., or 84g)
  • 1/2 cup honey (I used raw honey, which is semi-solid at room temperature, see special instructions) (160g)

For the streusel:

  • 1/4 cup almond meal (30g)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (30g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50g)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cold (2 oz., or 56g)

The procedure:
Make the streusel: In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond meal, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar and salt. Cut the butter into the dry mixture (or use your hands to rub the butter in) until the dough looks crumbly and sticks together when you compress a bit between your fingers. Try not to overwork the dough as the heat from your hands will melt the butter. Just aim for a crumb consistency. Place in the the refrigerator until ready for use.

Make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350F with a rack in the center rack. Line a tube pan or bundt pan with parchment paper and coat with oil or butter, then dust with flour. Set aside while you prepare the cake batter.

If you haven’t already, take your 6 tablespoons of butter and melt it over low heat (do not let the butter brown or boil, we just want to get it to a liquid state).

Special instructions if you’re using raw honey: Add the raw honey to the liquid butter, allowing it to become liquid from the butter’s residual heat. Yes, I know this renders it “unraw”, but we’re baking a cake here, for goodness sake!

Set aside the butter mixture to cool while you work on the rest of the cake.

In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, and granulated sugar.

In a medium bowl, mix together the 2 eggs, persimmon puree, oil, vanilla and almond extracts, and honey (if you haven’t already added it to the butter mixture). While stirring the liquid ingredients, slowly pour in the butter, incorporating it well.

Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in the liquid mixture. Stir with a spatula until there are no visible lumps of flour. Add the chopped walnuts and raisins, and stir a couple of more times to evenly distribute them.

Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth it out, trying to get an even distribution. The batter is a relatively thick one, due to the viscosity of the persimmon puree and honey. Take the streusel mixture and scatter it over the top of the batter. Place the cake into the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack, then slice and enjoy! If there are leftovers, wrap them well in plastic wrap to prevent the cake from drying out. If the cake is well-wrapped, it will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days. Past that, I’d keep it in the refrigerator or freezer for future snackage.

Baking at Home: Persimmon Coffee Cake Bundt

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