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Stumped by persimmons? Try this easy, whole grain persimmon chocolate cake.
If there’s anything that eating local foods has taught me over the past few years, it’s the glory of otherwise ignored fruits and vegetables. While we might not have taken a shine to all of them (I’m looking at you kohlrabi), there are some we’ve delighted over. Swiss chard, creamer peas, and persimmons, to name a few. Oh, persimmons.
Persimmons are one of those fruits your eyes probably roam right over when at the grocery store. They’re often tucked away in the “exotic” fruit section, along with starfruit and guava and kumquat. But these stout orange beauties are actually available in many parts of the US, including right here in Texas.
Perhaps my favorite thing to do with persimmons is this persimmon salsa — it’s sweet and spicy and ideal for pork chops or just tortilla chips — but baking with them runs a close second.
You see, when you buy persimmons, they tend to be like orange rocks. Really hard and not at all giving a hint of what’s inside. But if you’re patient and let them soften up (like, really patient; it might take weeks), they become juicy and ridiculous and perfect for adding to baked goods.
In autumn, of course the natural pairing is pumpkin, like in this pumpkin persimmon walnut bread. But we’ve been there. So let’s head on down over to the chocolate path, because what isn’t delicious with chocolate?
Persimmon chocolate cake is not too sweet, not too rich. It’s just right for an afternoon coffee break or even with breakfast. I used whole wheat pastry flour to give it a denser crumb, but you can use all-purpose flour if you prefer.
When buying your persimmons, make sure to get the kind that gets soft — not all do. Hachiya is a popular kind, and here in Texas we also have the Eureka variety.
This recipe makes 1 standard bundt cake or about 12 mini bundts.
Persimmon Chocolate Cake
- 3/4 cup persimmon puree, from 4-5 persimmons, depending on size
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup chopped milk chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a bundt pan.
- In a large bowl, mix together persimmon puree, brown sugar, and applesauce. Whisk in eggs and vanilla.
- In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Stir into wet ingredients until just incorporated. Fold in chopped chocolate.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.