How can such unusual ingredients taste so familiar and festive? Worked into a
gingerbread-style cake with a gooey fruity top, the combination of persimmon
and garam masala spice will become a new holiday tradition. When cooking with
persimmons, be sure to use them only when they appear overripe and feel heavy.
Just leave them on the kitchen counter to soften. Garam masala is an Indian spice
blend typically used in savoury dishes, but when included in this tender gingerbread
cake, it makes a seamless transition to the world of sweets.
¼ cup (50 mL) unsalted butter
⅔ cup (150 mL) light brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp (25 mL) pure maple syrup
2 ripe persimmons
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1 tsp (5 mL) garam masala
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
¾ tsp (4 mL) salt
¾ cup (175 mL) fancy molasses
½ cup (125 mL) light brown sugar, packed
½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, room temperature
¾ cup (175 mL) 2% milk, room temperature
1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Grease a 10-inch (25-cm) cake pan.
3. For base, melt butter, brown sugar and
maple syrup in a saucepan over medium
heat until bubbling. Pour into prepared pan.
Slice tops off persimmons and cut each into
8 wedges. Arrange wedges in bottom of pan,
with a little space in-between each.
4. For cake, sift flour, baking soda, spices
and salt and set aside. With electric beaters,
beat molasses, brown sugar and butter until
smooth. Stir together eggs, milk and vanilla
and add alternately with flour mixture
to molasses mixture, beating well after each
addition. Scrape prepared batter over fruit
and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a tester
inserted in the centre of the cake comes out
clean. Cool for 30 minutes.
5. To turn out, place a plate over cake and
invert, lifting pan. Cake should be stored,
covered, at room temperature and can be
made a day in advance.
Espresso with Lime Leaf
It may be traditional to serve an espresso
with a twist of lemon zest, but lime leaf has
the same impact with a delicate nose. Keep
the lime leaf in the coffee while you sip to
appreciate its delicate fragrance. Lime leaves
can be purchased at specialty or Indian food
1 shot brewed espresso, 1½ oz (45 mL)
1 dried lime leaf
1. Pour espresso into a demitasse cup and
stir lime leaf in. Sweeten to taste.