Persimmon Upside-down Cake

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I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. It’s probably one of my favorite holidays of the year because my family gets together and we have great food and there’s no pressure of getting presents like there is at Christmas. Instead of turkey, my parents ordered a roast duck and brined chicken from Sam Woo and cooked up a bunch of sides. It was extra veggie-friendly this year with the following vegetarian dishes: wild rice with butternut squash, spaghetti squash gratin, yamaimo and avocado salad, kale salad, veggie kidney and basil, roast potatoes, braised and baked tofu, vegetarian duck, and some pickled onions and home-pickled greens to whet the appetite.

This morning, I made a persimmon upside-down cake since we had a bag of persimmons from my parents and I had just watched Barefoot Contessa make some sort of upside down apple cake.

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I sliced up some persimmon and spread them out in a cake pan and poured over a lightly cooked caramel sauce. In hindsight, I should have added less water to the caramel and let it brown more. It was more watery than syrupy.

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For the cake part, I mostly used this vegan cupcake recipe but put in less sugar, left out the coconut extract, and put in some extra holiday spices (cinnamon and nutmeg). I also didn’t have cider vinegar, so I made do with the pomegranate drinking vinegar in the fridge.

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It was okay and not so bad as a first try and mostly winging it, but next time, I’ll put even less sugar and caramelize the sugar more.  The cake part was a little too moist for my taste, but tasted better after sitting for a few hours and drying out.

Chinese Style Birthday Cake

For my birthday last month, Will made me a Chinese style birthday cake. What’s so special about a Chinese cake? The key characteristic is that it’s steamed instead of baked. Steaming makes it lighter and keeps the cake more moist.

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It was delicious and dairy-free. The filling was a rich, creamy custard and the frosting was light and coco-nutty. I didn’t even realize it was possible to whip coconut cream into a whip-cream like consistency!

Home Baked Birthday Cake

Thanks Will, it was tasty!

Recipe after the jump [Read more…]