Persimmon Upside-down Cake


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.


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.


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.


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.

Thanksgiving Dinner

I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving!  Will and I hosted this year and had family over.


They helped a lot with the prep and cooking of dinner.

We even kept on schedule and got the table set on time!


Some things on the menu: stuffed acorn squash, roast chicken, mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables, kale salad, brussel sprouts, corn bread stuffing, lentil soup and last but not least…


pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Better late than never!  Thanksgiving week was hectic with the shorter work week and food preparations. Then, last week was hectic with two company holiday parties, company staying over, and playing too much Gyromancer, which is why these pictures of our Thanksgiving dinner is coming in so late.

Thanksgiving Dinner

We had lots of kale this year. Kale in the stuffing. A raw kale salad. Kale in quiche. And even a bunch left-over for later.

Thanksgiving Dinner

I made a wild mushroom (chanterelles, porcini, and cremini) and kale quiche.  I used Thomas Keller’s buttery pastry shell recipe for the quiche crust and subbed in vegan shortening instead of the butter. It was a whole lot of oil, but I have to admit that the crust was crispy, rich, flaky, perfect. The quiche wasn’t half-bad either. Even the kale-hater of the enemy ate some of this quiche! This will definitely be made again.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Also on our dinner table was the BF’s cornbread and bourbon stuffing, roasted root vegetables with a maple glaze, brussel sprouts, kale with meyer lemon dressing, seitan roulade, Beijing duck (courtesy of my parents and Sam Woo), cranberry and orange relish, cranberry sauce, roasted smashed potatoes, fresh shell bean salad, and mushroom gravy.

Thanksgiving Dinner

For dessert, I made vegan pumpkin muffins topped with a lemon glaze and toasted walnuts. I had run out of sweetener (honey) for the batter, but it came out fine because the spices lended enough flavor and I don’t like overly sweet muffins anyway.  I roughly used this recipe except I subbed in 1.5 cups all purpose flour for the whole wheat, and veganized it*.

Hosting Thanksgiving was tiring, but I think everything we cooked came out well and there wasn’t some horrible kitchen disaster and it was finished at our planned time. Hoooray for us.

* Instead of buttermilk, I used the same measure of soy milk and 1 tsp of white vinegar to make it curdle. I left out the 2 eggs entirely and replaced it with about 1Tbs ground flax seed and about 1/2Tbs water mixed together.