People who know me well also know very well that I love hazelnuts. And yes I do. But the truth is, I also love all the other nuts, almost as much as hazelnuts. Especially pistachios. I can eat a whole bag of pistachios in one setting. Or I can turn them into an nice flour and make a gorgeous cake.
I’m going to tell straight: I love this cake. You would think that so many pistachios would make it heavy but nope, it is still so light that you can eat so many slices of it all by yourself. But well, still you’d maybe better share it with others!
The cake takes it gritty texture from polenta and moisture from persimmon. I adapted this cake from a recipe I saw in a cookbook I bought recently by Sabrina Ghayour. I made my own changes to the recipe – for example, instead of peach I used persimmon as the markets are thriving with persimmon right now.
The topping of the cake is just a platform of freedom and your creativity. You can put any fruit you like or in season. It’s quite versatile on that department – any fresh fruit would suit it well I believe. I used pomegranate seeds and canned apricot slices. I normally try to use what is in season, however I had a can of apricots hanging around for a few months and I thought this cake would be a good use for them.
The cake tastes great freshly baked, however it also tastes perfect the next day – the flavours develop much more in that time. Just keep it in room temperature in airtight container or a cake stand with a lid on.
As many other gluten free nut cakes, it is not very spongy and elastic. It is actually quite a delicate cake, so when you move it from the cake pan to the service plate or from one container to another, I recommend you to be careful. Grab the whole cake, do not transfer from one corner. Otherwise it will easily break.
This cake is very easy and fast to make, the only thing that takes a little bit of extra time is boiling the persimmons, but even that is only 15 minutes. You can easily plan making this cake for an event / guests coming in a couple of hours. Yet, I still recommend not to do at the last minute so that you can give it some time to rest, for the flavours to be stronger. Anyway, enjoy your cake!
Difficulty: ★☆☆ (Easy)
(makes 1 cake in 24cm springform / cake pan)
3 ripe / medium ripe persimmons, peeled and cut in cubes
150 gr. butter in room temperature, plus a bit more to grease the pan
200 gr. granulated white sugar
175 gr. pistachios, roasted in 200C oven for 4-5 minutes and then powdered in a food processor
150 gr. polenta
zest of 3 limes
Topping (all optional):
25 gr. pistachios, roasted in 200C oven for 4-5 minutes and coarsely chopped
some of the lime zest put aside from ingredients above
other fruits you like or in season
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 24cm cake pan with butter and cover the base with a baking paper.
2. Put persimmon cubes in a pan and cover with water. Boil them for 10-15 minutes, until they are soft. Drain, wash with cold water, drain again and turn them into a puree in a food processor. Put aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, put butter and sugar and beat in medium speed until creamy.
4. Add eggs, one at a time. You might want to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula in between eggs.
5. After eggs are fully incorporated, add pistachio, polenta, a large amount of lime zest (put aside a little bit of for decoration on top, if you like; if not, then put all the zest in the cake batter) and persimmon puree and beat in medium speed until you get a smooth and well mixed cake batter.
6. Transfer the cake batter to the cake pan. Put in the oven, in medium rack, and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick / skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Around minute 40 you might want to check the cake fast and see if the top is getting too browned. If such a thing happens, cover the top quickly with aluminium foil and continue baking (in my oven, there wasn’t such a need, but each oven differs from one another). When baked, take out of the oven and leave it in the pan for at least 20 minutes before removing. After that, transfer to your cake stand or plate and let it cool a bit more before you decorate it in any way you like. Enjoy!