persimmon sponge cake

Anyone who is treated to a dinner party is a lucky duck indeed. Anyone who is treated to three full-out dinner parties in one week is far too popular for her own good. I was convinced my life here in Japan was already too good to be true, and last week’s marathon of social events only added to the surreal beatitude. 

On Monday, God said, Let there be drinks at a local bar owned by a kind Hawaiian, and so delicious kahlua-milk drinks were had. 

On Tuesday, God said, Let there be unending plates of sushi, sashimi, fried squid, eel, mussels, sting-ray, cod-roe, octopus, and innumerable rounds of sake, and so there was ceaseless food and drink among Junior High School teachers and the Vice Principal. 

On Wednesday, God said, Let there be a feast of thanks among expat friends, and so there was turkey, stuffing, pasta, salad, mashed potatoes, bread, cheese, wine, Bailey’s, coffee, and pumpkin pie

On Thursday, God said, Take a break and eat raw vegetables, and so there were carrot sticks and a baked sweet potato.

On Friday, God said, Let your coworkers shower you with platters of crab, rare $100 mushrooms, marinated chicken from France, spaghetti with truffles, risotto, fresh cuts of beef and pork, white wine, plum wine, beer, and a blueberry cake, and so each person consumed half of his or her own weight in food delicacies. 

On Saturday, God said, Let there be a repeat of Friday except for at lunchtime, and so more exquisite food was consumed in an indulgent fashion. 

On Sunday, God said, Run in a 5k race, and give thanks to all those around you, and so a persimmon sponge cake was made and distributed in gratitude. 

I am unbelievably grateful to all of the incredible people in my life; to both long-cherished and newly esteemed friends, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Let December begin with kind thoughts and giving from the heart.

May your spongecake testify to all the blessings in your life :)

Persimmon Sponge Cake
adapted from
3 eggs, room temperature
200 grams brown sugar
200 grams plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
200 grams all purpose flour
10 grams baking powder
1 persimmon
lemon juice
brown sugar

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 C). Line a 15 cm square pan with parchment paper.

Separate egg yolks from the whites, and stir yolks with the brown sugar vigorously with a spatula until the mixture is thick, creamy, and a pale coffee color. Stir in the yogurt and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon, add to egg/sugar mixture, and stir to combine.

Peel and cut the persimmon into irregular chunks, and in a small bowl, toss with lemon juice and brown sugar; set aside.

Beat the egg whites by hand or with a mixer until stiff peaks form, and gently fold whites into wet mixture. Pour batter into the lined baking pan, arrange persimmon slices on top, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. If the cake starts to brown early, cover with tinfoil to prevent burning. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Makes two small 15cm cakes, or one large cake in a 24cm round pan.

To package as above: let cake cool completely. Cut edges off of cake, and then cut cake in half. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, garnish with a thin strip of scrap parchment paper, and nestle cake into a paper loaf tin. Cover again in plastic wrap, and tie with twine to finish.

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