Recipes: Raw White Chocolate Persimmon & Pistachio Cake

IMG_8560As of 7:48am today, I am officially a quarter of a century old wise.  This occasion called for something special, something new, something topped with big gold sparklers to ring in the new natal year for me!  Something along the lines of a decadent raw vegan white chocolate cake with a salted pistachio crust and layering of two kinds of juicy, ripe persimmons. A cake so perfectly lovely, it’s easy to feel the waves of bliss pouring from your heart.  I hope this bliss reaches you today!

TexturesPersimmons, along with pomegranates, have become my new obsessions replacing my out-of-season love for berries.  These two winter fruits were total mysteries to me growing up.  I remember the first time I bit into an unripe persimmon I about gagged.  It left this bitter filmy coating on my tongue for an hour and a distaste for this foreign fruit. It wasn’t until last winter when my boyfriend introduced me to the proper way of eating a persimmon.  Let me clarify, the proper way for eating a Hachiya persimmon.

IMG_8316IMG_8194There are two common types of persimmons, one is large with a pointed tip at the bottom and a bitter astringent flavor when unripe – this is the Hachiya persimmon.  The other, the Fuyu persimmon, is the smaller version with a gently sweet flavor that can be eaten in it’s firmer, unripe stages.  Both are best eaten on the ripe side, however, you can’t pick up a Hachiya persimmon, slice it open and expect a sweet bite.  These persimmons are best eaten to the point of overripe, when the skins are falling off the mushy flesh inside.  The point where it looks rotten is when it’s the absolute best…who would have thought?  These are the ones I like to make a jam or a pudding out of, and what comprise the top layer of my cake, followed by little slices of Fuyu persimmons.

Textures-001Here’s a quick nutritional look at why I love persimmons…

Nutritional Profile: Persimmons

  • Contains high amounts of Vitamin A, up to 55% of your daily value packed in 1 small persimmon
  • Good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K, and a wide range of B Vitamins
  • High levels of beta carotene, potassium, copper, magnesium, iron, calcium and selenium
  • Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in both fuyu and hachiya persimmons
  • Study conducted in Japan showed that the peel of the persimmon contains phytochemicals known as proanthocyanidins which may protect cells against oxidative damage associated with aging

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Wishing all my fellow Sagittarius friends out there many wonderful birthday celebrations!

White Chocolate Persimmon & Pistachio CakeWHITE CHOCOLATE PERSIMMON & PISTACHIO CAKE

Crust
2 cups pistachios
4 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp raw honey
2 dates, pitted
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, pulse until well combined.  Press dough evenly into the bottom of 6-inch springform pan for a taller cake, or an 8-inch pan for a thinner cake.  Place in the freezer to set while making the filling.


White Chocolate Filling
1 cup coconut meat
½ cup coconut butter
½ cup coconut water
½ cup raw honey
1 whole vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
½ tsp cinnamon
1/6 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 cup melted cacao butter

In a small bowl, add the cacao butter and melt on low eat in a double boiler or in your dehydrator.  Combine all ingredients, except the cacao butter, in a high-speed blender and blend until creamy.  Add the melted cacao butter last and blend until well combined. Pour filling over the crust in the springform pan.  Smooth evenly with a spatula, cover with plastic wrap then place in your freezer to set for 1-2 hours. While the cake sets, prepare the jam layer.

Persimmon Jam
2 overly ripe Hachiya persimmons
squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Remove the skin from the overly ripe, almost mushy persimmons and place the ripe flesh into a bowl.  Using a fork, mash the persimmon together into a thick paste.  Add the lemon juice and vanilla bean and mix until well combined.  Pour the jam over top and place in the freezer to set overnight.

Note: Because of the nature of the filling, this cake is best stored in the freezer until ready to serve. As you can see in the pictures, it can get pretty messy quickly if left out on the counter too long. To serve, I recommend taking the cake out of the freezer 15 minutes before serving to slightly thaw but not melt.

Marinated Persimmons
2 small Fuyu persimmons, quartered and sliced thinly
¼ cup raw honey
juice of ½ lemon

Slice the persimmon into thin ¼ inch slivers. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the raw honey and lemon juice. Place the persimmon slices into the bowl and lightly toss to coat in the honey mixture. Marinate for 15 minutes before pouring off the extra juice. This step can be done after you remove the cake to thaw before serving. As it thaws, arrange the persimmons around the outer edges of the cake.

Serving Size: Makes one 6-inch tall cake or short 8-inch cake

8 Comments

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8 responses to “Recipes: Raw White Chocolate Persimmon & Pistachio Cake”

  1. Adena Harford says:

    Love you – I was born at 7:42 a.m.! 🙂 This looks so beautiful.

  2. Judy says:

    How long do you need to take it out of freezer before serving? I’ve just made this and it’s the night before (no garnish yet!), Bummed my vanilla made the cake kind of brown, nervous that it will be a gloppy mess if it thaws too much.
    Help!!!! Thank you, as it sounds wonderful and the batter was yummy!!! I’m just a nervous Nellie!

    • Judy says:

      Well, maybe 9″ is not the right size. If anyone else makes this, it will come out very short (like 1-1.5″) made as written in 8″ springform pan. Definitely disappointing!

    • Hi Judy! Great questions here. I apologize for any difficulties with this cake, it can be a tricky one! It’s been many years since I first posted this recipe and you brought to my attention here some updates this recipe page really needed. I’ve sure learned a lot about recipe writing since 2013! I’ve made this recipe before both in a 9-inch and a 6-inch pan, which pictured here was a 6-inch pan to give it larger height.

      Because of the nature of the raw filling, this cake is best stored in the freezer until ready to serve. As you can see in the pictures, it can get pretty messy quickly if left out on the counter too long. To serve, I recommend taking the cake out of the freezer 15 minutes before serving to slightly thaw but not melt. This would be the best time to layer the freshly glazed persimmons around the edges. If you see it getting too soft before serving, don’t hesitate to just throw it back in the freezer to keep it firm until ready to eat.

      I’ve wanted to experiment using Irish moss paste as a way to keep raw cakes less temperature temperamental, but have yet to do it with this recipe. Seaweeds like agar agar and Irish moss are often used as a binding agent in softer nut/butter based raw vegan desserts. You might enjoy Matthew Kenney’s Raw Desserts book for this reason, he has some great recipes for raw cakes and pies int there.

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