Persimmons! It’s what’s for dessert.

persimmon white chocolate roll

Okay, I will admit that I have become obsessed with persimmons. Once I tried fresh persimmons last fall I fell in love with their flavor, their texture and even their pretty orange/coral color. Their taste remind me of mangos and a little of peaches and papayas. But I guess they are simply “persimmons”- with their own great flavor. My first recipe was to make some tangy persimmon jam, using a recipe from the Hot & Hot Fish Club Cookbook by Chef Chris Hastings. Chef Hastings makes a quick jam from wild persimmons, to accompany a foie gras first course.

Now not having access to any fresh foie gras nor wild persimmons, I nevertheless purchased some cultivated fruit at the market and set about making preserved persimmon jam. It came out quite nicely! We’ve enjoyed it on biscuits and in an appetizer I made with Camembert cheese and toasted pecans. I’ll share that recipe when the timing is right.

Having persimmons on my mind, I thought they would be delicious used in a dessert as well. Maybe a mousse? Or a perhaps a cake… thus I decided to work with them incorporating my recipe for a white chocolate jelly roll cake. This fit the bill for our Christmas dinner dessert. In the future I think I may add a drizzle of  crème anglaise just to add interest to the plate as admittedly my photography does not do justice to this recipe.

One other thing to point out is that this keeps beautifully if wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated. So it’s a great do-ahead dessert that impresses! And, surprisingly just today, I saw a large basket of persimmons at my local market. Persimmons seem like an undervalued fruit, to me, so allow me to spread the “good persimmon word” before some Food Network ne’er-do-well proclaims them the next big foodie thing…and they cost $5 a piece.

Peel the persimmons. They should be soft to the touch when ripe, not hard.

Peel the persimmons. They should be soft to the touch when ripe, not hard.

puree the persimmon

Persimmon puree. It has the consistency of mango (to me) and purees like them too.

Dissolve the gelatin in some rum or orange liqueur. Then warm it some so it is smooth.

Dissolve the gelatin in some rum or orange liqueur. Then warm it and stir so it is smooth.

Add the warm gelatin mixture to the puree while the processor is running and blend.

Add the warm gelatin mixture to the puree while the processor is running and blend.

CHill the puree and then fold in the sweetened whipped cream. Hold in the frig while the cake cools.

CHill the puree and then fold in the sweetened whipped cream. Hold in the frig while the cake cools.

To make the cake start by preparing the jelly roll pan. Line with parchment AND spray with oil.

To make the cake start by preparing the jelly roll pan. Line with parchment AND spray with oil.

The cake batter begins by beating the heck out of 3 eggs, adding sugar and whipping it up some more. It will more frothy like this...before adding the butter/chocolate mixture.

The cake batter begins by beating the heck out of 3 eggs, adding sugar and whipping it up some more. It will be frothy like this… before adding the butter/chocolate mixture.

Use cake flour like this NOT regular all-purpose flour. OR make your own cake flour by sifting all purpose flour, and measuring out 1 cup. Remove 2 tablespoons of flour (per cup of flour). Then add into that 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift again and you've got cake flour...

Use cake flour like this NOT regular all-purpose flour. OR make your own cake flour by sifting all purpose flour, and measuring out 1 cup. Remove 2 tablespoons of flour (per cup of flour). Then add back to that 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift again and you’ve got cake flour…

Pour the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan, bake  and in about 12-15 minutes you've got cake!

Pour the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan, bake and in about 12-15 minutes you’ve got cake!

While the cake was baking you should have prepared the powdered sugar covered kitchen towel. LIBERALLY sprinkle with powdered sugar!

While the cake was baking you should have prepared the powdered sugar covered kitchen towel. LIBERALLY sprinkle with powdered sugar!

Place the hot cake on the prepared kitchen towel. Peel off the parchment and roll it up. Allow to cool on a rack for at least an hour.

Place the hot cake on the prepared kitchen towel. Peel off the parchment and roll it up. Allow to cool on a rack for at least an hour.

After the cake roll is cool, spread the filling all over.

After the cake roll is cool, spread the filling all over.

Now wrap that baby up in plastic and allow to cool in the frig. Slice and serve with reserved persimmon puree, whipped cream, a sprinkle of powdered sugar etc.

Now wrap that baby up in plastic and allow to cool in the frig. Slice and serve with reserved persimmon puree, whipped cream, a sprinkle of powdered sugar, etc.

Persimmon White Chocolate Roll

For the White Chocolate Roll Cake

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbl unsalted butter
  • 2 oz white chocolate
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbl water
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

Lay out a clean kitchen towel that is larger than the jelly roll pan. It also helps if the towel has no texture so don’t use a terry cloth towel. Dust with a generous amount of powdered sugar.

In mixer bowl beat eggs on high speed until thick and lemon colored (5 minutes). Meanwhile melt the butter and white chocolate in small heavy bottomed pan over low heat (or use a double boiler). Stir to combine and then aside to cool.

Gradually add the sugar to the eggs, mixing well. Mix water and vanilla extract to cooled the butter/white chocolate mixture and stir. Add to egg/sugar mixture with mixer running. Add flour, baking powder and salt to the egg mixture and beat just until batter is smooth.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Loosen edges with a knife and while cake is hot, turn out onto the powder sugared towel. Roll up the cake – with the kitchen towel.

Set the cake rolled into the towel on a rack to cool, about 1 hour. After cake has completely cooled unroll the cake and towel and spread with the persimmon filling. Roll back up, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, cut into slices (1 inch seems right). Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar, a dollop of persimmon puree and whipped cream.

Makes 8-10 servings. Leftover roll should be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated.

For the Persimmon Filling

  • 5-7 Persimmons (to make about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup orange liqueur (good quality rum will also work)
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Peel the persimmons, chop and grind to make a puree in a food processor. Measure out so 2 cups of puree is in the processor and mix ¼ cup sugar to the puree. In a small saucepan dissolve the gelatin in the liqueur. Heat slowly over low heat. With processor running pour the gelatin mixture into the puree. Pour the persimmon puree into a mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator. Meanwhile whip the cream with the powdered sugar until set. Fold 1 cup of the whipped cream into the persimmon mixture.

Reserve any remaining persimmon puree and whipped cream to serve with the Persimmon White Chocolate Roll.

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3 thoughts on “Persimmons! It’s what’s for dessert.

  1. Pingback: Persimmon Cookies | familyrecipebooks

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