Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake // Eat Cho Food
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake // Eat Cho Food
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake // Eat Cho Food
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake // Eat Cho Food
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake // Eat Cho Food
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake // Eat Cho Food
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake // Eat Cho Food

Hi, December! You got here real quick. Reuben and I made the innocent mistake of venturing out to the suburbs on Saturday afternoon and quickly realized that literally everyone and their mom in Daly City was out buying their Christmas trees and other holiday goodies because it was December 1st. I don't know if I've just been living in an urban bubble, but I didn't realize that holiday madness is in full swing on the 1st. All we wanted to do was run some errands at the suburban Target because the experience is so much better than the dinky city Targets, plus there are more Chip and JoJo products I can longingly gaze at. I've also been dreaming of draping garland over all the windows in our apartment! Reuben swiftly vetoed the fake stuff covered in glitter from Target, because our apartment is a strictly glitter free zone. Then the parking lot at Home Depot literally looked like hell on earth, so we gave up on the garland mission for the day. Don't worry though! We found a pile of the real deal stuff at the nursery down the street from us! (I could tell that you were worried) I bought enough to drape around 1 single window because, JEEZ, real garland is EXPENSIVE. I definitely got into the wrong profession. Back when I was in high school they did not tell us that in 10 years taking photos of your food and selling tree trimmings linked together would make you a pretty decent living.

In the 3 years that Reuben and I have lived together, we have never had a Christmas tree. Main reason being because we don't really have room for a tree and we have absolutely zero outlets left to plug anything new into. Don't look at our power strips. I think all our other plant babies would be jealous if we moved them around to make room for a temporary woodsy roommate. So this one single garland strung over my mini kitchen island is a huge step up for us in the holiday department! I just got the battery powered twinkly lights too : ) so get ready! Oh! I should decorate our rubber plant with twinkly lights! I'm semi nervous that the next month is going to fly by extremely quickly. I'm doing my best to slow down and savor the holidays. I'm making time to bake all the cookies, work on this year's holiday cake (it's going to be a good one!), listen to the few select Christmas songs I can tolerate, and be extra extra cozy at home. I miiiiiight even be able to convince Reuben to watch Love Actually with me this year!!! I'll let you know if I succeed.

To kick off the next month of holiday baking, I'm sharing this ultra moist and decadent Persimmon Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Filling. IT. IS. SO. GOOD. The recipe is actually based on Reuben's mom's Apple Cake. I've swapped out the apples with persimmons and added the cream cheese because you can eat all the cream cheese you want this month. I've had it once before when we were in New Jersey and it was amazing! It's one of Reuben's favorite desserts for a reason. When I was testing the recipe, I asked Reuben if he's ever watched his mom make it for him. He said no, because she would either make it early in the morning before he woke up, while is was at school, or the day earlier if he was coming from college. At the moment, I was like "Ah! I wish you had some idea if I was doing this right!". But once the cake was baked and it got Reuben’s seal of approval, I was thinking how magical and appropriate for the season his experience of never actually seeing the cake be made was. Like, how great is it to wake up in the morning with the smell of cinnamon and sugar baking wafting through your house and then realizing you're about to have cake for breakfast?! Or to come home from college for Christmas break and to be greeted by your family a slice of your favorite dessert in the kitchen?! Ugh, my heart. Those kind of memories, especially ones tied to delicious smells, are the ones that stay with you forever and then when you're 31 and don't live close to your parents anymore you ask your baker girlfriend to make you're mom's recipes.

Anyways, I hope you all enjoy the beginning of this magical season and fit in some time to bake some sweet treats for your loved ones! This bundt is a really great place to start : )


Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

bundt materials:

3-4 medium crisp fuyu persimmons
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

cream cheese filling materials:

8 oz cream cheese - softened to room temperature
1 egg
1/4 white sugar
pinch of salt

steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Carefully remove the stems from persimmon and cut into 1/2” cubes, skin on. Place cubed persimmons in a large bowl and toss with white sugar. Set aside and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

  3. Make the cream cheese filling. Cream the cream cheese with sugar using the paddle attachment on your standmixer or with handheld beaters. Mix for about 1 minute until smooth. Add in egg and salt. Mix until combined. Set aside.

  4. Whisk together eggs, canola oil, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Give it a quick whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together until combine. Mix in persimmons until they are well dispersed in the batter. Batter will be really thick.

  5. Grease a bundt pan with non-stick spray. Pour half of the batter in bundt pan. Scoop cream cheese filling in the center of the batter ring. Add in remaining cake batter. If the batter almost fills your mold, don’t worry. The batter does not dome up too much.

  6. Place in the oven and bake for 75-80 minutes until done. Test for doneness using a clean toothpick or knife.

  7. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then invert the cake pan onto a wire rack. Cake should fall out of the bundt mold. Allow to completely cool and then enjoy!

Brûléed Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Bruleed Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Bruleed Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Bruleed Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Bruleed Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Bruleed Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Bruleed Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Bruleed Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Helluuur! How's it going??? Since we last spoke, I feel like I've racked up a whole bunch of young person culture points. 2 weekends ago I flew back home to Cleveland to watch Hamilton. I was never a huge Hamilton fan before... now. My brother on the other hand is a HUGE fan. Like knows all the lyrics to every single song and all the historical references type of mega fan. So his enthusiasm for the musical definitely rubbed off on me in the days leading up to the big show! It was obviously amazing. I loved every single minute of it. I can listen to Helpless over and over and over again. Have you listened to the Ashanti and JaRule version from the Hamilton Mixtape?! SO GOOD. Now that I've seen it, all the songs makes so much more sense lol and now I find myself listening to it while I'm working late on deadlines at work. So enjoyable! 

I also watched Crazy Rich Asians! OMG AMAZING. It's great if you love a good romantic comedy and value Asian representation in Hollywood. Reuben and I watched it at an asian theater full of other asian people. There were a bunch of asian beauty pageant queens and businessmen at our showing for some reason. It was the most magical thing! The overall experience, not the queens and businessmen. The energy in the theater was so crazy. You could feel how excited and happy everyone was to finally see a film full of people who looked like them that weren't material artists. I laughed a lot, cried a ton, and smiled practically the whole time. I think I'm going to see it again this week! I can't wait! Please go see it if you've haven't yet!

Back on the couch front, Reuben and I are watching Freaks and Geeks. It's so painfully embarrassing, I love it. So pretty much I've been watching a lot of things that make me feel current and finally up to date with pop culture references. A lot of times, I feel like a grandma because I don't watch the Bachelor, see all the popular Broadway musicals (they're so expensive in SF!), or have a twitter. 99.9% of the time I'm okay with feeling like a grandma because that means I get to go to bed early, drink tea, and eat oatmeal. ALL things that I love deeply.

I had one of the best oatmeals of my life when I was in Cincinnati last summer at Cheapside Cafe. It was a Creme Brulee Oatmeal. Ahhhh, it was so simple and decadent. I remember thinking to myself that this is how oatmeal should always be eaten. In order to keep this breakfast still on the healthyish side, I'm voiding making an actual custard for the creme brulee. To compensate for the lack of decadent custard, I slowly simmered the oats in water and milk until they broke down into a super creamy texture. I finished off the oatmeal with a splash of heavy cream and a brown sugar topping for that extra treat-cho-self touch. I highly recommend you brulee your oatmeal on a daily basis. It makes Tuesdays feel A LOT less like a Tuesday.


Brûléed Brown Sugar Oatmeal

serves 4

materials:

1 cup rolled oats
3 cups water
1 cup milk
2 tbsp brown sugar + more for topping
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
seasonal fruit for topping

steps:

1. Bring water and milk to a gentle boil in a medium pot. Stir in oats and reduce the heat so that the oats are simmering. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oatmeal is thick and creamy.

2. Add salt and brown sugar, stir and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat and stir in heavy cream. Allow the oatmeal to cool for 5 minutes.

3. Place oatmeal into a heat proof bowl of ramekin. Sprinkle the top with 1-2 tsp of brown sugar. Use a kitchen torch to carefully brulee the brown sugar. 

4. Top with your favorite seasonal fruit or eat plain!

Plum Shrub

Plum Shrub
Plum Shrub
Plum Shrub
Plum Shrub
Plum Shrub
Plum Shrub
Plum Shrub
Plum Shrub

Do you ever get a weird sinking feeling stuck deep in your chest and no matter what you do or how many calming matcha lattes you drink you just can't shake it??? That's what anxiety feels for me. Actually this time, it sort of feels like I'm suffocating and stuck in a room with a million doors but none of them can open right now. Anxiety hits me in great big waves. When it's not hovering over me, I feel like the happiest person in the world. In my natural non-anxious state, I like to think of myself as a sunny and overly positive person. But then every once in a while, it just crashes down on me and it takes few days for me to bounce back. I'm honestly not a fun person to be around when I'm feeling like this. Sorry, Reuben.

My anxiety could be triggered by a whole bunch of things. It could be from an exhausting or unproductive week of work. I hate not having anything to do... it literally drives me crazy. Or it could be from experiencing a creative block with my art or developing recipes. Sometimes, it's from something dumb like posting a photo on Instagram and having no one "like" it. This time it's triggered by feeling super restless and unsure about everything that I'm doing. Like, what am I supposed to be doing with my life?!!

We all feel this way sometimes, right? Tell me I'm not the only one!

In an attempt to help get this anxious feeling out of my chest, I try my best to relax and find some hippy dippy internal peace. I take a break from developing recipes and just cook without any intent of photographing or styling. I let myself clock in some extra hours on the couch watching Netflix (we're currently watching Weeds!). I get Reuben to take me out to a new restaurant for some recipe inspiration. I try to sit outside on my lunch break, alone, breathe, and reassure myself that this is exactly where I'm so supposed to be. Hopefully this weird feeling is over in a few days because I need to get out of this funk and back into the kitchen.

Apologies if you didn't sign up to hear about the lows and only want to know about the fun things I do on the weeks or the random recipes I whip up in my kitchen. About 95% of my life and blog are sunny and happy, thankfully. But as with everyone, there is always those days when you're not feeling 100%. If you're down for 5% that's not so sunny, thank you for listening : )

Let's brighten things up now, should we?!
*metaphorically opens the curtains and sunshine comes flooding in*

You know what also helps you get out of funk? A bright, sparkly, and fruity drink! Have you had shrubs before? It is a drinking vinegar made with sugar and fruit. It's super easy to make and is a great addition to cocktails. I personally like to just mix it with some sparkling water for a quick, pretty, and refreshing drink that makes you feel fancy on a Tuesday. I had some rhubarb shrub at the photography workshop I went to a few months back and I though it was magic. I have an affinity towards anything sour and tart. I love me some sour beer, pickled vegetables, and kombucha. You can make shrubs with pretty much any fruit! Don't use bananas, I think that would be pretty awful. I used red plums because our friend, Alex, has a ridiculous abundance of plums from his tree and I'm doing my best to help a friend out! I also recommend that you play around with the types of sugars and vinegars. Maybe throw some herbs in there! Get fancy with it.

I might actually make myself of spritzer right now! 


Plum Shrub

Materials:

1 lb pitted and chopped plums
2 cups white sugar
2 cups white vinegar

Steps:

1. Combine plums and sugar in a bowl. Give it a light smash with a potato masher to help release the juice of the fruit. Cover and let the sugar and plum mixer sit in the fridge for 24 hours.

2. Mix in the vinegar. Cover and allow the shrub mixture to chill in the fridge for another 24 hours. You can allow this mixture to sit for a few more days if you want a stronger flavor.

3. Strain out the plums from the mixture and discard. Pour shrub into airtight glass containers and keep chilled in the fridge. Use shrub in cocktails or mix with sparkling water.

I make a spritzer using 1 part shrub and 3 parts sparkling water.

Strawberry Basil Glazed Donuts

Strawberry Basil Donuts
Strawberry Basil Donuts
Strawberry Basil Donuts
20180407-DSC04171.jpg
Strawberry Basil Donuts
Strawberry Basil Donuts
Strawberry Basil Donuts
20180407-DSC04298.jpg
Strawberry Basil Donuts
Strawberry Basil Donuts
Strawberry Basil Donuts
Strawberry Basil Donuts

Hello from Chicago! Well, by the time you read this I will be a zombie trying to make it through the day in San Francisco. I'm currently incredibly full from dinner, curled up in my hotel bed and watching TLC. It's awesome. I'm in Chicago for a couple days for work, so I've been spending my days in a stuffy construction site getting all dusty and punching things. I'm not literally punching things! One of the very last steps of an architecture/interior design project is completing the punch walk, which is when you walk through the entire project noting every little and big thing that needs to be fixed or adjusted. Punching! It's sort of fun but also really exhausting. I would equate it to museum exhaustion. You know, that mental and physical tiredness from slowly sauntering and reading every artist placard. 

After a day of punching, we headed over to Avec for dinner and it was amazing! They had this avocado and sweet potato salad with a garlic dressing and za'atar that I need to recreate the second I'm finally home for an extended period of time and can actually cook again! Gosh, I miss my tiny zero counter space kitchen. I miss making myself matchas in the morning, spending too much time fixing myself a pretty bowl of yogurt, and VEGETABLES. Gosh, I need vegetables. I was also in Cleveland this weekend for some quality family time, which is typically a marathon eating session. So I'm just v v v v v full and am in desperate need of vegetables. Despite the constant discomfort of being full, I do love trying all these new dishes from eating out and getting inspired to create new things in my own kitchen. The notepad in my phone that lists all my random recipe ideas is getting real good and real exciting.

These Strawberry Basil Donuts are actually inspired by the Blueberry Basil Bourdon Donuts from Blue Star Donuts in Portland. They are one of the many things I ate in Portland and said to myself, "oh man, I gotta steal this idea!" 😛 I loved the natural sweetness and tartness from the berries and the herbaceousness (that's a word I think) from the basil. It was a flavor combo I don't encounter often in the dessert world. Instead of blueberries I used strawberries because it's strawberry season in California and the the farmer's market is bursting with them! The strawberries also make a really lovely pale pink glaze that I feel like is very on trend right now if color trends are your thing. I'm also participating in my very first internet food blogger party thing! A bunch of other fellow food bloggers created incredible strawberry inspired recipes! If you're interested in checking them out, here are the links to them all below! Also check out #strawberriesarethejam for some drool worthy content!

Square Meal Round Table’s Roasted Balsamic Strawberry Pavlova
The Cooking of Joy’s Strawberry Matcha Cream Cheese Tart
This Healthy Table’s Strawberry Tahini Shortcake
Flours in Your Hair’s Strawberry Milk Donuts
The Wood and Spoon’s Strawberry Icebox Pie
Smart in the Kitchen’s Rustic Strawberry Galette
The Herb and Spoon’s Strawberry-Jam Filled Brioche Donuts
Better with Biscuit’s Straw "berry" Cobbler  
My Kitchen Love’s Strawberry Rhubarb Tart
Sift and Simmer’s Rose Strawberry Hibiscus Mille Crepe Cake
What Great Grandma Ate’s No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Bars (Paleo, Vegan)
A Modest Feast’s Greek Yogurt With Crispy Quinoa and Roasted Strawberries
Hola Jalapeno’s Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita
Worthy Pause’s Strawberry-Basil Shrub Cocktail
Hot Dishing It Out’s Panna Cotta with Strawberry Jelly
Figs & Flour’s Shrimp Tacos with Strawberry Apricot Salsa
Pie Girl Bakes’ Strawberry Ginger Pie
Crumb Top Baking’s Strawberry Chia Jam Oat Bars
The Gourmandise School’s Strawberry Pistachio Salad
Tiny Kitchen Caper’s Strawberries and Cream Pound Cake
Cook Til Delicious’ Mini Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Ganache
Something New For Dinner’s Watermelon, Tomato and Strawberry Salad with Burrata
A Spicy Perspective’s Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake
Easy and Delish’s Strawberry Brigadeiros
Plays Well with Butter’s Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese, Grilled Chicken, & Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
Katherine in Brooklyn’s Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream
Sugar Salt Magic’s Strawberry Mousse Tart
The Healthy Sins’ Coconut Flour Crepes Topped with Fresh Strawberries and Coconut Yogurt
Lemon Thyme and Ginger’s Strawberry Basil No Churn Ice Cream
Jessie Sheehan Bakes’ Strawberry Basil Turnovers
Bavette Meat & Provisions’ Pickled Green Strawberries


Strawberry Basil Glazed Donuts

makes 12

dough:

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup sugar + a pinch for yeast mixture
1 tsp salt

2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil, plus more for frying

glaze:

1/3 cup strawberries - hulled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped basil
2 cups confectioner's sugar + more
3 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp salt

steps:

1. Combine yeast, warm water, a pinch of sugar in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate. You should start to see small bubbles on the surface.

2. In the bowl of your standmixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add in yeast mixture, eggs, and oil. Stir the dough on medium low speed for 7 minutes until smooth.

3. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to proof in a warm place for 2 hours. After proofing, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/2" thick use a 2.5" to 3" diameter biscuit cutter to cut our your donuts. Re-roll your dough scrapes to make additional donuts. Use your index finger to gently press a hole out of the center. Pull the whole part with your hands to stretch out the donut. Place on a parchment paper lines baking tray. Repeat with remaining donuts. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to proof for another 30 minutes.

4. Fill a heavy bottom pot with vegetable oil. I used about 5 cups of oil for my dutch oven. Heat over medium high heat until it reaches 350 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer you can test the oil with a scrap of dough. It should sizzle immediately, brown gradually, and not cook too fast. If it browns too fast the oil is too hot. Fry your donuts in batches for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on a wire rack to cool.

5. To prepare your glaze, puree strawberries and basil in a food processor or immersion blender until smooth. Place in a small pot or sauce pan and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes until it has reduced. Place strawberry basil reduction in a small bowl and allow to cool. Gradually mix in confectioner's sugar until smooth. Whisk in milk. Add a little more sugar or milk to reach desired consistency.

6. Dunk a cooled donut into the glaze and allow the glaze to set on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining donuts.

7. Enjoy!