Gâteaux aux kakis

Since I write in English quite a bit better than I do in French, the blog and my recipes are in the language of Shakespeare. However I realize a portion of my readers aren’t native English speakers, yet tirelessly trudge through my writings sans complaint.

This post is for you.

I would venture to guess about 90%* of the recipes in print and on the internet are in English, and a majority of them are in good ‘ol cups-and-tablespoons, forcing a great many people with whom we share our global village to do their unfair share of translating and converting.

Les kakis, aka, persimmons

So, it’s turnabout time.
Here’s a recipe that I made for Christmas gifts, which I distributed to some favorite people in Paris, such as shopkeepers I visit, chocolatiers I frequent, and vendors at my local market that let me slip in front of the dames who make them rifle through the onions for twenty minutes looking for the elusive best one while I wait patiently behind them while they count out the 14 centimes while the people behind me start pressing themselves up against my backside or shoving the wheels of their metal shopping cart against my heels as if I can possibly move forward.

(For fun, I usually start backing up slowing, which causes a near riot behind me and is great fun to listen to. If you’re going to do this, though, whatever you do, never, ever look behind you. Keep staring straight ahead, as if you’re completely oblivious to what’s happening back there.)

This recipe is only in French, and it’s in metrics too, so the other 10%** of the planet won’t have to struggle this time with converting and translating a recipe here on the site. So if you want to make the recipe, you’ll have an opportunity to see what the rest of the world has to do when they want to make a recipe written in a foreign language (using a completely archaic means of measurement). You’ll have to drag out your French-English dictionary, or take on a French lover, as well as converting the quantities too.

Okay, if you really want. I’ve published the recipe here: Persimmon Bread.

*I’m just guessing.
**I’m just guessing again.


Gâteaux aux kakis
Print Recipe
2 gâteaux rectangulaire
Voici une recette pour les gateaux que j’ai fait pour Noël. Attention: le temp de cuisson est peut-être pas exact pour un four françias. Regardez les gâteaux pendant les dernier 15 minutes de la cuisson, svp.Pour les kakis, laissez-les jusqu’à mûre. Coupez les kakis en deux et enlevez la pulpe (jetez la peau.) Réduisez dans robot ou une passoire.
450gr de farine (Type 65 par exemple, Monoprix bio, ou autres marques bio)
1 1/2 c. café de sel
2 c. à café de bicarbonate (disponible a Monoprix au rayon de sel, ou a la pharmacie)
1 c. à café muscade rapée ou cannelle
450gr de sucre
200gr de beurre doux fondu
4 gros œufs
140ml de cognac rhum ou whisky
500ml de pulpe de kaki environs 4 kakis super-mûrs
250gr de noix grillées et hachées en morceaux, (utilizez des noix, des noix de pecans, ou les amandes, ou un melange)
300gr de raisins ou de fruit secs en coupez en morceaux
Allumez le four à 175 C.
Beurrez deux moules à gâteaux rectangulaires.
Coupez deux feuille de papier sulfurisé et tapissez les moules avec les deux feuilles.
Tamisez le cinq premiers ingredients dans un grand bol.
Melangez le beurre fondu, les oeufs, la liquer, la pulpe de kaki dans un autre bol.
Melangez les ingredients secs avec les ingredients liquide jusqu’a ce qu’il soient bien melanges, mais pas trop.
Ajoutez les noix et les fruits secs.
Faites cuire les gâteaux pendant 1 heure ou jusqu’a ce qu’un cure dent inséré au centre sort propre.

Voila…une vrai recette en française!


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  • Miriam
    January 5, 2007 9:51am

    I think the French lover is a brilliant idea. I’ll work on it and let you know how it turns out…

  • January 5, 2007 10:01am

    Happy new year, David ! Bravo pour la recette en français !

    For conversions, I have been using this website with good success: http://www.donnahay.com.au/Section.jsp?sectionid=1160856

  • January 5, 2007 11:11am

    Et si on n’habite plus en France, quel type de farine doit-on utiliser? Je ne connais pas le type “65”. Le “King Arthur All-Purpose Unbleached”, ça va?


  • January 5, 2007 11:21am

    Je réitère le commentaire au dessus pour les pauvres Canadien français aux prises avec de la farine d’américain :-)

  • January 5, 2007 11:38am

    Chéres Mes Compatriots et Etrangers:

    Aux Étas-unis, pouvez-vous faire ces gâteaux avec le farine . Il n’a pas importante le marque; Gold Medal, King Arthur, etc…je ne sais pas les farines sont disponibles au Canada, desolé, mais, je pense ça existe le même chose là.

  • January 5, 2007 12:42pm

    Bravo et merci very much!

  • Terri
    January 5, 2007 12:48pm

    Hi David,

    You made your friends Khaki cakes? This is the translation I got from your recipe:

    Cakes to the khakis 2 rectangular cakes

    Here a takings for the gateaux that I did for Christmas. Attention: the cooking temp is maybe not exact for an oven françias. Look at the cakes during the last one 15 minutes of cooking, svp.

    For the khakis, leave them until ripe. Cut the khakis in two and remove the pulp (throw the skin.) Reduce in robot or a passoire.

    450 flour gr (Type 65, for example, Monoprix bio, or other brands bio) 1½ c. salt coffee 2 c. to bicarbonate coffee (available has Monoprix, to the salt ray, or has the pharmacy) 1
    c. to coffee nutmeg rapée or cinnamon 450 sugar gr 200 butter soft melted gr 4 big eggs 140 cognac ml, rhum or whisky 500 pulp ml of khaki 4 great-ripe khakis) 250 gr of roasted
    walnuts, and chopped in pieces, (utilizez of the walnuts, walnuts of pecans, or the almonds, or a mix) 300 gr of grapes or of dry fruit some cut in pieces

    Light the oven to 175 C.

    Butter two grind to rectangular cakes.

    Cut two paper leaves sulfurisé and hide the grind with the two leaves.

    Sift the five first ingredients in a big bowl.

    Mix the melted butter, the eggs, the liquer, the khaki pulp in another bowl.

    Mix the dry ingredients with the ingredients liquidates even has this that it be well mix, but not too.

    Add the walnuts and the dry fruit.

    Done to cook the cakes for 1 hour or even has this that a cleans inserted tooth to the center goes out clean.

    Voila. ..une true takings in Frenchwoman!

  • Steve
    January 5, 2007 1:00pm

    Papier sulfurise?! (Parchment?) Sounds unwholesome. I never before knew how to say ‘toothpick.’ And imagine naming a fruit after cotton pants. (Not as odd as the dual meanings of ‘avocat’ though….)

  • January 5, 2007 1:57pm

    Thank goodness I can read French … now where did I put those kakifruit ;)

  • January 6, 2007 12:05am

    Love the translation, very funny… do you recommend pleated Khakis? :)

  • haapi
    January 6, 2007 6:56am

    Thanks David–I’ve been hoping that you would include the metric version of your recipes on the site, not only for your French readers but also for your France-based readers! Cheers

  • Lu
    January 6, 2007 8:08am

    Loved the little aside story – about the markets and ladies with their onions and 14 centimes! I sent the link to my Paris amie. Funny, David. PS – Just started getting your newsletter. Really great. Thanks!

  • January 6, 2007 8:17am

    Khaki Cake?
    No wonder I haven’t been getting the usual good service at the market.

    Those translation programs can be pretty funny, although I think we Americans give the French quite a bit of laughs as well. At Thanksgiving this year, an American friend of mine told a French guy who was there that he was ‘sans fesse’, or that he ‘had no butt’.

    I don’t know what she was meaning to say, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t it.

  • Denzylle
    January 6, 2007 8:53am

    Or – Viola! (sic), as someone said on Gadling yesterday when commenting on a France matter.

    Now, that’s Shakespearean!

  • January 6, 2007 12:52pm

    I agree, French lover is the way to go.

    Speaking of the perils of language, here’s a funny anecdote Sean from Hedonia told me: When asked what Mme De Gaulle most looked forward to upon her husband’s retirement, she answered, “I most look forward to a penis.” Her husband replied, “It is pronounced happiness.”

  • January 6, 2007 1:46pm

    Bravo pour une recette en français!
    I buy Cuisine et Vins de France magazine every month to help with my french.
    I used one of your lovely photos today on my blog. It was public, non? If not, I will remove it.
    Happy New Year!

  • January 6, 2007 6:00pm

    Just so you know how accurate your guesses are (fyi, there are roughly 6.6 billion people on Earth):

    from Wikpedia:
    Over 300 million people speak English as their first language. Estimates about second language speakers of English vary greatly between 150 million and 1.5 billion.

    French is spoken by about 175 million people around the world as a mother tongue or fluent second language.

    About one-fifth of the people in the world speak some form of Chinese as their native language (more than 1.3 billion)

    I speak enough French to make out your recipe, but you’ll serve a lot more people by posting in English rather than French, since more people speak English as a second language than any other language.

    Imagine, up to 1.5 billion people could learn to make Persimmon Cake! Amazing!


  • January 7, 2007 1:27am

    here’s the google translation:
    Automatically translated text:

    Cakes with the khaki ones 2 cakes rectangular Here a receipt for the cakes which I made for Christmas. Caution: the temp of cooking is perhaps not exact for a furnace francias. Look at the cakes during the last 15 minutes of cooking, please. For the khaki ones, leave them to blackberry. Divide the khaki ones in two and remove pulp (throw the skin.) Reduisez in robot or a strainer. 450 gr. of flour (Standard 65, for example, Department store bio, or other marks bio) 1 1/2 C. coffee of salt 2 C. with bicarbonate coffee (available A Department store, with the salt ray, or pharmacy) 1 C. with coffee rapee nutmeg or grooves 450 sugar gr. 200 molten soft butter gr. 4 large eggs 140 ml of cognac, rum or whisky 500 ml of pulp of khaki (super-ripe khaki surroundings 4) 250 roasted, and chopped nut gr. of pieces, (utilizez nuts, nuts of pecans, or almonds, or a mixture) 300 fruit or dry grape gr. cut of pieces from there Light the furnace at 175 C. Butter two rectangular cake pans. Cut two greaseproof paper sheet and paper the moulds with the two sheets. Filter the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the melted butter, eggs, the liquer, the pulp of khaki in another bowl. Mix the dry ingredients with the ingredients liquid until it are well mixtures, but not too. Add the dry nuts and fruits. Make cook the cakes during 1 hour or until a cure tooth inserted into the center leaves clean. Veiled… true a receipt as a Frenchwoman!

  • January 7, 2007 9:01am

    Robin: Dry nuts? Sounds kinda painful…

    Aimee: Thanks for the figures, but one of those 175 million people who speak French as a fluent second language ain’t me, so I need to practice once in a while with a recipe (and seeing as how the translation programs work, or not, I don’t think there’s any reason for me to quit my studies.)

    Homesick Texan: From what I understand, it’s been quite a while for Mme. Chirac as well!

  • January 7, 2007 2:39pm

    Mmm, this recette sounds delicieuse (I think…is a “c. a cafe” like a teaspoon?) My Japanese relatives also make delicious puddings and cakes with persimmons, which they too call “kaki” (and I don’t think they know any French). They’ll like the addition of cognac, which their recipes don’t have!

  • January 7, 2007 7:47pm

    Merci pour cette recette en Français !

  • January 8, 2007 12:07pm

    i shall email this to julien and he can cook it *hoping wistfully* when i visit him in paris next month, lol…

  • January 8, 2007 2:34pm

    Hi Christy: Yes, a ‘coffee spoon’ is considered to be a teaspoon.

    Lil: He’d better stock up on les kakis since they may not be around much longer. My freezer’s stocked with puree, since I can’t resist buying way too many of ’em.

    Cat: De rien…je vous en prie!

  • Robert
    January 9, 2007 10:51am


    The best! Thanks for the recipe. I love persimmon breads. We receive several donations of such at Christmas each year where I work as lunch chef. They are invariably accompanied by a lemon sauce. Do you know this combination? Both are heated gently for service. Tart – rich. This is very old fashioned, perhaps strictly American. It may not translate.

    FYI – “ingredient” is, I believe, spelt (accented) “ingrédient” in French. I am not sure for sure, but I’m pretty sure.

    Thanks again for the recipe, I have zip-lok bags full of Hachiya (the variety in your foto) pulp in my freezer. A gift from friends who know how much I enjoy the occasional persimmon smoothie, batch of persimmon cookies or persimmon bread. I have often used James Beard’s recipe. Now I will try yours – with complete confidence.


  • January 9, 2007 2:36pm

    Merci! Yes, that James Beard persimmon bread is wonderful. Also check out the crunchy Fuyu persimmons, none of that fuzzy tongue feeling you get from eating under ripe Hachiyas. (I posted a persimmon bundt cake recipe on my blog recently.) Thanks!

  • Elizabeth
    January 10, 2007 8:44pm

    I can’t believe this. I just baked a persimmon cake two days ago, based on one of Deborah Madison’s recipes, although I wanted to see what it would be like without nuts, raisins, etc. I used the zest from a Meyer lemon and poked holes in the top to let a small amount of glaze seep in. I’m not sure I tasted much of the persimmon, though, and am glad I had extra pureed fruit to serve with it. I am wondering if you’re able to answer a question that stems from adapting a recipe for pumpkin flan. The persimmon separated from the custard to form a cake-like layer. Odd. I ‘ve read McGee and the little Madison writes about a certain enzyme, but, I’m clueless. Do you know what’s going on?

  • January 11, 2007 1:49am

    Hi Elizabeth: Some fruits, mainly tropical fruits (and ginger) contain an enzyme that prevents proteins from joining up, so if you add fresh pineapple to an upside down cake, you can end up with a gooey layer of uncooked batter underneath the fruit.

    Try cooking the permisson puree for a couple of minutes, to heat it through thoroughly, which destroys the enzymes. Harold McGee most likely has a more detailed description of what’s going on inside of a persimmon, but hope this helps.

  • Elizabeth
    January 12, 2007 1:45pm

    McGee était le premier que j’ai consulte. Il n’y a rien au suject de cette enzyme comme une mangeuse des proteines en kakis que j’ai lu. Donc, vous etes mon héros. Merci, David.