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Guilt-Free Earl Grey Cake Trifle with Yogurt, Persimmon and Pomegranate

I love the changing of the seasons, not only because I get to pull out a whole new wardrobe, but because Nature also puts on a new cloak of colours.  From the leafy, green exuberance of summer, to the vibrant blazing oranges and fiery reds of autumn, the world seems to transform overnight.   It’s as if Mother Nature braces herself for one last gasp of vibrancy before settling in for the winter under a soft blanket of snow.  

The orange and red hues of autumn are also represented in my favourite seasonal fruits – persimmon and pomegranate.  I still maintain that the best way to eat persimmon is with a spoon when it’s semi-frozen and slushy with crystals of ice, but my trifle combination comes in at a close second.  The sweet yielding flesh of the persimmon, layered with the fragrance of earl grey cake, yogurt and the contrasting crunch of bursts of pomegranate, make for an irresistible and guilt-free indulgence.  

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.

What you’ll need (serves 6):

  • 4 ripe persimmons
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 500g of plain yogurt
  • honey (optional)
For the Earl Grey Cake:
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 orange
  • 3 Earl Grey teabags 
First, pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees celsius.
Zest an entire orange – this will perfume the cake and compliment the Earl Grey.
Cut open 3 teabags of Earl Grey and toss together with orange zest.
Cream butter and sugar together first, then beat in eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking powder with the Earl Grey and orange zest.
Add the dry ingredients slowly to the creamed butter / eggs.
Add the juice of half an orange, along with the milk, to the batter.
After the ingredients are combined, the mixture should have the consistency shown below.
The cake mix is quite gloppy – pour into a cake mold.  I use a silicone one so there’s no need to butter the mold.
By now, the oven should have reached 175 degrees.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  I would advise setting the timer for 30 minutes, then inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake to check for doneness.  If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.
This cake is quite firm, with a golden crust.  I purposely minimized the sugar so that the cake isn’t overpoweringly sweet.  The idea here is for the fruits to sweeten the trifle.  The fragrance of Earl Grey thoroughly permeates the cake.  Cut the cake into cubes.  
Get the fruits ready – the scarlet juices of the pomegranate always makes me feel as if I’m slaughtering the fruit.  
You can use a large glass bowl for this, although I prefer using clear glasses to make individual portions as it makes serving so much easier.  Place a foundation of cake at the bottom of each glass, and drizzle spoonfuls of luscious yogurt on top.  You can also drizzle honey over top, this is completely at your discretion.  
Keep layering with scopes of sweet persimmon and ruby red jewel bursts of pomegranate.  
Bon Appetit!

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