The persimmon's texture and warm, spicy notes make a moist snack cake. Since the batter is heavy, a toothpick test doesn't work well to determine doneness. Make sure the cake browns around the edges and pulls away from the sides of the pan before removing from the oven.
Place brown sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add persimmon puree, molasses, and eggs; beat well (about 1 minute).
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Sift together flour and next 6 ingredients (through cloves). Add flour mixture and 1/3 cup boiling water alternately to persimmon mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in almonds. Pour batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into 12 squares.
Persimmon Puree Pointers. Ripe Hachiya puree is easy to make by following these tips:
To speed the ripening process, freeze the fruit overnight or until solid. Thaw the persimmon; when soft, it will be sweeter and less astringent.
Cut the ripe fruit in half. Scoop the pulp out with a spoon.
To achieve an even consistency, place the flesh in a mini-chopper and process until smooth. This ensures the persimmon puree will incorporate evenly into the batter.