It’s been a while since I’ve been here to say hi and I can only apologise profusely and point my finger of blame at all the wedding planning which has consumed my life for the last, um, year.. but I could write a whole blog* on that so I shall just move on quickly to a rather unusual cake I made for a friend’s birthday which I think you should try.
When I served it to guests I asked them all to guess what it was.. “it’s fruity”, it’s got “nuts in it”, “I can taste the maple syrup” the adoring crowds replied. But none of them could have guessed it was a cake made of parsnip! And lo I laugh like a maniacal loon… but seriously, it was really unusual, very moist and sweet. As ever I found it on the unimpeachable Good Food website and they billed it as the new Carrot Cake. (Not that I think there is A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G wrong with the old Carrot Cake!)
*175g butter, and extra for greasing *250g demerara sugar *100ml maple syrup *3 large eggs *250g self-raising flour *2 tsp baking powder *a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon *250g parsnips, peeled and grated *1 medium apple, peeled, cored and grated *50g pecans, roughly chopped *zest and juice of one small orange *icing sugar to serve *250g mascarpone *3-4 tbsp maple syrup
1. Heat the oven to 180Oc/ 160Oc fan/ gas 4 and grease 2 x 20cm round tins.
2. Melt the butter, sugar and maple syrup in a pan over a gentle heat and then cool slightly.
3. Whisk the eggs in the mixture, then stir in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, followed by the grated parsnip, apple, chopped pecans, orange zest and juice.
4. Bake for around 30 minutes or until the sponges are cooked through and springy to touch.
5. Cool the cakes for a while in their tins before turning out onto wire racks and cooling entirely.
6. Just before serving, blend the marscapone and the maple syrup, spread onto one sponge and then sandwich the cake. Sprinkle with icing sugar. EAT.
* My friend and fellow-bride-to-be Laura and I were going to do a wedding blog called “Right Said Wed” but needless to say we’re too lazy and busy planning the shin-digs right now! Oh what could have been..