I think that Parsnips have to be my all-time-favourite vegetable! I know that I say that about a lot of things, don't I? I guess I just love food and have a lot of favourites! But seriously, I do love, Love, LOVE Parsnips!
Paler than carrots, but much sweeter than cooked, I just adore them in any way, shape or form. My mother hated them and so we didn't get them at all when I was growing up, although . . . I do remember her cooking them for us once, in an attempt to see whether her tastes had changed through the years . . .
I remember her peeling them and slicing them into coins, and then she cooked them in butter, until they were soft and caramelized. They were lovely . . . but, she still didn't like them, so that was that! She never cooked them for us again.
I always remembered how delicious I had found them to be though, and once I got out on my own, I took every opportunity to cook them that I could, slipping them into stews and soups, roasting them, frying them and even mashing them. (They are just scrumptious cooked together with carrots and then mashed with some butter and seasoning!)
We have all made carrot cakes, I am sure. They're really quite popular nowadays . . . moist and scrummy and topped with a creamed cheese icing. I cannot imagine anyone not liking them, but I am sure there are some exceptions to the rule!
Yesterday I thought . . . if parsnips are so much sweeter than carrots, I am sure they would make a delicious cake and so . . . I made a Parsnip Cake, using my favourite Carrot Cake recipe!
Oh my, this is scrummy . . . all moist and sweet, and stogged full of lovely parsnips, pineapple crush, toasted walnuts and warm baking spices!
We had the missionaries over for their tea and they screwed their noses up a bit in disbelief when I told them I had baked a Parsnip cake, but . . .
they ended up taking half of it with them when they left, it was sooooo good!! I think the Browned Butter Frosting was . . . well . . . the icing on the cake!
Oh yes . . . it is very moreishly scrumdiddlyumptious!
I'm sure glad that I am a cook who is not afraid to push the boundaries of what's considered to be normal at times. It makes life much more exciting, oh . . . and much tastier too!!!
*Parsnip Cake with Browned Butter Frosting*
Makes one 9 by 13 inch cake
Spicy, sweet and moist with a nutty frosting.
8.5 ounces plain flour (2 cups)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
5.25 ounces caster sugar (3/4 cup)
5.6 ounces soft light brown sugar (3/4 cup packed)
3 large free range eggs
6 fluid ounces of canola oil (3/4 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
3 medium parsnips peeled and grated
1 (435g) tin of pineapple crush, drained (1 cup)
2 ounces chopped toasted walnuts (1/2 cup)
Brown Butter Frosting:
2 ounces butter softened (1/4 cup)
16 ounces icing sugar, sifted (4 cups)
75 - 100ml of cream (1/3 tp 1/2 cup)
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking tin and lightly dust with flour. Set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, salt, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, caster and brown sugars and vanilla until smooth. Add to the flour mixture and stir together just until moistened. Stir in the parsnips, pineapple and nuts. Spread into the prepared baking tin, leveling it off. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, heat the butter over medium heat until it turns a nutty brown colour. Be careful not to burn it. Add the sale and then beat in the sugar and the cream until it is cold, creamy and thick enough to spread. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.
Cut into squares to serve. Store in an airtight container.