“When it comes to vegetables in cakes, carrots tend to get all the love, but parsnips deserve just as much attention,” says Benjamina Ebuehi, author of new cookbook, A Good Day To Bake.
“Sweet and earthy with a subtle woody fragrance, this is a truly autumnal cake, with the grated parsnips keeping it perfectly moist. The parsnip crisps will make more than you need, but they make such a moreish snack, I won’t be offended nor surprised if none of them actually make it onto the cake.”
For the parsnip crisps:
- 1 parsnip
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
- pinch of salt
For the cake:
- 160ml sunflower or vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
- 160g light brown sugar
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 eggs
- 200g parsnips, grated
- 210g plain flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 60g walnuts, roughly chopped, plus extra to decorate
For the glaze:
- 90g icing sugar
- juice of half an orange
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and grease and line a 900g loaf pan.
Start by making the parsnip crisps. Use a mandoline or potato peeler to thinly slice the parsnip. Place the peelings on the baking sheet and drizzle with the oil, maple syrup or honey and pinch of salt. Toss them with your hands to make sure all the pieces are coated and lay them out evenly so they don’t overlap. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Keep a close eye on them, as they can burn quite easily. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
For the cake, mix together the oil, sugar and orange zest in a bowl. Beat in the eggs and stir until smooth, then carefully mix in the grated parsnips.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and cloves. Add to the wet ingredients and mix gently until just combined. Now stir in the chopped walnuts.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. To make the glaze, mix the icing sugar and orange juice in a small bowl until smooth. You want it to be a thick but pourable consistency. Add a little more icing sugar if it’s too thin or a bit more orange juice if it’s too thick.
Read: Carrot Cake Cookies
Once the cake is completely cool, pour the glaze on top, letting it drip down the sides. Top with the parsnip crisps and extra chopped walnuts before serving.
A Good Day To Bake: Simple Baking Recipes For Every Mood by Benjamina Ebuehi is published by Quadrille, available now.
– With PA
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