Friday, 5 April 2013

spiced parsnip and hazelnut cake with maple frosting

Wow, I can nae believe that it is the April already and Mr Spring seems to still be in hibernation after that delicious lemon and raspberry battenberg, grrrr....... 
Because of this I decided to give it another go with this spiced parsnip and hazelnut cake with maple and mascarpone frosting, it is bliss, or in my Mum's word 'heaven' (but that is a tad bias, you'll only know if you give it ago however). I was going to make a carrot cake with our amazingly moist and TRULY scrumptious recipe from 'cakes and bakes from my mother's kitchen' recipe book but I decided that I was a bit fed up of the famous carrot cake, time to break the mould! (Not literally it was still cake shaped as you can see). 

I mean don't get me wrong, I love carrots.... That's a lie, I don't really, they usually make me feel ill but: 1. everything tastes better in a cake and 2. any fruit or veg in a cake counts towards your 5 a day but in cake form, right? I don't like parsnips with my Sunday roast either and the reason for that is because I just find them too sweet to be having in a savoury dish so I thought this would work quite well. 
The cake is extremely moist, so moist that when trying to cut it for the photos it collapsed so I brought in a fork to help clean up, I kept in the spices from the carrot cake recipe so it has a nice warmth to it but definitely has a parsnip taste to it. If you choose not to make this cake though you must do one thing for me and that is to make this icing. It's from my all time ultimate, best tasting cake ever (I will have to write the recipe out one day when strawberries are in season because it tastes best with them, it's white choc and maple syrup cake) and is made mainly with mascarpone and maple syrup so is quite liquidy really so best left in the fridge to set a little once iced.

On with the cake!

Spiced Parsnip and Hazelnut cake 

with Maple frosting

  • 225 grams of self-raising 
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder (you need extra rising agents because the grated parsnip makes it hard for the cake to rise)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or freshly grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 150 millilitres of sunflower oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 200 grams of light soft brown sugar
  • 350 grams of grated parsnips (I used about 4 parsnips and grated them using the food processor after peeling because it's quick and I'm lazy!)
  • zest of one orange
  • 80 grams of roasted hazelnuts roughly chopped
the amazing maple frosting!
  • 250 grams of mascarpone
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup 
  • 1 tablespoon of icing sugar
  • a handful of chopped hazelnuts
  1. preheat the oven to 180oC/ 350oF/ Gas mark 4 and grease and line a cake tin (I used a 22 centimetre one for this)
  2. mixing the flour, baking powder and spices in a large bowl and make a well in the middle
  3. in a separate bowl beat the eggs before adding the sugar and oil and mixing again until combined
  4. add the liquid to the flour and mix well before adding the parsnip, zest and hazelnuts and mixing
  5. pour the mix into the tin and bake for 50- 60 minutes 
  6. leave to cool on a wire rack while making the frosting
  7. put all the ingredients in a bowl and beat.... (that's it!)
  8. pour the frosting over the cake (there's enough to cover the sides too if you want... or you could just eat it like I did)
  9. sprinkle over the hazelnuts and eat!
This cake is best kept in the fridge and eaten in 3- 4 days