My dear husband’s birthday was this week- and birthdays always mean cake in our house- so, yet again, I was given the perfect opportunity to try a new recipe. Allowing seasonal, organic produce to dictate the direction this cake would take, I searched and came across a fabulous looking recipe that I couldn’t look passed. I tweaked and modified it, of course, and I added my own version of a whipped cream & cream cheese frosting. The end result was a divinely moist, incredibly delicious and utterly surprising (I’ll eat my proverbial hat if you can taste the parsnip!) seasonal cake… and one VERY happy birthday boy! This cake was an absolute hit with everyone who tried it and has already become a new family favourite.
APPLE PARSNIP CAKE WITH MAPLE SYRUP & PECANS
Prep time: 25 mins, Bake time: 30 mins
175 g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
250 g organic demerara sugar
90 ml organic maple syrup
3 large organic eggs
250 g organic plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice (I made my own mix using ground ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and allspice)
170 g organic parsnips, peeled and grated
170 g organic apples (not too tart), peeled, cored and grated
65 g organic pecans, roughly chopped
Zest and juice of 1 small organic orange
- Heat oven to 170C fan. Grease 2 x 20cm cake tins with butter and line the bases with baking paper. Melt 175 g butter in a saucepan over gentle heat, together with the sugar and maple syrup. Cool slightly. Whisk the eggs into the syrup mixture.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and mixed spice, then add the grated parsnip, apple, chopped pecans, orange zest and juice. Pour the syrup mixture over and combine well. Divide the batter between the tins and bake the cakes for around 30 mins or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes slightly in the tins before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
- Frost with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below) as per images.
*The unfrosted cakes can be frozen and will defrost perfectly.
*My husband’s birthday cake was decorated with walnuts as I’d used the last of my pecans in the cake itself. They worked just fine, although decorating with pecans makes more sense!
*Cupcake versions of this cake can be made with the same batter. Simply fill cupcake liners two-thirds full with batter, place in a preheated oven (mine was 175C, fan) and bake for around 17 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
*Recipe adapted from this amazing one by Catherine Berwick, found at www.bbcgoodfood.com
WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
This frosting combines the best of two worlds; those of the classic whipped cream cake filling and the tasty cream cheese variety. Thanks to its lovely texture and heavenly combination of flavours, it manages to be both light and indulgent at the same time. A little goes a long way… and makes a BIG impact.
110 g cream cheese
100 g icing sugar
A pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp maple syrup
180 ml heavy whipping cream
- In a small bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar, salt, maple syrup and vanilla powder. Beat until smooth, then gently fold in whipped cream until perfectly combined.
*The above recipe and quantities of ingredients will produce enough frosting to adequately fill the center and cover the top of a two layered cake such as the one pictured. If you want to cover the sides too, I suggest doubling the quantities.
*Recipe adapted from this one by Tom found at allrecipes.com