First, a photo of the GLORIOUS spekkoek I made for Easter:
Twelve layers of rainbow. I used the basic spekkoek recipe, but instead of the traditional spices, I just used a few dashes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger, and then I added about 3 teaspoons of raspberry extract to the bowls of pink, orange, and purple cake mix (1 tsp per colour). I sprinkled the top with confectioners sugar. The final result was spectacular.
While my aunties were here a couple weeks ago, Anorexic Auntie requested a cake for their last Sunday here. She has health issues and is on an extremely strict diet. (Proof of how Fate can really be an arsehole sometimes--years and years of hard work at ED recovery, and now she actually can't eat anything.) So for their last full day with us, I told her to list her favourite foods out of the things she CAN eat, so I could make her a nice dinner (I barbecued in intense rain because the weather forecasters are morons, and also nearly blew up the house whilst attempting to light the contrary barbecue with matches).
While we discussed possible desserts, she told me about a parsnip maple cake she had tried a few months ago. The recipe included all things she can eat, and I was very intrigued by the idea of a parsnip maple cake. I never would have thought of baking with parsnips, but I suppose they're in the same family as carrots, and carrot cake is quite popular; so I decided to try it.
I didn't like any of the recipes I found online, and most of them had ingredients that Ano Auntie couldn't eat, so I ended up creating my own recipe.
So without further ado....
Mich's Parsnip Maple Cake!
You will need:
- 9-inch baking pans (I used three to make three layers, but you can use 1 or 2)
- Parchment paper
- 1 cup maple syrup (actual maple syrup; make sure it's not flavoured corn syrup)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- About 3 cups parsnips (~7 or 8 medium parsnips)
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
And for the icing:
- confectioners sugar
- maple syrup
To make it:
- Melt the butter in the microwave (not liquefied, but melted until it's pretty gooey). In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, maple syrup, and eggs.
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour and mix it up with the cinnamon, ginger, and baking soda.
- Add the flour mix to the butter/syrup mix a little at a time until well combined.
- Peel and then chop up the parsnips...
...and use a food processor or a blender to get them grated up real good.
(And try not to overload the processor.)
I processed them until they were about as ground up as they could get.
- Mix the parsnips into the cake mix.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use a little butter or margarine to grease the pans a bit, just so the parchment paper has something to stick to;
...then line the pan with the parchment paper. You might want to trim the edges so there isn't too much parchment sticking out in order to avoid burning your house down.
Then fill your pans with the cake mix, and bake for about 20 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the middle of the cake comes out clean. If you use only 2 cake pans or 1 pan, they'll obviously have to bake for longer (I'd guess up to 40 or 50 minutes for one pan).
- When they're finished, let the pans cool for a while (up to 20ish minutes), and then carefully lift the cakes out of the pans (delightfully easy because you just lift up the parchment paper and then peel it off the cakes). Let the cakes cool on a wire rack.
- To make the icing, mix up some confectioners sugar, melted butter, and maple syrup until it's the flavour and consistency you want it to be. I no longer measure anything when I make icing, but when I was done it had the consistency of the cake icing you can buy in the store, so not drippy at all.
- Using my bowie knife (I love whipping that out in front of Mum, especially while baking cakes and dressed in my frilly pink apron ^_^), I trimmed the edges of the cakes. The parchment paper can make them kind of uneven, so I went round the edges to smooth them out.
- I iced each layer individually, laying one on top of the other, and then iced the top and the sides using a spatula (like the kind your mom used to smack you with). I finished it off by decorating with pearl sprinkles (really lovely ones that don't break your teeth!).
And OMG you guys.......
It was freaking DELICIOUS.
Like melt-in-your-mouth, dripping with sticky sweetness, orgasmically delicious.
Hope y'all had a good week, and enjoy your weekends! I'm driving up to Albany to see John Connolly on Saturday and I'm super excited.