Parsnips should be more than just an accompaniment to your Sunday roast. They should be cake in fact. If it’s good enough for carrots then it’s good enough for parsnips!
This recipe makes a wonderfully moist sponge with a nice amount of spiciness and warmth from the fresh ginger. The parsnips aren’t overwhelming either, they just add sweetness and a subtle hint of ‘rootiness’ (I’m sorry, I tried but I can’t come up with a better adjective than that). It’s similar to it’s carroty cousin but different enough to be worth your while giving it a try. In fact, I think that I might prefer it. I wonder how many slices I have to eat for this to count as one of my five a day…
150g soft light brown sugar
2 medium parsnips (about 250g before peeling and trimming)
1 medium apple (about 130g before peeling and coreing)
1 heaped tablespoon grated fresh ginger
200g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Maple cream cheese frosting
50g unsalted buttter
125g cream cheese
125g icing sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
Pre-heat the oven 180°c and lightly grease and line a couple of sandwich tins.
Beat together the butter, salt and sugar until they are pale and fluffy. Set aside.
Peel and grate the ginger, parsnips and apple.
Beat the eggs into the butter-sugar mixture, one at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour between each addition and beating well.
Sift together the remaining flour and raising agents and stir this into the batter. Very briefly beat in the buttermilk and then fold through the grated parsnip, apple and ginger. Make sure everything is well combined but don’t over-mix the batter.
Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared tins and smooth off the tops. Bake the sponges for 30 minutes, by which time they should be well rise, golden brown with a slight bounce to them.
Leave the sponges to cool on a wire rack.
For the frosting, start by beating together the butter and cream cheese. Mix in the syrup and then beat in the sugar. The frosting should be quite thick and creamy. Spread half of the frosting onto whichever sponge you want to use as the base of the cake and then sandwich the other one on top. Swirl the remaining frosting on top to decorate the cake.