I really love autumnal flavours. The hot ginger, warm nutmeg and all of the other spices that suddenly find their way into my porridge, lattes and desserts.
Parsnip and nutmeg pair beautifully together in savoury parsnip purees and in soups, but here I’ve sweetened them up with maple syrup and put them into a vegetable cake (for my birthday, actually). Parsnip works just like carrot in cakes, adding moisture and sweetness with a mildly earthy flavour. This cake takes a huge 4 cups of grated raw parsnip so you’ll definitely be getting your vegetables in this cake – and it won’t dry out. I’ve also used maple syrup in place of refined sugar and replaced much of the fat with Greek yogurt.
I topped this cake with pureed sweet potato, subtly spiced with freshly grated ginger. It’s so easy to make – you just blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth (I used my Froothie Optimum high-speed blender, but you can try it in a mini chopper or food processor). The results are thick and frosting-like, but without any butter or oil. I only frosted the top, but the recipe below makes quite a lot of icing so you’ll be able to frost the sides and inside of the cake if you wish. Two parsnips, two sweet potatoes, one vegetable cake. My perfect birthday treat.
Parsnip, Maple and Nutmeg Cake with Sweet Potato and Ginger Frosting
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease a tall 9” cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
- Wash well and grate the parsnip. (You should have about 4 cups, grated). Set aside.
- Sift the flour, bicarb of soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the parsnip.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, maple syrup, oil, yogurt and vanilla together with an electric mixer.
- Fold the wet ingredients into the dry gently.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin and then remove and spread with the sweet potato frosting when completely cool.
For the Sweet Potato and Ginger Frosting
- Ensure the sweet potato flesh is cooled and pat dry in a clean tea towel. Place into a food processor or blender with all of the other ingredients (ginger to taste) and blitz until smooth. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
Still have some parsnips to use up? Don’t let them go to waste, try these recipes:
I’m definitely going to try Jac’s Home-baked Honey Parsnip Crisps
Camilla’s Curried Root Vegetable Soup sounds lovely
Helen’s Rainbow Vegetable Fritters sound amazing, too!
I’ve entered this vegetable cake recipe into a few linkies. Shop Local from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, Recipe of the Week from A Mummy Too, Extra Veg from Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy.
As I’m sure you can imagine, I love my vegetables. It can be hard to get your veg at breakfast and at the moment, with the days drawing in, the scarves coming out and the leaves on the ground, I don’t really fancy avocado on toast or a green smoothie for breakfast. Hot porridge oats are making a welcome return to my breakfast table and are an easy way to get that first portion of veg for the day: in carrot cake oatmeal. It’s amazing how porridge can really taste of carrot cake! The ginger, cinnamon and other spices. The warm, plump raisins, the carrots. Healthy bliss.
I made this warming, gently spiced oatmeal in a REDMOND Multicooker, but you can easily make it on the stove top. The benefit of the multicooker is that you can chuck all of the ingredients in the night before and set it to be cooked in the morning. When it has stopped cooking it, the gadget will even keep it warm until you’re ready to tuck in – for up to five hours should you be really disorganised!
We ate our uncarved Jack o’ Lantern for dessert. Sorry. I had every good intention of spending evenings sewing ghoulish Halloween costumes for the little ones and afternoons with them carving faces into vegetables, but life got the better of us. To be fair, last year I sewed a costume for my son (the wolf to his sister’s Little Red Riding Hood), and he flatly refused to wear it. There were tears. He was rather upset as well. So, this year when he wanted to wear the lion outfit that he wears most days anyway, I just let him. His sister was Batman. She can usually be found dressed as Batman.
I didn’t feel too bad about forgetting to carve the pumpkins when I was eating this crumble (crisp to you North Americans).
Pumpkin has a lovely, mild earthy flavour that marries well with the tart apple and sweet gingery topping in this dessert. It takes no time at all to make and smells divine as the spices fill the air as it cooks. I love adding crunchy nuts to crumble topping and pecans work perfectly here. Add whipped cream, custard, ice cream…
Sweet potato and ginger are absolutely amazing together. The warm heat of ginger balanced with the smooth, sweet earthy potato is a marriage made in heaven. These chewy, soft, cakey cookies are delicious with a hot mug of tea on a cool autumn afternoon. You could add chopped chocolate or toasted pecans for some crunch, or just nibble them straight up.
Biscuits, cookies, whatever you call them, they’re such a quick and easy treat to whip up, aren’t they? Recently I’ve made beet chocolate chunk cookies, pumpkin and hazelnut cookies, kale and almond biscotti and even carrot jammy dodgers.
The clocks went back yesterday, so that means that anyone with small children is suffering today. Adjust tiny little body clocks, adjust! My little ones were rather grumpy, so I plied them with these sweet potato cookies while they ran around dressed as a lion and batman. Nothing to do with impending Halloween – they’re usually either naked or in fancy dress. The life of under 5s is a road filled with simple pleasures and lego.
Let’s blur the lines between rice pudding and risotto, shall we?
Let’s stir the pot of glutenous rice, not with wine and stock, but with hot vanilla-infused coconut milk. Let’s ladle and stir, ladle and stir until the grains of risotto rice are so swollen, squidgy and plump with the sweet liquid that they can’t possibly take any more. Then stir in some gloriously vibrant pureed beetroot because, well, we need some vegetables in our desserts. Drizzle it with melted chocolate and tuck in with a delicate spoon. It’s a rich, sweet, decadent vegan vegetable dessert.
This is comfort food au moderne, people.