How is it February 2014 and the last time I blogged was October? Sorry I've been a bit AWOL these past few months, but I promise you I have been baking I've just been a little preoccupied let's just say. But last week I got some pretty exciting news and I found out that I've been accepted at City University London to study Speech and Language Therapy!!! So finally after all my applications, interviews, volunteering and madly rushing around trying to do a million things at once, I can actually relax because I know what I'll be doing in September. Relief is an understatement and I still don't think it's quite sunk in that I don't have to constantly be worrying about what I'll be doing next. My future is coming together which means I have a bit more time on my hands for now and for me some of that time will be filled with baking :)
So this weekend Abbey came to stay and I have not seen her in FOREVER. Inevitably, we had to make sure we fitted in some baking at some point, so we spent some of our lazy Sunday making these delicious Parsnip and Pecan Pieces from Lorraine Pascale's cookbook, A Lighter Way to Bake. I've made loads of recipes from it already despite only getting it at Christmas, so I can safely say it was a good buy! And it makes me feel a tiny bit better about myself knowing that what I'm baking isn't quite as calorific as it could be...!
I'm always intrigued by cake recipes that have vegetables in the title and this was no exception. Carrot cake has to be one of my favourites and I figured that using parsnip might create something a little similar. I was right. It is delicious: moist, perfectly spiced and extremely moreish. It is also really quick and easy to make. I have to say, the cream cheese frosting is what makes it and I will definitely be recreating this recipe at a later date. I certainly need no more convincing that vegetables make great cakes, but I might just have to eat a few more Parsnip and Pecan Pieces to double check I like it... It's my way of saying congratulations to myself, right?
Parsnip and Pecan Pieces (makes 16 small squares)
For the sponge:
225g Parsnips, peeled and grated
200g Wholemeal Flour
100g Soft Brown Sugar
50ml Vegetable Oil
50g Pecan Nuts, roughly chopped
2tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Cinnamon
1/4tsp Ground Nutmeg
1tsp Vanilla Extract
For the frosting:
200g Low-Fat Cream Cheese
4tbsp Icing Sugar
2 Knobs Stem Ginger, finely chopped
1tsp Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Grease and line a tray.
- Put all the ingredients for the sponge into a bowl and mix well to combine.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until springy to touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Once cooked, remove from oven and leave to cool in tin.
- Whilst cake is cooking make the frosting by mixing all the ingredients together (don't overmix). Leave in the fridge until needed.
- Remove the cake from the tin and spread the frosting on top evenly.
- Cut into squares and enjoy!