Autumn in a tin, this moist and delicious cake is just what you need after a brisk walk. If you have plenty of parsnips, make extra crisps to nibble
PARSNIP & MAPLE SYRUP CAKE WITH PARSNIP CRISPS
175g butter, plus extra for greasing
100ml maple syrup
3 large organic eggs
250g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
250g parsnips, peeled and grated
1 eating apple, peeled, cored and grated
50g pecans or hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Zest and juice of 1 small orange
Edible flowers, to garnish (optional)
FOR THE PARSNIP CRISPS
1 large parsnip, peeled
Sunflower or groundnut oil, for frying
FOR THE FILLING
300g cream cheese
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 Preheat oven to 180C/Fan 160C/350F. Brush two deep 20cm sandwich tins with a little melted butter and line the bases with baking parchment.
2 Melt the butter and syrup in a pan over a gentle heat; set aside to cool slightly. Whisk in the eggs, then stir the mixture into a large mixing bowl containing the flour, baking powder and mixed spice. Stir in the parsnips, apple, chopped nuts, orange zest and juice. Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 35–40 mins or until just starting to shrink from the sides of the tins. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
3 While the cakes are baking, make the parsnip crisps. Either slice the parsnip into wafer-thin discs or peel off long slivers with a swivel-top peeler. Leave to dry out on kitchen paper.
4 Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 150C. Fry the parsnip by dropping in a few slivers at a time (they colour and crisp up very quickly). Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle lightly with salt.
5 To make the filling, mix together the cream cheese and maple syrup. Spread over the base of one cooled cake and the top of the other. Sandwich together. Decorate the cake with parsnip crisps and edible flowers, if available.
Recipe from Grow, Cook, Nourish by Darina Allen (Kyle Books).
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