Catherine Berwick’s Parsnip and maple syrup cake

I am currently living in a land of ale and fish&chips. Everything that is served has to go with the beer. Sometimes I have been wondering what is the common denominator when a Finn marries an Aussie and lives in England. Well, easy, it has to be the beer. In other words, a good beer. Finns like Aussies are proud of their own beers, the labels no-one else has even heard about and still they call them the real beer. In England I think their love of pints is something the same. A pint or two is always welcome.

This is only an introduction to the quote that came up when I served this heavenly parsnip cake. It is evidently very important that a cake goes with the beer.

One of our friends had a birthday last weekend. I wanted to surprise him so I decided to bake a cake, but I had a big dilemma ahead of me. What to serve so that it would go with a beer? I thought through the recipes in my mind..no chocolate based, that wouldn’t go well, neither a cheesecake -too much dairy product…then I remembered this wonderful cake that won the competition in Good Food magazine last year. Fantastic. I tried it as it was said to be ”the new carrot cake”. I ran to the store early in the morning to get the ingredients and voila the cake was ready in two hours. It was time to serve it for the demanding audience..half of them Aussie men requiring something that goes with a beer, half of them women who are very into good food. I was a bit nervous.  When our friends had eaten their first pieces of cake and were running to get another ones, I realised the cake was a success. Boys absolutely loved it. The legendary comment was ”this is not too sweet and it goes so well with the beer”! Great! So, if you fancy a cake recipe that would go even with a beer whilst you’re having your summer picnic in the park this is it! Try it. The parsnip cake is a brilliant invention, it has a carrot cake texture, but it is not that sweet. It is moist and mouthwatering. Bake it and enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 175g butter , plus extra for greasing
  • 250g demerara sugar
  • 100ml maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour (or flour mixed with baking powder)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 250g parsnips , peeled and grated
  • 1 medium apple peeled, cored and grated
  • 50g pecans, roughly chopped
  • zest and juice 1 small orange
  • icing sugar , to serve

FOR THE FILLING

  • 250g tub mascarpone
  • 3-4 tbsp maple syrup
  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line the base of the 20cm cake dish with baking parchment. Melt butter, sugar and maple syrup in a pan over gentle heat, then cool slightly. Whisk the eggs into this mixture, then stir in the flour, baking powder and mixed spice, followed by the grated parsnip, apple, chopped pecans, orange zest and juice. Bake for 45-55 mins until the tops spring back when pressed lightly.
  2. Cool the cake. Just before serving, mix together the mascarpone and maple syrup. Spread over one cake and sandwich with the other. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.
Mainokset

Fawlty Towers Walfdorf Salad

Anyone who has ever watched a lovely British TV-series called Fawlty Towers will remember the episode called Waldorf Salad. In this episode a fancy American comes to stay in the hotel and Basil seems to blow everything -like usually-. When eating in the hotel restaurant this American snob wants to have Waldorf salad, nothing else suits for him than this particular salad. He comes from New York and there ”one can find it anywhere”. But Basil is silly and not aware of this American side dish and keeps on asking: ”What is a Waldorf anyway, a walnut that’s gone off?”

Whilst being only an entertaining British sitcom this Fawlty Towers episode includes a small piece of history anyway. Waldorf salad is a legendary salad created between 1893 and 1896 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City. The American is right, in New York you can find it anywhere since the end of 19th century. It landed a bit later in Europe.

Encouraged by this hilarious Fawlty Towers episode I had to try this famous salad. I made it last summer when our American friend was visiting us from New York. I thought it would be a funny thing to do. There are different variations of this salad, but the main ingerdients stay the same. I searched for the recipes and one that seemed to look good to me I tested. This salad is an extremely nice side dish for BBQ. We ate it at the summer cottage and liked it. It tastes quite mayonnaisy, even though it isn’t. Actually it is a very refreshing salad because of pineapples and youghurt. Maybe try it next time when having some BBQ?

Four portions:

1 celeriac ( in some recipes you find sliced celeri sticks)

2 apples

4 tbs cream

3 tbs mayonnaise

4 tbs youghurt

2 tbs lemon juice

4 tbs walnuts

1 dl pineapple slices

salt, white pepper, sugar

1. Combine cream, mayonnaise, yoghurt and lemon juice.

2. Cut the apple into small cubes and grate the celeriac.

3. Mix apple, grated celeri, pineapples and walnuts together. Add the mayonnaise mixture in it. Spice the salad with salt and pepper. Finish the taste with some sugar.

Serve it with a good steak!  You can get some variation in flavour by using celeri instead of celeriac!

Sweet Potato Apple Purée

We had a girls’ night. We cooked 4 course dinner together and we had  a great wine selection for every dish. That dinner including drink suggestions is found in the section of Menu Suggestions. This Sweet Potato-Apple purée was one of the best discoveries of that night. My friend had heard about it somewhere and we decided to give it a try. AMAZING!

This is an absolutely delicious side dish for any meat, but especially for duck.  Simple, but tremendously tasty!

4 servings

1 sweet potato

1-2 apples

salt and butter

Cut the sweet potato and apples into cubes. Cook them in the water until soft. Purée the swedish potatos and apples together in the blender so that the purée becomes smooth and velvety. Season it with a pinch of salt and small amount of butter. The sunny colour is enjoyable view on a plate and the taste won’t let you down!!!

Uncle Tet’s Tonkatsu Curry

Japanese kitchen is not just the commercial world of sushi! In Finland Japanese kitchen is too often considered so.

When my aussie man wanted to surprise me with some Japanese Tonkatsu Curry, I had no idea what to expect. I had only heard some stories about his auntie’s japanese husband and his tonkatsu curry, but that was all. After finishing the dinner, I hardly found any adjectives to decribe how enjoyable flavours I just experienced. Surprisingly, this dish consists of the most common and simple ingredients and still its taste is addictive and incredibly delicious. Douzo meshiagare!

For steaks:

4 pork fillets

eggs

flour, breadcrumbs

For sauce:

3 onions

3 garlic cloves

1 big sweet potato

3-4 carrots

1 curry cube ( 75-100g Golden Curry or House Vermont Curry, medium or medium hot)

1 apple (cruhed)

1 tbsp yellow curry powder

Cut the veggies into uneven cubes. Cook the onions and crushed garlic cloves in a sauce pan. Place the veggies in a sauce pan and add some water to cover them. Start cooking them. Let it boil in a low temperature. Add some curry powder. When the veggies are softer, add the curry cube, mix so that the cube melts and incorporates into water. Let it cook for a while. Add the cruhed apple in the end.

Take few egg yolks and mix them in a plate. Roll the fillets in it so that the flours and breadcrumbs stick on them. Cook them on a frying pan. Add so much vegetable oil that they are almost fried but not totally under the oil. Cut the fillets into small slices before serving so that one is able to enjoy the meal by using chopsticks.

Serve fillets, with jasmin rice and home-made tonkatsu sauce.

This dish is perfect when you wanna serve something special for your guests!

Apple Pork in Orange Sauce

Apple Pork in Orange Sauce

This Apple Pork in Orange Sauce proved to be one of the best dishes for a long time. It’s fast to cook, but tastes like one had spent hours cooking it. The sweet asian flavoured sauce, soft apples and a nice piquancy of cashew nuts made my hungry man smile, and he posed a question one always wants to hear after dinner: when are you serving this again? This dish became one of my absolutely favourites, immediately. PS. the orange-soy sauce is an excellent for baked veggies as well. You can just cut veggies and bake them in this delicious sauce in the oven. The outcome will be a succes!

(4 sevings)

1/2 dl flour

4 pork fillets

1 tbsp olive oil

15 g butter

3 dl orange juice

6 tsp soy sauce

3 tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp ginger paste

6 apples sliced into rounds

1 dl cashews or peanuts (not nesessary)

salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C. Toss the fillets until coated in flour. Heat oil and butter in a frying pan and cook the fillets (approximately 3 minutes per side). Remove them to a plate for wait. Mix juice, soy, sugar, ginger, salt and pepper in a frying pan. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat. Pour the mixture in a baking dish. Place the fillets into dish. Top them with apples and sprinkle with cashews/peanuts.

Cover the dish. Bake for at least 35 minutes. Remove lid and cook for 20 minutes until apples are soft and the sauce thick. Serve with rice and veggies. Heavenly good.