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.

HOMESICKNESS KILLER CARROT CAKE

I know Finnish winter can be tough..not just for poor foreigners but also for Finns..especially this winter when it has been snowing over 65 cm in the south and the temperature just keeps on staying under -10 degrees…Well my poor Aussieman was missing home so badly…feeling so homesick that the only comfort he was able to find was a real tasty carrot cake!

This recipe is from Good Food magazine. I tested it and it is unbelievable!!! Its amazing taste won’t let you down. It is moist, carroty and not too sweet! This recipe is devoted for all the women whose boyfriends or husbands are feeling homesick and they want to have something that tastes like home. And for the Finns, this is ”try to love your cold below zero home country” comfort cake!

CARROT CAKE

  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250ml oil
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 lemon , zested
  • 200g carrots , finely grated
  • 150g walnuts, chopped, I RECOMMEND ALMONDS, CHOPPED
  • 227g tin pineapple pieces, well drained and chopped (optional)

FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 125g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 250g cream cheese
  1. Heat the oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Line a 20cm, 10cm deep cake tin. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together and stir in the sugar. Beat the eggs with the oil and citrus zests. Stir in the carrots and fold everything into the flour mixture. Fold in the walnuts and pineapple if using. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool.
  2. For the frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar together until soft and then beat in the cream cheese. Chill the mixture until it’s thick but spreadable. Spread a thick layer on top of the cake, making sure the side of the icing is flat and continues upwards from the side of the cake.

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.