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Mike Filigenzi

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IOTM: Parsnip spice cake

by Mike Filigenzi » Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:06 am

I have to say that I wasn't thrilled about parsnips as an IOTM. I've mostly had them roasted and they just don't grab me in that guise. Then Jenise posted a parsnip cake recipe. That sounded a little more up my alley. I was going to make the one she posted but then I happened across a spiced version on Epicurious, which I ended up going with. It's a good one for those who aren't keen on parsnips. :wink: The spice character is what really comes through on this cake, with the parsnips adding a bit of texture and not much more (as far as I can tell). The only problem is that the frosting they suggest overwhelms the cake a bit. It's a great frosting, but the cake is pretty good without it.

So all in all, a little of a cop-out for IOTM given the minor role the parsnips play in this. Still, it's a pretty darn tasty cake.

Parsnip Spice Cake with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting (from the March 2006 issue of Bon Appetit by way of Epicurious.com

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 cups (packed) shredded peeled parsnips (about 3 large)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
3 cups (about 12 ounces) powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Combine flour, sugar, ground ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in large bowl; whisk to combine. Whisk eggs, oil, milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in medium bowl to combine. Pour egg mixture over dry ingredients; stir until just combined. Stir in parsnips and walnuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack.

Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in fresh ginger and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until frosting is smooth. Spread over cake. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
"People who love to eat are always the best people"

- Julia Child
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Jenise

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Re: IOTM: Parsnip spice cake

by Jenise » Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:37 pm

All the spices in there look great--rather carrot-cake like. The parsnip should blend in well in that guise and be, perhaps, a better carrot than a carrot in that parsnips are more complex-tasting than their orange cousins. But what a good sport you are for trying this seeing as you weren't thrilled about parsnips to begin with.

Re that frosting--wow would that be strong, it's not suprising that you didn't care for it much.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: IOTM: Parsnip spice cake

by Mike Filigenzi » Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:56 pm

Jenise wrote:All the spices in there look great--rather carrot-cake like. The parsnip should blend in well in that guise and be, perhaps, a better carrot than a carrot in that parsnips are more complex-tasting than their orange cousins. But what a good sport you are for trying this seeing as you weren't thrilled about parsnips to begin with.

Re that frosting--wow would that be strong, it's not suprising that you didn't care for it much.


Well, I actually love the frosting. It dominates a bit much, but it's really tasty. The carrot cake comparison is dead on. It would be interesting to try this head-to-head with a carrot cake to see what difference the parsnips really make.

Mike
"People who love to eat are always the best people"

- Julia Child
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Re: IOTM: Parsnip spice cake

by Jenise » Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:28 pm

I misunderstood about the frosting then--2 tsp for 4 oz cream cheese seemed a bit strong to me!

I'm going to buy some eggs today and make a parsnip cake, too. I have guests coming to dinner, and several weeks ago she told me that parsnips and brussels sprouts were the only two vegetables she hates. I suspect this is based on her mother's bad cooking and a dearth of better adult experience, so I'm going to do parsnip oven fries with parmesan (to go with BBQ babybacks) to see if we can fix that. Then I'll sneak in the parsnip cake for dessert. :)
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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