Claire MacDonald’s Parsnip Cake

Parsnip Cake – yes, really. C MacD says ‘It is delicious but I’m not brave enough to put “Carrot or Parsnip Cake” on the menu – we still call it Kinloch Gateau.’  It’s from her book, Sweet Things.

“Just under 1/2 pt sunflower seed oil
12oz caster sugar  [I only use 8oz – quite sweet enough]
3 eggs
6oz plain flour
1 level tspn each of bicarb, baking powder and cinnamon
1/2 level tspn salt
8oz grated raw parsnips [a large parsnip, of the sort we specialise in growing.  They’re a bugger to get out of the ground.]

Filling and icing: 6oz each of cream cheese and butter
8oz icing sugar
1 tspn vanilla essence [a bit of lemon, too, I think]

8″ cake tin.

Mix sunflower oil and caster sugar thoroughly. Add eggs one by one. Add flour, bicarb, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and then the parsnip. Put into cake tin; bake at moderate oven for c.45-50 mins.  [Our oven temperature gauge has Hot or Very Hot.  This was at the top end of Hot.  About 180 or so.] (Do skewer test to see if cooked.) Turn onto wire rack. When cool, cut cake into 2 layers.

Whizz cream cheese and butter till smooth. Add icing sugar and vanilla essence and whizz till no lumps of sugar. (Can all be done by hand, if you’re feeling fit, but add icing sugar gradually, and then the vanilla.) Fill and ice the cake.

Better made a couple of days in advance.”  [But you’ll have to hide it.]

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