Sunday, November 18, 2012

Maple Parsnip Pecan Apple Syrup Maple Syrup Cake with Toffee icing also now known as Harvest Cake - phew!!

This is a simple but time consuming cake - a lot like a light, moist carrot cake but more gingery and just GOOD!!! - doesn't take any particular baking skills but there's a lot of components so please do read through the recipe before you start to see what you need to do and when and whether you think the effort is worth it - the original cake HERE (from Tasting Table - recipe by Michel Richard) didn't have any toffee sauce, apple cider syrup or buttercream so you could do that if you want to keep it much simpler :)
This cake improves with time so you may want to make the day before Thankies!!

First make the Apple Cider Syrup and allow to cool completely before use:
APPLE CIDER SYRUP - make lots of this it is really good on pretty much ANYTHING!

If you use 16fl ounces of apple cider (that would be juice in England not alcoholic cider) all you have to do is gently boil it down until there is only 6fl ounces left - that's it! When it cools it will go syrupy - if it doesn't, depending on the water content of your juice, then just simmer it a bit more.
 Allow to cool.
Now make the Sticky Toffee Apple Sauce:

2 1/2oz brown sugar
 1 1/2 oz butter
2 tablespoons cream or half and half
6 tablespoons apple cider syrup

1. Heat sugar, cream and butter together in a small pan until sugar has dissolved and allow to bubble for a minute or so.
2. Add the apple cider syrup and stir and bubble for a minute or two again - keep warm but not hot.
The original recipe uses just almond meal - I chose to go half almond, half pecan so to make 2 cups/7ozs nut meal:
 3 1/2oz pecans and 3/12 oz almonds - toast in a 350f oven for about 10 minutes until the smell is divine and the nuts are toasted but not burnt - be careful not to burn them so do keep an eye out and check every couple of minutes.
Allow to cool COMPLETELY - if they are not completely cold they will get oily when you grind them.
Take some of the flour from the recipe below and put some nuts and flour in a coffee grinder and grind 'til fine - do not overgrind as the nuts will get oily and that's not good for the recipe OR just buy ground almonds/meal from the shops and stop mucking about with nuts!! 
OKEE DOKKEE here we go - have all your ingredients at room temperature and set the oven to 350F. Please try to weigh your ingredients as it is so much more reliable for the recipe to work.

  2 cups/7ozs almond meal or very finely ground almonds or half and half finely ground almonds and pecans

¾ cup/2 1/2 ozs white all purpose/plain flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon - I don't really like cinnamon so I substituted freshly ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup/4 fl ozs pure maple syrup OR 1/2 cup/2 fl ozs maple syrup and 1/2 cup/2 fl ozs apple cider syrup
2ozs toasted whole pecans for decoration
A thing of beauty maple syrup and apple cider syrup together...ahhhh
 8 tablespoons (1 stick)/4ozs unsalted butter, melted - I always use salted myself

2 large eggs whisked

4 teaspoons freshly grated ginger - here's how you peel ginger - with the tip of a spoon - 
2 medium parsnips weighing a total of 4ozs - maybe 5 before you've peeled them - peeled and grated (about 2 cups)

1. Preheat the oven to 350° and position a rack in the center.
2. Butter the bottom of a 9-inch-round cake pan (I made half the recipe and used a 6" pan as I was testing the cake and there's only two of us but now having eaten the cake I would go for the full size cake as the small one was actually a bit small even for just 2 of us - for Thankies if you want a good sized cake for say 6 people I would actually double this recipe and make a layer cake with more buttercream - always more buttercream!!) and line it with a round of parchment paper. Butter and flour the parchment paper and sides of the pan. (As you can see I stupidly didn't do this parchment part and it would have been easier to extricate the cake if I had!!)
3. In a large mixing bowl whisk the almond/pecan meal with the flour, baking soda, cinnamon or nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl combine the maple syrup, apple cider syrup, melted butter and whisked eggs.
5. Beat at medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute.
6. Stir in the dry ingredients a cup at a time, mixing between each addition until just combined.
7. Finally stir in the ginger and parsnips.
 8. Pour the (very wet) batter into the prepared pan.
 9. Bake for between 40 to 55 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake is shrinking away from the sides of the pan:

 Transfer to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes before unmolding. Let cool to room temperature and either keep it plain like this OR let's gild that lily!!!
As you can see this is not a high rising cake - so more is better - in future I would make two small cakes like this and sandwich with the almond buttercream.

Whilst the cake is cooling make the buttercream:

8ozs/2 sticks room temperature butter (yup - I use salted but I know many people use sweet - here the salt really works with the other flavours)
Bag o' icing/confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider syrup
1 teaspoon almond essence/extract

Cream butter 'til light and fluffy - slowly add sugar and liquid flavours and beat between additions until you get the taste you like - if the texture goes wonky because of the liquids add more sugar and beat beat beat it should come back together.

Now pipe the buttercream as you wish - I do a circle on the top which forms a wall for the apple toffee sauce - and place the toasted pecans as you wish - every other piped rosette is the way I go - now admire your work and IF YOU CAN STAND IT wait til the next day to eat it - it improves with flavour overnight!!!! - otherwise get the kettle on and eat the whole thing NOWWW!!!!

Happy Baking, let me know if you make it and please post your pics of PARSNIPPY goodness on my Facebook page HERE!!!

I just entered this recipe into the

Extra Veg Blog Challenge


 and also this Tea Time Treats Round up at The Hedgecombers and Lavender and Lovage

Enjoy this story from our archive, originally sent to TT members on .

Carrot's Cousin An easy cake that screams autumn Chef Michel Richard is righ Maple-Parsnip Cake Recipe adapted from Sweet Magic: Easy Recipes for Delectable Desserts, by Michel Richard (Harper Collins) Yield: One 9-inch cake INGREDIENTS 2 cups almond meal or very finely ground almonds ¾ cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon salt 1 cup pure maple syrup 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted 2 large eggs 3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger 6 medium parsnips, peeled and grated (about 2 cups) ½ cup toasted pecans DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 350° and position a rack 4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and scatter the pecans over the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted

 in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 55 minutes. 

Transfer to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes before unmolding. Let cool to room temperature, slice and serve.

Read more:
Tea Time Treats

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