PARSNIP and TOASTED HAZELNUT CAKE
250g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
250g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp ground mixed spice
175g toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
2 Tbsp milk
250g peeled and finely grated parsnips (weight after preparation)
For the topping:
250g cream cheese or Ricotta
60g unsalted butter, softened
About 250g icing sugar, sifted
60g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 180C
Lightly grease and line using baking paper either a rectangular (28x18cm) or round tin (25cm diameter).
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour with each one. Fold in the remaining flour, plus the spice, nuts, parsnips and milk.
Spoon the mixture into the tin and place in the centre of the oven and bake for 40-50minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the topping, place the cream cheese (or ricotta) and butter in a bowl and beat until soft. Now beat in enough icing sugar to give it a thick and glossy consistency. Spread it over the cake and scatter on the chopped hazelnuts.
We all love a good cake especially one which is moist, nutty and smothered in lushious cream cheese icing. As you know i work closely with the seasons thanks to the growers at the Farmers Market and my love for great tasting food. I am alwasy trying to find as many uses as possible for vegetables. This cake is perfect for this time of year, with sweet delicious parsnips and locally grown hazelnuts it is a Autumnal celerbration! It may even take over from the good old Carrot Cake?