Monday, 15 April 2013


Sorry for the delay in posting results of last weeks mystery ingredient cake. I have been a bit pre-occupied with a magical jar. More of that later.

The secret ingredient, which none of my tasters identified, was the humble parsnip.The recipe struck me as unusual and I do love baking something I've never tried before. Grating a parsnip can hardly count as ground breaking I know, but one small step for me...

And the comments:

"Rib sticking - mmm"
"Lovely fruit and nut combination, a little heavy"
"Very nice, moist, full of flavour yum"
"Best ever, love pecans"
"Soo good combination with apple in base - well done :-)"
"Jolly fab"
"A little stodgy - cinammon flavour"
"Lovely, citrusy and pecon or walnut"
"A bit too christmassy"

A mixed bag, I'd say. Shame really as I hoping it would wow them, if only to convince me once and for all that vegetables belong in cake. I know, I know, I should get my head round it once and for all, but I don't think it will ever seem right. I'm sure there is no irony in the fact I get sniffy at parsnips and carrots yet will slap bacon on a cake with barely a second thought. Anyway, it's certainly no match for for that Cappuccino cake.

Speaking of which, I think the Cappuccino cake just got a little bit better. My lovely friend (and Putney Bake Club co-organiser) Steph (@riversidebaking) invited me over for dinner recently and dangled a jar of this heavenly stuff in front of me:

The moment I first tasted it is a moment that will stay with me forever. I've always loved the biscuits but mashed up into a spread is just the work of genius. Steph recently warned of the dangers of eating this straight out of the jar whilst you unpack the shopping. It was no idle warning, believe me.

So arriving at the jams and condiments section of Waitrose with an almost cartoon screech of brakes, I got myself a jar of the crunchy version. If you do nothing else this week, buy a jar. And if you have a cake to make for someone (it was Steph's birthday recently and she made it known she loves coffee cake), make it the Cappuccino one and mix some of the crunchy spread into the coffee mascarpone. I only got to lick some off the spatula so can only imagine the cake heaven you must be in when combined with the sponge.

Steph liked the cake....

5/5 for taste, the depth of flavour is amazing and it's so deliciously moist! David gives 5/5 too :)

As I thank Steph now for this life-changing introduction, so you will thank me.

I am going to commemorate and celebrate my first purchase of this crunchy ambrosia with the aid of a bit of glam rock and an aptly named band:

I just realised the childhood crush I had on Steve Priest (the one with the huge collar) has finally gone. Growth.


Recipe Junkie said...

Parsnip, eh, who'd have thought it? Have you come across Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache by Harry Eastwood - loads of top cakes with veg in (although a bit twee)

Sarah Barnes said...

I know how you love your parsnips RJ, and I do too. Have to get over this aversion I know, and that books looks lovely. It's now on my list. Five mins earlier and I would have ordered it but ordered Breakfast for Dinner today on the strength of the bacon jam recipe!

Tracey Bradley said...

I've made cakes with various veg, but never parsnip - like the sound of it, but not quite as much as I like the sound of the cappuccino cake! Glorious! Feel I need to try it - with the magic ingredient, if I can find it around here!

Sarah Barnes said...

Hi Tracey, thanks for reading. I'm sure the parsnip cake was very nice but man alive, that cappuccino cake is a keeper! And if you can get the biscuit spread.... well it's no bold claim to say its a life changer! Amazon may well have it, its also known as Biscoff.

The View From The Table said...

I just processed RJ's comment as Clint Eastwood, I'm tired but I would like to read a cookbook written by Dirty Harry.. Anyway. Parsnip cake. Well, I've had it before and it was nice but you know.. However, this bad boy in a jar looks worth a trip to the 'trose... Love your comedy brake analogy, can see the plaster on the hallowed floor all schooched up now! x

Sarah Barnes said...

I'd like to read that book too! Can imagine Clint knocking up a cake with his inscrutable look and baking poncho. I admit, I'm responsible for the skid marks in Aisle 6, Waitrose, East Sheen. That doesn't sound right does it Table? x

Kat Buckley said...

Maybe a parsnip and honey cake would be good? I do find vegetables odd in cakes too. Especially courgette, I really don't like idea of that. I think that stuff in a jar is also called speculoos, I have seen a few other bloggers mention it too, I need to try this magical spread!

Sarah Barnes said...

I had to fess up to @riversidebaking the other day that I don't like honey. Don't judge me! I just think cake should be made of cakey things and not veggie things :) Yep its also called Speculoos. You really want to get yourself a jar Kat. It is wondrous stuff! Hope you had a good hols x

Carole said...

Carole's Chatter is collecting links using parsnip and/or pumpkin today. This is a nice one. I do hope you pop over and link in. This is the link . Cheers

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