Working with What’s in Season…

Parsnip & Grapefruit Cake (3)

Parsnip Cake with Grapefruit Marmalade & Mascarpone Filling

I was keen after the indulgences of the Festive Season (seems ages ago now!)  to not only give you all a recipe with some fruit and veg element but also a recipe that included seasonal ingredients.  One of the loveliest cakes I’ve tasted is a parsnip cake that one of my best friends whips up to a treat.  Well, I’ve created my own version of it here, I don’t know about you but I don’t like my cakes too sweet – believe it or not I don’t have a very sweet tooth! So, for this recipe I’ve introduced the grapefruit element to give it some zing, it’ll get your taste buds tingling!  As with carrot cake (and other cakes with vegetables) it’s a beautifully moist, dense cake and the mascarpone filling makes it quite indulgent – this could be a bit of a “love or hate” cake but please give it a go yourself see what you think!

For the cake:-

250gms Self Raising Flour

1tsp Ground Cinnamon

1tsp Ground Nutmeg

2tsp Baking Powder

175gms Unsalted Butter

250gms Demerara Sugar

3 x eggs

1tsp Vanilla Essence

250gms Parsnip, peeled and grated

1 x eating apple, peeled, cored and grated

Zest of 1 x Grapefruit

Juice of ½ x Grapefruit

For the Grapefruit Sugar Syrup

Juice of 1/2 x Grapefruit

100gms Soft Light Brown Sugar

For the Filling & Topping

250gms Mascarpone Cheese

2 (scant) tsps Grapefruit Marmalade

4tsps Icing Sugar

Zest of 1 x Grapefruit


Heat the oven to 170º fan (180ºgas) .  Grease and line two 8” (20cm) sandwich cake tins with baking parchment.  Sieve the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder together in to a large bowl.  Melt the butter and Demerara sugar together until smooth, then leave to cool slightly before adding the three eggs and vanilla essence.  When the wet mix is fully blended stir it in to the flour mix until smooth.  Add the grated parsnip, apple and grapefruit zest.  Finally add the juice of ½ a grapefruit to produce quite a wet batter.  Pour evenly in to the two tins and bake for approx 25 – 30 mins.

While the cake is baking make your sugar syrup, filling and topping.  Grate the zest of one grapefruit in to the cream cheese and add the grapefruit marmalade and icing sugar.  Stir gently until mixed, but do not over stir or the cheese will become too runny.  To make the sugar syrup, juice the remaining half a grapefruit and add to the 100gms of light soft brown sugar, keep stirring periodically whilst the cake is baking so that all the sugar is dissolved.

When the cake is cooked (it should spring back when pressed lightly, or check that when skewered the skewer comes out clean, no sticky bits) place on a cooling rack and pierce immediately all over, then brush just over half of the sugar syrup over the sponges whilst they are hot.  Leave to cool.

Parsnip & Grapefruit Cake

When the sponges are cool place one on your serving plate, brush over some more of the sugar syrup the fill with half of the mascarpone filling.  Place the other sponge on top (it won’t need more sugar syrup, don’t worry if you have a bit left) then cover with the remaining mascarpone icing.

Parsnip & Grapefruit Cake (3)

Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Parsnip & Grapefruit Cake (2)

This cake is best stored in a cool place due to the cheese frosting – if it lasts long enough to store!  Enjoy. Liz x

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