Thursday, January 25, 2007

Parsnip Cake

Tender, moist, sweet and delicious!

You've heard of carrot cake, but have you ever thought of trying parsnip cake? It has a sweeter, milder flavor than carrot cake. The parsnip, spices and brown sugar give it a special, almost caramel-like taste. If you don't tell your kids, they'll never guess they're eating their vegetables.

My family dislikes parsnips, so I'm always trying to find ways to disguise them. I baked this cake for company tomorrow. What started out as "just a taste" tonight turned out to be the family devouring half the cake before we enforced a limit.

This cake creates a bit of a crispy crust on top and is good without frosting. If you can tolerate dairy products, some lightly sweetened whipped cream would probably complement the flavors nicely.

If desired it can be eaten warm, straight from the oven.

Parsnip Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix together and set aside, stirring occasionally:
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1 cup boiling water

Oil a 9 x 13-ish cake pan and lightly dust with flour.

Blend together:
2 and 1/2 cups whole grain flour
2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder (I used Featherweight, or see baking powder substitutes here)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh ginger (I put mine through a garlic press instead of dicing it. If you don't have fresh ginger, try 1/4 teaspoon of powdered ginger.)

In a separate container, cream together
1 cup oil (I used rice bran oil)
1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar (C & H is pure cane sugar, free of corn)

Add to sugar mixture and blend well:
1/2 cup water
Flax seed mixture

To dry ingredients, add liquid ingredients and
3 cups grated parsnip

Mix it all together, pour into the pan and smooth batter flat. Bake at 350 until toothpick comes out clean, approximately 45 minutes.

For the flour, I used 1 and 1/2 cups King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat and 1 cup White Whole Wheat flour; if using gluten-free flour with low binding properties, try 2 cups of a flour such as brown rice or amaranth flour, and 1/2 cup tapioca or sweet rice flour.

If you use a liquid sweetener, you may need to leave out the 1/2 cup of water.

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