Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Baking with Parsnips

Ah yes, Simple joy of a warm sweet bread on a -2 degree day. This sweet bread incorporates grated parsnips, carrots, and beets! Celebrate winter's frigid bounty this week with Cake!

Winter's Bounty Breakfast Cake

Butter for greasing
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) white sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about 4 1/2 ounces) brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
2/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dry)
1 1/2 cups (about 7 ounces) cake flour
1 1/2 cups (about 7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup peeled, grated raw beets (about two small beets)
1 cup peeled, grated carrots (about one large carrot)
1/2 cup peeled, grated parsnip (about one small parsnip)
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped lightly
Set oven rack to middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously grease two 5- by 9-inch loaf pans and set aside.
In a small frying pan, heat walnuts over medium heat to toast, agitating every few seconds. Once the walnuts turn fragrant and change to a deeper shade of brown, remove them from the heat. Allow to cool completely.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. Whisk until well mixed, then add in sour cream and whisk until uniform consistency. Beat in baking soda, salt, and rosemary, mixing well.
Using a large spoon, stir in cake flour until no white powdery bits are visible. Follow with the all purpose flour, stirring just until there is no more visible flour. Use a rubber spatula to fold in shredded beet, carrot, and parsnip, followed by dried cranberries, followed by the walnuts. Stir just until combined.
Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans and bake until top splits slightly and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pans half way through baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a cooling rack and let sit until fully cooled. Serve with salted butter.


Parsnip Muffins

1 -ounce sliced almonds
Nonstick spray
8 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 whole eggs
3/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 ounces sugar
10 ounces grated parsnips
Place the almonds in a single layer in a pie pan and place in oven. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the nuts until lightly toasted, approximately 20 minutes while the oven heats. Meanwhile, spray a standard 12-cup muffin tin with the nonstick spray and set aside.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and process for 5 seconds.
Whisk the eggs, yogurt, vegetable oil, and sugar in a large mixing bowl until combined. Add the flour mixture and parsnips, and fold with a spatula until all of the flour is moistened, there will be some lumps. Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin cups using a level 2 1/2-ounce dish or 1/3 cup measure. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with the toasted almonds. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the muffins reach an internal temperature of 210 degrees F and are golden brown, rotating halfway through baking. If needed, use a small knife or offset spatula to loosen the muffins and immediately remove them from the tin to a cooling rack, and cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm. Store completely cooled muffins in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


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