Parsnip, Hazelnut and Stem Ginger Loaf Cake

Every week, me and my friend/colleague are tasked with coming up with three different desserts to put onto the Du Jour menu at work. This is by far, the best part of my job. It’s something I’ve had to earn; no more monotonous cookie dough rolling, cutting and baking for me! My role is so much more creative now; my imagination is let loose like an artist on a blank untouched canvas. The kitchen is my playground.

Yes, at times its stressful and draining having to constantly be conjuring up diverse ideas whilst trying to choose dishes that motivate and inspire me. I don’t want to just keep repeating the same ideas with different flavours. I need to choose things that aren’t only appealing and delicious for the customer, but also choose tasks that enable me to learn new techniques.

Last week, my friend and I decided to put carrot cake on the menu – fruity carrot cake with creme fraiche, crisp sweet carrot chips, coconut sorbet and caramelised roasted pineapple. Bright, bouncy dishes are back in along with breezy spring evenings.

While discussing this specific dish, my friend told me she’d recently made a parsnip loaf. As soon as she said ‘parsnip’ and ‘cake’; I was instantly intrigued. I had made carrot, courgette and even beetroot cake; but parsnip had never landed in my mixing bowl.

As soon as my days off came around, I was in the supermarket spying out my parsnips.

Don’t think that this parsnip cake is going to be anything like carrot cake. It’s not. Carrot cake has a fruity sweetness that emits from the vegetable whereas parsnips, though still sweet, are slightly more savoury. This is what has made this cake so great to me.

A slice of this loaf cake is versatile in both texture and flavour. The soft moist crumb is occasionally interrupted by crunchy roasted hazelnuts and luscious cream cheese. The crumb isn’t obviously sweet, however the topping and little hidden morsels of stem ginger make up for this.

An easy, quick cake that you cake whip up in an hour when unexpected guests arrive, or just for a mid-week treat to get you through to the weekend.IMG_0965 IMG_0990 IMG_1024IMG_1012

Continue reading “Parsnip, Hazelnut and Stem Ginger Loaf Cake”

Happy New Year: Banana, Walnut and Gianduja Cake

Proud slice of banana cakeWhat better way to start the new year than with a beautiful piece of Banana Cake and a cup of freshly brewed coffee?

This recipe really reminds me of when I first started training to be a Pastry Chef. My days were filled with making trays of brownie and cutting shortbread like a robot. One of my favourite things to make was this Banana Cake. It was formed into loaf tins and adorned with a sprinkling of Walnut Crumble. The sweet scent of Bananas always wafted through the kitchen after they were taken out of the oven. I usually had to cut these loaves into slices to be displayed under a large glass dome, but always managed to sneak myself the end slice (inevitably drier, but still tasty.) Continue reading “Happy New Year: Banana, Walnut and Gianduja Cake”