Its Sunday night. The kids still need a bath, I need a bath , laundry needs sorting, dog needs walking, I’m missing the Oscars and I promised to have this recipe up on the blog for Friday. Life is busy…but good.
I would have to say I gave up many things since having children. I’m not complaining. Just observing. The last time I went to see a grown up movie was…I actually cant remember. The last time I went to see a kids movie…last week.
I love movies. Good movies. I remember as a teen I’d spend entire summers watching at least 1 movie a day whether in the theatre or a rental at home. Most of the time I’d go by myself. Being alone allowed me to laugh, cry and/or analyze without interruption or judgement.
The very first movie I remember watching by myself was when I was 12 years old (1988). Empire of the Sun starring the young John Malkovich and the even younger Christian Bale. It left an incredible impression on me on many fronts. It was about loss of innocence, friendship, betrayal and surviving on your own as an adolescent during war. I remember I even had an Empire of the Sun scrap book with newspaper and magazine clippings of Christian Bale and John Malkovich. I obsessed over Malkovich’s character Basie who was this charismatic, opportunistic and astute surviver. I admired him so much I even named my cat Basie. At this point, my sisters felt I went a bit overboard and nick named me “stalker” which I still haven’t been able to shake off.
Of course there are a slew of other wonderful movies that have left impressions on me. Chinatown, Hannah and Her Sisters, Muriel’s Wedding, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Raise the Red Lantern, Deer Hunter… I can write pages and pages about my favourite films.
But you’re not here to read about movies. So without delay, the parsnip and blueberry cake with the mascarpone maple icing.
PARSNIP AND BLUEBERRY CAKE WITH A MASCARPONE MAPLE ICING
This cake similar to carrot cake but milder. The Italian cream cheese makes for a lighter feel and a refined taste. The parsnips subtle earthy flavour paired with the sweet yet tart flavour of the blueberry truly makes this baked good an underdog of cakes.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE:
2 1/2 Cups (325 g) AP Flour
+2 tablespoons of AP flour (for tossing the blueberries)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon all spice
1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter room temperature
1 cup (200 g) brown sugar
1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
4 eggs room temperature
300 grams fresh parsnips grated (I used about 2 large parsnips, peeled and removed the fibrous stalk in middle)
170 grams of fresh blue berries (1 small pack)
INGREDIENTS FOR THE ICING: (naked cake finish- double the measurements for the icing only to cover entire cake)
475 grams mascarpone (1 large container)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (35%)
1/3 cup 100% maple syrup
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CAKE:
Place rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 375F
Take three 6 inch cake pans or two 9 inch cake pans, grease or spray and line bottoms with parchment paper
Peel parsnips and removed the fibrous stalk in middle, grate on box grater and set aside
In large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice. Mix well and set aside
Put the room temperature butter in bowl and microwave on defrost for about 45 seconds. This should melt the butter without heating it. If the butter has warmed up too much, pop in fridge. You want the butter to be a liquid and cool. Set aside
Take blueberries and toss with the 2 tablespoons of flour and set aside. Doing this avoids that the blueberries sink to the bottom of the cake
With a paddle attachment, mix the sugar until all the lumps loosen up, then add the eggs, one at a time. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl every so often.
Then add liquid butter slowly. mix until well incorporated
Mix in the 1/4 cup maple syrup
Fold in the blueberries and parsnips
With a spatula, stir in about a third of the flour/spice dry mix into the wet. Fold into mixture, then add another third of flour mix etc until everything has been combined
Distribute the cake batter evenly between the cake pans
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tooth pic comes out clean when pieced in middle of cakes
Allow to cool in pans for about 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ICING: (measurements below are enough for a crumb finish only/naked cake, to have enough to ice whole cake, please double the quantity below)
Whip the mascarpone for about a minute
Add maple syrup and whip for another half minute or so
Add the heavy cream and whip until consistency is smooth
If the icing is too runny, pop in fridge for 15 minutes and try whipping it again, or you can add a bit of icing sugar for a quicker fix.
ASSEMBLING THE CAKE:
Place your first layer down, apply about a 1/4 inch layer of icing
Put the next cake layer and continue until the cake has been covered with the icing