Saturday, 28 December 2013

parsnip, honey and clementine loaf

...i'm not a big fan of this lull period between Christmas and New Year... the way the world works these days it seems that Christmas is over just after you wake up on the big day.  There's nothing I find more depressing that those awful sales adverts... you switch the TV on and they seem to suck the joy out of the room, pulling the tree and all your lovingly placed christmas decorations with it into some kind of twisted vortex of evil consumerism as they scream 'christmas is over' rather loudly into your living room... and this is all before you've even put the turkey in the oven.  This is then followed by six days of mooching... it's not all bad of course, it's a time for us to catch up with friends and family.  Eat good food and drink plenty but there are some morning when I wake up and just want the new year to have started so I can stare clearly at the clouds... no doubt I will regret writing these words as we hurtle full throttle into 2014 but I guess only I can change this...

parsnip, honey and clementine loaf
there's always a bag with three parsnips in it... what's that all about?  I guess parsnips are not the most loved of all vegetables and so we prepare what we think people will eat and then leave some in the bag because we know they're not so popular... and then that bag just sits there in the fridge waiting to be turned into soup... this fruit loaf is very easy to make, uses up what's left in the fridge and the fruit bowl and I think extends that christmas feeling just a little more... also it uses oil instead of butter and it has vegetables in it, so it's healthy... ahem...

for the cake
200g sultanas
the juice and zest of 4 clementines
2 tablespoons honey
3 large free-range eggs
175ml sunflower oil
200g light muscovado sugar
200g self-raising flour
50g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
225g (roughly 3) parsnips - peeled and finely grated

for the icing
2 tablespoons honey
the juice and zest of one clementine

pre-heat the oven to 170C and grease and line 1 x 2 litre loaf tin or as I have done here, 1 x 1 litre loaf tin and two smaller tins

place the sultanas, clementine juice and honey in a small pan and gently heat for five minutes then set aside to cool

put the eggs, flour and sugar in a large bowl and beat until pale and creamy then stir in the rest of the ingredients

pour into your prepared tins and bake for roughly 40 mins or until golden and risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (longer if using a big tin)... it will go very dark at the edges but this is just the honey caramelizing, so don't worry!

you could drizzle an icing over the top of the cake but I don't think it needs it... I simply melted some honey and clementine juice in a small pan and then drizzled over the cooling loaf

eat and of course enjoy!


  1. Hey Mr Bah Humbug, what's going on? These 12 days of Christmas are the best bit. Well, I like it anyway: it's the only time in the whole year we seem to have to mooch about and catch up with friends.

    Your cake sounds fabulous so hopefully you'll have a slice and feel more festive again.

  2. Wow, i've never thought of using parsnips in a sweet bake before, it's also a good way to use up Christmas veggies. Your loaf cake looks super moist, and as always your picture looks great x

  3. There are only 2 ways I like parsnips. 1) baked in cake and 2) in parsnip and peanut butter soup! This looks fab :-) Just realised it is the 28th and I've not done my Random Recipes larder post. Am now at my folks - so later today, I shall have to bare my Mum's larder to the world! (Hopefully in the nick of time before the deadline - late as usual)

  4. Well I would never have thought of using parsnips in a bake. This looks lovely

  5. Roast parsnips are my favourite and I only seem to get them at this time of year but I'm still looking forward to give this very healthy cake a go =)

  6. I'm with you on the post Christmas doldrums. Even as a child I found all those TV adverts for cut price sofas and package holidays thoroughly depressing.
    This cake looks like something that would really cheer me up, it sounds delicious and I feel compelled to bake it immediately !!

  7. The Weight-watchers ads start on Boxing Day, don't they?
    You know, I would rather we had a shorter Christmas holiday and had another Bank Holiday in late October or early November. It's a long time from August Bank Holiday to Christmas.
    P.S. I'm keeping my parsnips for roasting, but I hope you enjoy your cake!

  8. I feel the same way Dom. What does one do in between Christmas and New Year's?! (My ex-roommate loves this lull period though.. "boxing day sales!!" so well, each to his own I guess)

    Love your parsnip loaf. Only very recently tried parsnip in a cake rather than the usual carrot (which I know I love) and it's delicious. Really like the sound of a fresh citrusy version with honey.

    And p.s. happy rest-of-2013 to you! Looking forward to reading more from you in 2014. x

  9. Your cake looks wonderful. A great idea. I've only watched a couple of things on replay, so I have avoided all that and stayed in a busy little cocoon.

  10. Yes, yes, fruit and veg in a cake means it's defintiely healthy. Totally agree with you about how TV especially sucks the joy out of - actually - EVERYTHING. I really hate it. I find I end up listening to Radio 4 without even thinking about it, and I'm sure it's to avoid all that.

  11. Delightful use of seasonal ingredients. I always need the extra days to recover from the run up to the festivities. Only just beginning to relax now.

  12. This sounds an excellent way to rescue the poor parsnips from vegetable oblivion. I love the idea of this loaf. I must admit, though, that I really like this time in between. Maybe I'm just one of nature's moochers.


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