...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
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!