Nothing fancy here, unless you think that a cooked meringue frosting and candied orange and lemon peel embellishment makes for a fancy cake. This carrot and parsnip cake had butter instead of the more traditional oil component to the batter, brown sugar instead of white sugar, and golden raisins added with the grated carrots and parsnips. There are no nuts, no pineapple, no added falderal.
It's a tall cake, made in an 8-inch spring form and slipped to a pretty cake plate shortly after coming from the oven. I cooled it and then slipped it under the cake dome overnight to let the residual warmth in the cake create a moist environment to soften the crumb crust at the outer edges and top.
This morning, I made the orange flavored meringue frosting while I brewed my coffee. Dessert this evening with be a treat! I'm also taking a good-sized wedge to a friend this afternoon. She has had major foot surgery and is in need of friends doing some cooking for her. So ... a nice Chicken Caesar Salad, some flatbreads and baba ghanoush, and this cake for dessert ... a strange, but yummy trio of eats is headed Leah's way. Have food, will travel.
Here's the cake recipe ... if you are so inspired.
Frosted Carrot and Parsnip Cake
a recipe from complete comfort food
1 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 c. butter
1 c. light brown sugar
4 large eggs plus 2 egg whites
1 2/3 c. grated carrot and parsnip (1 large carrot and 2 medium parsnips, peeled)
1 c. golden sultana raisins
2 c. self-rising flour
1 tsp. baking powder
about 1/4 c. orange juice, divided
1/4 c. granulated white sugar
Making the Cake:
1. Grate the lemon and orange skins into thin strips and combine with 1 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar.
Toss to coat with sugar and spread out on a plate. set aside in a warm dry place to crystallize and dry well.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and butter the sides and bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan. Lay a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and butter it, too. Set aside.
3. Place the butter and brown sugar in a deep mixing bowl and whip until soft and frothy.
4. Add the 4 eggs, one at a time, and beat well between each addition.
5. Add the flour and baking powder and beat to make a thick batter.
6. Turn in the grated carrots, parsnips, raisins and 2 tbsp. of the orange juice. Fold everything together. if the batter seems too thick, you can add more orange juice.
7. Turn the batter into the pan and smooth the top surface. Bake for about 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when the cake is poked.
8. Cool a few minutes in the pan, then release the sides and use the parchment paper to draw the cake onto a pretty cake plate. Let the cake cool most of the way, then cover the cake and set it aside for a few hours (or overnight).
9. To make the frosting, place 1/4 c. sugar in the top of a double boiler pan. Add 2 tbsp. orange juice and stir over simmering water until the sugar is dissolved.
10. Remove the warm sugar solution from the heat. You should be able to put your pinky finger in the solution without burning your finger, very warm, but not so hot as to cook the egg whites.
11. Add the 2 egg whites and whisk to make a frothy meringue. Return the double boiler to the simmering pan and continue whisking briskly until the meringue stiffens and is shiny and holds its shape well when you lift and plop it.
12. Remove from the heat and let it cool, whisking it frequently to hasten things along.
13. Plop the meringue atop the cake and smooth it nicely. Let it cool completely and set up over the course of an hour or so. Then, crumble the dried candied lemon and orange peel over top to embellish the cake.