There are often all sorts of problems encountered when baking in someone else's kitchen. Now I don't mean to sound ungrateful because I'm just glad I can borrow my mum's kitchen but as she's not a baker I find that she doesn't have many of the tools that I have and love. It's been fine making savoury items for the most part (and I did bring my Kitchenaid with me, I'm not crazy to think I'd be able to do without it) but baking is another matter. This cake was one that was relatively easy to do but I was lacking one of my favourite items, my Microplane coarse grater and this cake has a lot of grating involved so there was a fair bit of cursing and elbow work involved.
I loved the idea of a Kitchen Garden cake as I am aiming to grow my own kitchen garden (albeit an apartment living version and I am rather handicapped with a Black Thumb) . Please don't let the idea of parsnip or potato in a cake put you off. Imagine how hard the person that invented carrot cake would have had to have sold the idea and look at how popular it is now. With the heady fragrance of orange zest and cinnamon, you don't even taste the parsnip although the coarse grating allows for little moist bursts of flavours. It also smells heavenly coming out of the oven and is amazingly as light as a feather. Sure it's not the prettiest cake, it doesn't even have any icing to speak of so a light dusting of sifted icing sugar was what it needed so that it didn't look so "naked".
This recipe is one of those fantastic Historical recipes from the National Trust in the U.K. and hails from the West Midlands and is based on archive menus adapted to the present day and palate. The best thing about it is that it keeps beautifully moist for days without losing any moistness at all. Call it the new generation Carrot Cake...from an older Generation of course.
So tell me Dear Reader, which generation are you from? Generation X, Y or Baby Boomer? And are you typical of your generation?
Kitchen Garden Cake
180g/6ozs softened butter
180g/6ozs caster sugar
220g plain all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
120g coarsely grated parsnip
120g coarsely grated carrot (about 1.5 medium carrots)
120g coarsely grated potato (about 1 large potato)
120 coarsely grated eating apple (about 1 large apple and just eat the rest around the core)
Zest and juice 1 orange
100grams/3.5ozs low fat ricotta
Fruit and vegetable required-healthy no?
Step 1 - Heat the oven to Gas Mark4/180C/350F. Grease and line a 23cms springform tin.
Step 2 - Cream together the butter and sugar and beat in the eggs.
Step 3 - Sieve together the flour and cinnamon and fold into the cake mixture along with the carrot, parsnip, potato and apple. Stir in the orange zest, ricotta and juice.
Step 4 - Turn into the prepared cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Step 5 - Turn on to a wire rack to cool. Drizzle with an orange water icing.
Adapted from the National Trust U.K.