Baking sweet cakes using root veg isn't as strange as you would think. We all know and love carrot cake, don't we? The root is where the root veg plants keep their energy, saving it up for a rainy day, so that is where al the sugar is. Did you know most of the sugar we know, and use is extracted from sugar beets? They look a bit like celeriac, sugar beets.
Anyway, I'm not using sugar beets in the cakes I've baked for this project (although I'm using sugar so when you come to think of it I do use sugar beets, as we all do when we bake or eat something sweet).
I'm using beetroot combined with chocolate in a gorgeous cake, the earthy sweet flavour of beetroot is fantastic in a dark chocolate cake. And of course, there is carrot cake, there must be. With heritage carrots, giving the cake nice speckles, pecans, and a proper cream cheese frosting. Pumpkin of course is not a root veg but the fruit of the pumpkin plant. Pumpkin is fantastic to use in sweet dishes as well as savoury ones, in America they do use pumpkin quite a lot in pies and cakes. I've made my cake in a bundt pan adding both walnuts and hazelnuts. It makes a fantastic kind of sweet bread like cake, nice to eat with a thick layer of butter and a hot cup of tea. And then there is parsnip. Parsnip is around much longer than for example potatoes are. Before potatoes were introduced to Europe in the 16th century by the Spanish from the Americas, parsnip was eaten quite a lot. Later replaced by potatoes it got forgotten about, only in recent years parsnip has made its comeback. Anyway, dark parsnip & walnut cake is a nice twist on original carrot cake you should give a try. And finally, there is celeriac and apple cake. Celeriac and apple is actually quite a traditional combination, in a soup or served with pork. I've used my celeriac and apple in a cake with an indulgent butterscotch sauce and clotted cream at the side.