I’m rooting for the fen parsnip

Lee Bye, Head Chef at Tuddenham Mills
Lee Bye, Head Chef at Tuddenham Mills

Fi, of Moo Moo cakes, is on fire here in Suffolk, baking her way with style and personality across the county much to all of our delights.

The Suffolk root cake all the chefs tore into late after service. The younger chefs simply intrigued and the older one’s tranced with the depth and diversity of what they were scranning into their empty tanks, a masterpiece.

Root cakes have been baked as far back as the Medieval times and with the ‘bake off’ waves that have crashed our televisions and our book shops have managed to create this infectious desire for us all to get the oven gloves back on....The rise of independent, social and ingredient led cafés are a huge hit and will continue to be going forward for a county of food lovers and producers. It seems the greasy spoon may have to take back seat for a little while is my gut feeling...

Back at the Mill we have introduced our own root cake. Parsnips baked in their jackets speared with cloves for around 2 hours in a low oven. Squeeze the caramelized earth out of the skins and you have rocket fuel that will give any carrot cake a run for its money. A slightly muddy sweetness tone bound with Muscovado sugar and olive oil you have all the ingredients for a really special cake. Top that with a parsnip toffee and some buttermilk cream you really do have indulgence.

FENLAND PARSNIP CAKE

Ingredients: 150g light Muscovado sugar

150g olive oil

150g SR flour

3 x eggs

3x large parsnips (150g cooked parsnip pulp) -save some for the toffee

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Method: Mix all ingredients slowly with a paddle attachment or large whisk. Fill a lined, small baking dish and bake for 40 minutes at 150’c. Leave to stand for an hour before tucking in.

PARSNIP TOFFEE

Ingredients: 100g double cream

100g caster sugar

100g cooked parsnip pulp

Method: Slowly caramelize the sugar in heavy bottomed pan. Slowly bring the cream to the boil in a separate pan and then take off the heat. Slowly add the cream to the sugar once the sugar is a golden colour. When blitzing add the cooked pulp to the toffee and finish by passing through a fine sieve.

Pour over the cake while warm and serve with a good lashing of buttermilk.

Sticky parsnip pudding straight off the fens....

Heaven!

-- Lee Bye is head chef at Tuddenham Mill. Follow hm on Twitter: @leebyechef