Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Parsnip Cake and a review

I watched a demonstration by Mich Turner at a cake show years ago and was really impressed. Jacqui Small offered me a review copy of Mich Turner's Cake School and I can tell you now that I will be referring to this book frequently from now on. First impressions are that it's a substantial book. It's a large hardback with 272 pages including index. It has stunning colour photography by Amanda Heywood. I love a recipe with photos and this definitely delivers on that count.

Mich's introduction explains that this book is more than just about recipes, it's to help you understand the stages of baking, what is important, what to do, what not to do and offers lots of practical hints and tips. It has a nice large, easy to read font accompanied by pictorials.

The chapters are divided into

  • Lesson 1 : Making & Baking Cakes - ingredients, preparation, cake-baking methods
  • Lesson 2: Putting it All Together - fillings & frostings, covering & assembly
  • Lesson 3 : Decorating - hand piping, hand moulding, hand painting
  • Cake Templates
  • Tools
  • Index
Below is an example page of her monochrome lace tutorial with pictorial step by step guide and hand tips from Mich. 

She also has a tutorial on hand-moulding teddy bears. The bear looks really realistic!

There are a few recipes in the book for cakes, brownies and muffins. I chose to make her parsnip cake as I've tried it once before and it was delicious.  As Mich says, the cake is wonderfully moist, sweet and succelent. She's added in apples, walnuts and maple syrup all of which work well with the parsnips. Everyone was really impressed with the cake and could not tell that there were parsnips in the cake.

My verdict - This is really good book to have on your shelf whether you are a beginner or an advanced baker. It's full of practical tips and the book is beautifully laid out with plenty of colour photographs illustrating methods and recipes. It's very easy to read and the instructions are clear and simple. I would have happily bought this book for myself and will definitely make a great gift either for yourself or for someone else.

If you are interested in a copy, Jacqui Small are offering a discount to my readers.
To order Mich Turner's Cake School at the discounted price of £24.00 including p&p* (RRP: £30.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG212.
*UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

 melt butter, sugar and maple syrup

 grated parsnip, apple and orange zest

 adding the grated parsnip, apple and orange zest

 adding in the walnuts

 Place one cake on a serving tray then smooth frosting on top 

 place the second cake on top and cover with the remaining frosting

 drizzle with maple syrup before serving 

 who wants a slice? 

Recipe extracted from Mich Turner's Cake School by Mich Turner, published by Jacqui Small www.jacquismallpub.com - reproduced with permission

Makes a 20cm (8inch) round cake
For the cake
175g unsalted butter
250g demerara sugar
100ml maple syrup
3 large eggs
250g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons mixed spie
150g parsnips, peeled and grated
1 medium apple, peeled and grated 
grated zest of 1 small orange, plus 2 tablespoons juie
50g walnuts, roughly chopped

For the mascarpone and maple syrup frosting
250g mascarpone
3 tablespoons maple syrup, plus extra to drizzle

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
  • Grease and line two 20cm (8inch) sandwich tins with non-stick baking parchment. 
  • Melt the butter, sugar and maple syrup together in a saucepan over a gentle heat until dissolved and smooth. 
  • Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
  • Whick the eggs into the mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and mixed spice.
  • Stir this into the cake batter until smooth. 
  • Add the grated parsnips, apple, orange zest and juice and the walnuts and stir until well combined,
  • Divide the cake mixture between the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and the tops spring back when pressed lightly. 
  • Transfer the tins to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes in the tins before turning out and leaving to cool completely.
  • To make the frosting; just before serving, stir the maple syrup into the mascarpone.
  • Place one cake on a serving plate.
  • Spread half the mascarpone frosting over the base cake and place the other cake on top.
  • Spread the remaining frosting on top of the cake and drizzle with maple syrup as the cake is served.
  • Storage: Keeps for 3 days in an airtight container - preferably in the fridge.
  • Variation: Substitute half the parsnip with grated carrot. 
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Mich Turner's Cake School for review purposes. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own. This is not a sponsored post. 


  1. that kind of detailed cake decorating is beyond me... even with a tutorial I am stumped... your cake looks wonderful. I do adore a vegetable cake!

    1. I feel the same way about cake decorating but this book gives me hope!

  2. I'm thinking about making a parsnip cake soon too. And it was really useful to read a Mich Turner review because I've been wondering about one of her books. Although, now that's one more to consider when I finally treat myself to a new book!

    1. I really liked her book mainly the cake deocrating tutorials which is what I need more practice with.Can't wait to see your parsnip cake.

  3. That looks like a very parsnippy cake. Bet it tastes sweet and delicious!

    1. It was naturally sweet from the parsnipsand very tasty indeed!

  4. Hi Ros, just stopped by to let you know you've been featured today over at Carole's Chatter. Cheers

  5. I might have to try this, I've got a whole load of parsnips I need to use up- I needed one for a recipe and was ordering from Ocado but they don't let you order loose veg so I ended up with a whole bag I didn't need!

    1. Definitely give it a try as it's a really tasty cake.


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