A slice of Parsnip and Violet cake can only make you smile; and because I am feeling rather generous, I'd be happy to share some of this with you all, so if you wish your welcome to come on over, albeit virtually.
Parma Violets, the scent and the sherbety taste. Over the past couple of years, I've been gathering all manner of edible violety to make sweet things such as Violet milkshake, Violet Sorbet, Violet Macaroon and Violet cake! I got the Violet syrup from my trip to Brittany last year, the crystallised violet petals came from a supermarket, though I wish I was lucky to have some fresh violets to make my own. Here is a link to my dear blogger friend Kaths blog The Ordinary Cook making some crystallised violet petals recently, and finally the edible cornflower petals came from a cook shop in Scotland. When I was in Morecambe I also picked up some Sherbety Violet sweets from The Old Fashioned Sweet Shop, they are wonderfully perfumed, have a little crunch and then melt in your mouth - sublime.
Serves 8, maybe 12
175g butter, plus extra for greasing
200g caster sugar
100ml violet syrup
3 medium eggs
250g self-raising flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
250g parsnips , peeled and grated
60g pecans, roughly chopped
Optional: 1 teaspoon of crystallised violets; or Parma Violet Sherbet sweets, lightly crushed
Preheat oven to Gas mark 4. Grease and line with baking parchment paper 2 x 8 inch sandwich tins. Melt the butter and sugar in a pan over gentle heat, then cool slightly and stir in the violet syrup. Gently whisk the eggs into the mixture, then stir in the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Follow this with the grated parsnips, pecans and violets if using. Divide the mixture between the tins, then bake for 30 - 35 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool before turning out onto a wire rack.
1 tablespoon violet syrup
300ml double cream
Edible crystallized Violet petals
Edible Cornflower petals
Whip togehter the double cream and the violet syrup. Spread most of it over one cake and sandwich with the other. Then spread the top with the remaining violet flavoured double cream.
Although it okay to eat a day or two later, this Parsnip and Violet cake is really best eaten on the day it is made, as the crystallised violets colour start to seep our and discolour the cream.