I tried to make food that you wouldn't find ordinarily find at food markets and food that proved popular when I was working at the cafeteria. I made a number of vegan pies: old favourites like the Paprika Mushroom Pies; Curried Parsnip Samosa Pies; Welsh Pie (made with leeks); and a new one Puy Lentil, Potatoes and Vegan Chorizo - all from scratch. It was really hard work.
I also made a number of vegan cakes: some with my homegrown produce: namely blueberries and rhubarb. With the blueberries I made a Blueberry and 'White Chocolate' cake; and my child friendly and popular Oreo Surprise cakes (neither pictured here). With the sticker rock rhubarb sticks from the garden,I made Rhubarb and Rosewater Mini Loafs lightly dusted with icing sugar and studded with real rosebuds.
I also made these individual Violet and Parsnip Mini Loafs (adapted from this recipe). In the past I've made these parsnip cakes plain and simple, maybe with the addition of some raisins and nuts. but I've never slathered it with 'cream cheese 'frosting. The violet not only perfumes the cake, its flavour is really delicate. If you can't find violet syrup, you can omit it from the recipe.
And to make it extra special, it was garnished with a final flurry of colour in the form of edible flower petals from cornflower, to rose and marigolds - after all its true what they say - People do eat with their eyes first!
Both the Rhubarb -Rose and Violet Parsnip cakes proved popular. Whilst the Beetroot and Chocolate Cake was a conversation starter.
Serves 8 - 10
2 cups self raising flour
1 cup of golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of baking soda
2 tsp of cinnamon
3 cups shredded parsnips
3/4 cup of vegetable or sunflower oil
1/2 cup of apple juice
1 1/2 tablespoons violet syrup
1/2 cup of golden raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x9 inch square pan with oil or 8 - 10 mini loaf tins.
Mix together the flour, sugars, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Add the shredded parsnip and the oil to the dry ingredients and mix well with a spoon.
Add the apple juice, violet syrup and mix again, then fold in the raisins.
Put the batter into pan(s).
Bake for 45 minutes for larger version or 25-30 minutes for smaller versions; or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the centre.