This prettily dressed up Hazelnut Swede Lemon Drenched Cake has come and gone in our home and while it lasted, it made every one who had a slice or a taste, first crinkle their noses and then purse their lips and nod their heads in approval. It was intriguing.
For my overseas readers, you may know Swede as Rutabaga. It is a vegetable that I avoid eating in savoury meals, I find it sweet like parsnips and don't often enjoy it, but hide it in a cake then it takes on a different flavour all together. I know it won't convince everybody, but all I can say is try it before you pass judgement.
I have made a few dishes with both swede and turnips of late. Previous to this blog post you may have seen my Turnip, Kale and White Bean Stew, Swede Mash on top of a Veggie 'Meatball' dish and of course that dark Rutabaga Cinnamon Nutmeg Cake with Miso Caramel Sauce reminisce of Sticky Toffee Pudding.
I have to admit, at first I also was not sure sbout theHazelnut Swede Lemon Drenched Cake. I found it a little earthy on some bites, but as each day passed and I had another slice, I came to like it, really like it. It was unlike anything that I had ever eaten, which made it a delight. It also loved how the rosemary lemon syrup seeped beautifully into the hazelnut sponge.
This cake can be made with eggs, or flaxseeds which will make it suitable for vegans or those who do not eat eggs. Oh did I mention its also gluten free too. I am sharing this with CookBlogShare hosted by Hijacked By Twins; and Simple and In Season hosted by Feeding Boys - even though Swede is a winter vegetable, you will still find it in the supermarkets springtime.
Hazelnut Swede Lemon Drenched Cake
200g peeled swede, grated
2 flax eggs (or 2 eggs)
120g dandelion honey (or other runny honey)
Zest of 3 lemons
60g rice flour
100g ground hazelnuts
2 teaspoons baking powder (gluten free)
Pinch of salt
For the Rosemary Lemon Drizzle
3 tablespoons sugar
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the topping
1 tablespoon golden sugar
Rosemary leaves and rosemary flowers
Preheat oven to gas mark 4/180oc.
Line the base of a tin with no stick baking paper..
In a wide bowl, whisk the eggs and 'honey' until frothy. Then stir in the lemon zest, flour, ground hazelnuts, baking powder and salt. Stir well. Then stir in the grated swede.
Pour the mixture into the baking tin and place on the middle shelf and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from the oven
While the cake is cooling.
Make the syrup.
Dissolve the sugar in the water along with the rosemary in a pan.
As soon as it comes to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes before removing completely from the heat.
Prick the cake all over with a skewer.
Pour over the syrup and then the lemon juice evenly.
When ready to serve, sprinkle over the sugar and rosemary flowers and rosemary leaves.
Adapted from Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache (2009).