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Normally, I think that I do a relatively good job at keeping all the moving parts of life – work, family, my relationship, this blog, some semblance of a healthy lifestyle – in some sort of balance.  Sure, there have been times when one or other of them has taken a backseat but these last six months, since I first come out to the US in May, has without question been the longest period in which one of them – work, in this case – has dominated to such an extent and everything else fallen by the wayside.

But, it’s beginning to feel like the end of what quickly went from gamourous to tedious is finally in sight. With any luck, today is the start of my last two week stint out here. I’m sure I’ll come out again on an ad hoc basis as my project is nowhere near done but thanksgiving week should see me back in the UK, at least until the new year (although, no doubt just by making that statement, I’ve doomed myself to a December of travel).

I flew back from New York last Friday for a short 48 hours in the UK. In a fortuitous piece of diary alignment, my boyfriend was was flying back from Ohio, via New York, on Friday too and we got to spend a precious evening together, albeit in a fairly charmless airport lounge. Although my time at home was shorter than usual (I tend to fly home on a Thursday night), knowing that I was only coming back out to New York for another 10 days or so made it feel far less transient. Often when I’m back in the UK for a weekend, I’m preoccupied by thoughts of the upcoming week and still, mentally at least, on the other side of the Atlantic – knowing that I’ll be back at Heathrow within days, if not hours, doesn’t really make me feel inclined to do anything of any particular value, short of tackling the mountain of laundry which I seem to generate when I’m away from home.

This weekend though, we bought a light for our sitting room and spent Saturday evening putting up pictures, both jobs we’ve been meaning to do for months but there hasn’t seemed much point in doing before now. I worked my way through the pile of food magazines by the side of my bed, snipping out the recipes that I want to try because I can actually start to think about having something for dinner other than a steak with a side of sauteed spinach in the hotel restaurant or the asian chicken salad on room service.  All of a sudden, my life doesn’t feel like it’s on hold anymore.

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Before the weekend, I was last at home in mid-October for very welcome stretch of 10 days. I had such grand plans of getting totally caught up on the blog and testing and photographing enough recipes to allow me to get back into my routine of weekly posts. In the end, life intervened and this loaf was the only thing I made all week.

The week that I was at home was the first really chilly week of Autumn and this cake, full of warming spices and mellowed by the inclusion of both carrot and parsnip, seemed very fitting. It is delicious as is, with its crackled brown surface and yielding interior, but the very lightly sweetened cream cheese frosting is also a lovely thing; I like to scatter chopped pistachios on top too, to give a little colour and texture. I’m not generally a huge fan of parsnips, particularly in savoury applications, but here they are really wonderful – sweet, like carrots but with a more complex, almost herb-like, flavour. And whilst I haven’t tried it, I’m pretty sure I could find a way to work chocolate chips into this recipe too.

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carrot and parsnip loaf {gluten free}

Yield: A 2lb loaf cake (serves 6 - 8)

Parnsips have a lot less water than carrots (something which I'd never appreciated until I grated both of them) so I'm not too fussed about squeezing the water out of the carrots when I make this cake because the parsnips seem to balance out any extra moisture. My spices lean heavily towards the ginger as I far prefer it to cinnamon but feel free to swap or use whatever combination you like best.

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 150ml (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) honey
  • 125g (1 cup) rice flour
  • 35g (1/3 cup) ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, finely grated and patted dry
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and finely grated
  • For the frosting:
  • 170g (6oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 55g (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons honey, to taste
  • A pinch of salt
  • Chopped pistachios, to sprinkle on top

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 140C/275F (fan). Line a 2lb loaf tin with paper and grease well.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the oil, eggs and honey with a wooden spoon.
  3. In another bowl, lightly whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and grated carrot and parsnip and lightly mix together until combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for about 50 minutes until the top is firm and brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the frosting, beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla, salt and honey to taste and beat until combined. Smooth on top of the loaf cake and decorate with chopped pistachios.

Notes

Adapted from this carrot cake.

http://londonbakes.com/2014/11/carrot-and-parsnip-loaf-gluten-free.html
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42 Responses to "carrot and parsnip loaf {gluten free}"
  1. Katie says:

    I can’t imagine Kathryn, it must be very trying to spend so much time away from home even if you do get to spend time in the glamour that is NYC. I hope for your sake the dust settles soon and you get to spend more time at home making lovely cakes like this!

  2. Oooh, I love parsnips, but I’ve only had them in savory dishes – risottos, roasted with other vegetables, etc. How clever to put them in a sweet loaf like this! And I totally support your idea of adding chocolate chips in the future – that would add a lovely sweet little twist. =)

  3. I love parsnip in cakes, it such a lovely flavour and is my favourite root vegetable – if one can have such a thing! This looks delicious and perfect for 3pm with a coffee.

  4. Sues says:

    This loaf looks so moist and awesome. I love the specks of vanilla in the frosting, too :)

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I can’t imagine how taxing all that travel must be! But I so relate to overambitious scheduling of down time. It’s so easy to forget that sometimes we just need to relax or read or putter around the house. Glad that soon you’ll be home for a good stretch.
    And this cake! I love the idea of parsnips *and* carrots! I adore quick breads and this GF version looks every bit as spongy and moist as the wheaty kind. Beautiful!

  6. I have mad, crazy respect for people who work jobs that require them to travel for extended periods of time. A few years ago, I worked as a financial consultant that required me to be away from home for extended periods of time. I was physically exhausted and emotionally drained for almost all of it. It turns out that being at home, and having a sense of home, is something that is really a big necessity for me. So my heart goes out to you — congrats on wrapping up the NY project, and I hope you enjoy your well-deserved rest in the UK.

  7. Melissa says:

    You make the prettiest GF treats I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I’ve said that out loud to you yet. Also, I’m bummed in not on the east coast anymore within driving distance from you.

    • kathryn says:

      Thanks Melissa, that means so much coming from you! And I’m sad you’re no longer an east coast-er too; it would have been such fun to meet you guys!

  8. Karishma says:

    Your traveling sounds so exhausting! It must have been so nice to be able to put that on hold for a day.

    Love the idea of putting parsnip in a loaf! I often have it leftover and don’t know what to do with it, so this is a great use :)

  9. That looks and seems absolutly delicious!
    It’s a great way to enjoy time at home.

  10. Erika says:

    I love parsnips, they have such amazing flavors. I know this loaf is delicious.. Girl, you’ve been busy.. Hopefully you’re able to get a break from the work/travel and have time to relax.

  11. I had no idea you were such a road warrier! I give you serious credit for keeping up such a beautiful blog amidst all of the travel. That’s a tall order, but you do it very well!

  12. Aisling says:

    This cake looks gorgeous and is one of my top favourite kinds of cake. I will definitely need to try it soon. Hopefully you start to feel a bit more settled soon!

  13. Flying to and from NYC does sound glamorous but I can see how it would actually be tedious after awhile. That’s lovely that you’ll get a break for awhile with the upcoming holidays :) I’ve been dreaming of a carrot and parsnip combination too, and your loaf sounds like a delight!

  14. Tea Yoga Me says:

    This looks incredible! I can’t wait to try it, thank you so much for posting xx

    http://teayogame.blogspot.co.uk/

  15. substitute renovation for work and oh man I feel ya sister. I am starting to wonder if routine and normalcy will ever be a thing I know again! that said, I got to make pizza in our own kitchen tonight so things are looking up. : )

  16. I can’t imagine how all of that traveling must be! Hang in there! But on the bright side, this bread looks AMAZING! I can’t wait to make it!

  17. Kasey says:

    That’s a hell of a lot of traveling! I wish you were coming my way, still :) I always feel like business travel should feel grand, but when I’m doing it, I inevitably miss the comforts of home. I hope you get to enjoy some still time. x

  18. This looks amazing! I would love to try this for breakfast!

  19. Mmm so yummy!! I love the parsnips in this recipe. Definitely need to try!

  20. What a gorgeous little loaf! I don’t think I’ve ever baked with parsnip but can imagine they add a lovely sweetness.

  21. Kathryn, I love that you use parsnips here along with the carrots. They are so sweet and lovely yet I never think to use them in baking.
    I’m so impressed at the way you’ve handled jetting back and forth over the Atlantic. Amazing! I can only imagine how good it’s going to feel for you to be truly settled back home. You deserve some serious nesting time.
    xoxo
    E

  22. Joanne says:

    All that traveling would drive me CRAZY but you are handling it far better than I ever would or could! Kudos to you, my dear. Hopefully you’ll get to spend some quality time at home pretty soon.

    In the meantime, I must say, this loaf is a looker. I’ve always wondered about adding parsnips to baked goods, and here you have my answer for me!

  23. Ashlae says:

    You make gluten free baking look so. damn. good. Here’s to hoping you get a lazy December filed with lots of baking baking, decorating your new place, and eating something other than over-priced/underwhelming hotel food. <3

  24. cynthia says:

    Oh my goodness, I don’t know how you’ve been doing it all, Kathryn — just thinking of all the travel and the hotels and working constantly makes my head hurt. I can’t wait for you to get back home safe and sound and get some real rest (as amazing as it is to have you here in New York!) Thanks for sharing this gorgeous loaf amidst it all — it looks so, so comforting and nourishing and good. Sending you restful vibes and wishing you safe travels, friend xx

  25. Recently my sister has needed to go Gluten Free with her diet and it’s been so hard to find tasty recipes! I am definitely going to make this for her. xo

  26. Teffy says:

    This looks delicious!
    I’ve never tried using parsnips in baking, not even in sweet before! Sounds like a new way to try them besides the simple roasting!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  27. Skye says:

    Good to have you back on this side of the pond, Kathryn! We should catch up for a lovely lunch sometime soon, once you’re settled back into London life! Xx

  28. I love this flavor combination! Something I would never think of doing.. you are so wonderful for being able to juggle things the way you do. I hope things start to settle down a bit more for you :)

  29. This is positively heavenly for fall. And I never owuld have imagined parsnips in a cake. You are a traveling machine. Gosh, I’m so glad you get a little respite at home during the holidays.

  30. I can’t even imagine how hard the last six months must have been for you; all that traveling, hotels (really, they do lose their charm after some time), being away from your loved ones, long work days… Gosh, you really earn my respect, lady! Yay to the last days in NYC (maybe not NYC in general but being in NYC because of work) and to being able to breathe, live, bake, and cook probably again.
    But lets talk about this cake for a second, shall we? I LOVE it! I can imagine what a loaf of comfort this one must be with the warm spices and the grated carrots and parsnips. And that frosting. And those pistachios sprinkled on top. A dream! xoxo

  31. Erika says:

    What is your life?!? It sounds so glamorous to me, although I’m sure it’s exhausting. LOVE those process photos (the last one seems very much Not Without Salt-esque to me)!! Glad you got just a little time to relax and unwind at home. Keep us updated on your adventures in NYC pretty please! :)

  32. Allison says:

    I always think that travelling for work sounds so glamorous but I’m sure there’s times you just want to be at home with familiar people. Like one of the other commenters, I’m impressed by the blog you keep!
    I love the idea of the parsnips in here with the carrots––and they are a little herb-like! Great way of describing them. And cream cheese icing is really so necessary! I’ll be making this over the holidays for sure!

  33. Those busy seasons of life can be such a drag, especially when it takes you away from the things/people you love. That being said, I’m glad you’ve had some pockets of normalcy, and that you had time to make this loaf and share it with us. It’s simply stunning.

  34. After reading this, I can actually feel your exhaustion. I’m sure you’re used to your own schedule now, but I can imagine it being very hectic. All that travel and jet lag (PS-I’m from NY!). I’m happy to hear that you were able to meet up with your boyfriend, to hang out, and to squash those much needed things on the to-do list.

    This loaf cake looks fabulous! Both healthy and seasonal with the perfect ingredients. And, I’m a parsnip freak. Lovely :)

  35. cavoletto says:

    That is soon appealing! I love parsnips and actually never put them in something sweet, I’m totally gonna try this! :)

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