parsnip, almond and date loaf

with vanilla date caramel

  • 10 fresh dates (150g), pitted and chopped
  • ½ cup (125ml) water
  • 1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of (baking) soda
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup (60g) rapadura sugar or brown sugar 
  • 1 large parsnip (200g), peeled, plus 1 small parsnip, extra, 
  • thinly sliced lengthways
  • 1 cup (120g) almond meal (ground almonds)
  • ¾ cup (125g) buckwheat flour
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) grapeseed oil 
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup, plus extra to serve

vanilla date caramel

  • 6 fresh dates (90g), pitted and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the date and water in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook for 4 minutes or until the water comes to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the bicarbonate of soda and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk for 8 minutes or until light, fluffy and tripled in size. 
  3. Grate the parsnip (you should have 2 cups). Place the parsnip, almond meal, flour, oil and date mixture in a large bowl and stir to combine. Gently fold in the egg mixture in 2 batches. Pour into a lightly greased 20cm x 10cm loaf tin lined with non-stick baking paper.
  4. Place the extra sliced parsnip and the maple syrup in a bowl and toss to coat. Place the parsnip on top of the loaf and cook for 1 hour or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
  5. To make the vanilla date caramel, place the date in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and set aside to soften for 10 minutes. Drain. Place the date, vanilla and water in a small food processor and process until smooth. Slice the loaf, spread with the caramel and drizzle with the extra maple syrup to serve. Serves 6–8.
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