Sunday, November 27, 2011

Eating GOLD!

I have heard of parsnip but I have not seen one before. While I was shopping at the supermarket a few days ago, I came across these white carrots and they were labelled as parsnips. What came across my mind at that moment was, “Aiyoh! why so EXPENSIVE?, all these Quay Lo food stuff here are like eating GOLD!” The price is so outrageous and you don't want to know it. Usually, when something that expensive, I am able to pass and walk away. That time, it was kind of a situation of curiosity killed the cat. I grabbed one and put into my cart and did not even know what I was going to do with it. All I knew was I wanted to find out how parsnip taste like.

When I arrived home, I quickly googled on parsnip recipes and I got one on cupcakes.  Since I have all the other ingredients on hand and I wanted to submit one more cupcake entry to The Aspiring Bakers, I started baking straight away! 

Parsnips resemble carrots except that it is white. 

When I tasted some grated parsnip before I added them to the batter. It was more sweeter and more fragrant than carrots. What I found out was, when they are cooked, they have a buttery and slightly spicy sweet flavor that reminds you of butterscotch, honey, and subtle cardamom.  When the cupcakes were baked, I quickly tasted one before frosting but I am not sure if I get the all the flavors mentioned earlier. What a big disappointment! To me, the texture of the cake was not much different from the carrot cake.  It was rich and spicy and since I have cut down the amount of sugar and frosted the cake with lemon cream cheese, it was not too sweet and I like it that way. The only difference between this cake and my carrot cake was the addition of chopped apple and toasted pecan. The two ingredients gave some crunch and the pecan added nutty flavor to the cake.  Perhaps the next time I make this cake again, I will increase the amount of parsnip to 1 ¼ cup packed so as to get a more distinctive flavor of the parsnip.  To enhance the appearance of the small cupcakes, I added a thin slice of candied ginger to the frosting. For the medium size cupcakes, I sprinkle some orange color sugar and topped with a yellow sugared flower. They actually turned out quite lovely aren't they? 

Parsnip Apple Pecan Cupcake
Adapted from The Café Sucre Farine with modification

12 small cupcakes
12 medium cupcakes

4 oz. butter
¾ cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup grated parsnips, packed
1 ¼ cups peeled, diced apple, packed
1 cup toasted chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars with electric mixer. Slowly add oil and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to wet mixture. Stir in parsnips, apples and pecans. Pour into cupcake liners, bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cake be completely cool before frosting. Let you imagination runs wild. Add your own decos and colors to the frosting for better visual effects.

Note: squeeze out some of the juice of the parsnip before adding to the batter.

Lemon cream Cheese frosting
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/c cup sour cream
½ cup icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp lemon juice
Zest from 1 whole lemon

Beat cream cheese till smooth, add sour cream and mixed well. Add icing sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time. Add lemon juice and zest, mix well.

Note: I am submitting this cupcake recipe to Aspiring Bakers #13: Enjoy Cupcakes! (November 2011) which hosted by Min of Min's Blog


  1. well this is new to me, we grow parsnips but I have only had them in stews or soups or roasted, never in cupcakes, I will have to give this a try, thankyou for sharing and being curious,

  2. Now you know hahahhaa Love all the contrasting flavor and texture you got there ! And yup , it looks really lovely ;) Great presentaion , too !!

  3. you are my fearless kitchen hero!

    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >


    < ° ) } } > <

  4. this looks fabulous delicious presentation

  5. They looked good... You made them? When? Haiyar...if I had known, I would have aske3d for special delivery to my airport hotel. Just got home last night...

  6. nice shooting
    love it,well done my dear:)

  7. Definitely pretty. Yalo a lot of stuff which are cheap overseas are super expensive here.. like brussel sprouts.. 1 small pack for RM15.

  8. The props behind are cute but of course, the cupcakes are more "seductive!" lol... now only I know what are parsnips...

  9. I have never use parsnip as an ingredient for my cake before must try out one day. Thanks for sharing

  10. Veronica, your cupcakes are absolutely beautiful, and so are the photos!
    I'm going to have to change the grated parsnips to carrots, or just omit it!
    Parsnips are not particularly appreciated, or widely used here in the U.S. other than in soups, and stews, and are very popular as a puree, in place of potato...(less starch)
    Such a shocker to hear it's so expensive in Malaysia. Here it's really inexpensive. First time I heard of using it in dessert...a new one for me! Greatly disguised, and I'm sure it's delicious!
    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  11. Your cupcake looks so pretty! Love the bright colors.

  12. Fantastic looking cupcakes! Here in England we roast our parsnips, the most popular way to eat them is as one of the vegetables with a roast beef dinner - you have to try them that way too sometime.

  13. I never thought of using it in cupcakes! I often think of it in roasted vegetables!

  14. I have never tried parsnip cupcakes. I like it baked. Its not expensive here but it costs more than carrots. I wonder why?

  15. This is new to me! Looks yummy!

  16. I would never have thought of using parsnips for baking!!! Bet they taste good though. We love them roasted. Diane

  17. Never saw this before, how expensive is it? Love the way you decorated your cupcakes, makes them so tempting!

  18. love the 2nd set of photos with the cute doll at the background

  19. Parsnips in a cupcake? That is so very interesting. I love them to death roasted. Your cupcakes are gorgeous!

  20. I see parsnip in Jaya Grocer each time I go there, but never bought any because they are really very expensive, similiar to rhubarb, almost there. It's funny that I am willing to pay for ingredients to make desserts, but veggie, hahaha....

  21. Never heard of Parsnips before...Yummy cupcakes! :)

  22. wonderful photos and wonderful blog.
    I'm happy to be here.
    From Italy

  23. the cupcakes looks nice :) i wonder parsnips can really change the flavor of the whole thing


  24. aiya, now i confuse as all this while i thought parsnip is what they call 山药, and white carrot is daikon/radish..
    whatever it is, ur cupcake looks soo.. tempting

  25. Waa...very expensive cupcakes indeed, but as long as delicious, it's worth it huh!

  26. the cupcake look delicious plus soooooo cute!!

  27. the cupcake look delicious plus soooooo cute!!

  28. The first cup with orange on top look super.


  29. Definitely worth their weight in gold. Love the use in cupcakes!

  30. Quay Po, I was nominated by BelleauKitchen to take part in the Food Bloggers Unplugged survey. I have completed my part in it (see my latest post) and I thought that you may also enjoy doing it and growing your audience even more! If not, then I apologise wholeheartedly!

  31. A couple years ago, there was a kids story writing contest about bullying in the local paper. I read the winning entry and it was about carrots and parsnips. The orange carrots made fun of the parsnip because he was white. And then at the end of the story, he learned that he was a parsnip. Random thought, sorry.

    Anyways, these cupcakes are gorgeous! I really like how you topped them with the sugar flower.

  32. I've baked with different vegetables but never parsnips. Must give this a try. Lovely blog you have here will have to pop back later to read through everything.

  33. Wow, good job for using a new ingredient. I rarely try new ingredients like you have.

    Pretty looking cupcakes too!

  34. never seen a parsnip before and if i do, i might just be like you and grab them. It might be expensive but such a rare stuff here, i might just want to try tasting that unless we always go abroad, then it's different. Can they be eaten raw? Betty boop must be hungry for more of these cupcakes!

  35. so this is the cupcake you told me the other day.never seen and tasted parsnip before..must grap some when i shopping next time. Nice shots !

  36. My mom does what you do - buy veggies and then tries to figure out what to do with them. I usually do the opposite.

  37. Such pretty and delicious sounding cupcakes!

  38. QPC: I completely agree on the prices on quay lo stuff here in KL. It's ridiculously priced sometimes, then it's usually backed up by import tax reason. This is certainly new to me, using parsnip in dessert. I bet they must be yummy and the cuppy liners are so pretty. Have a good week ahead! Hugs, Jo

  39. wow that cupcakes looks so tasty and beautyful

  40. Never heard of Parsnips before and never seen Parnsips before! Your cupcakes are eye-candies!!!

  41. Parsnips make a fantastic risotto with balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top, and are wonderful made into soup with a hint of chilli and peanut butter.
    I have to confess I'm a bit of a parsnip hater - we get them almost weekly in our veg box here in Scotland, and I try to find ways to use them that changes their taste a little, because on their own, I think they taste like eating soap! They grow well in the cold British weather. They are also very very popular with babies when mashed or made into purees because of their naturally sweet flavour.

  42. Parsnip? First thing Bananaz ask "meet yeah lei khir". Something like carrot but not carrot haha. Sorry very ignorant where food is concerned only wallop sahaja. Direct Chinese translation 'like eating GOLD' lolz. Can never disappoint me with your pixz and baking skills. Moh tak teng.

  43. First time here in Nick's mum's blog! Your photos are amazing! Not only a great baker, but also great photographer! I'm amazed! :D Was wondering what parsnip is called in Chinese...

  44. Hello Quay Po.In here, I normally see parsnip pack with other ingredients to make soup and never aware that it can be used to bake cake, thanks for giving me a wake-up call.

  45. I saw parsnip before(from my son's book - picture only)and yet I haven't met the real one. LoL.

    Interesting parsnip cupcakes there. One day can try this out, but where can I get those parsnip?

  46. I like my parsnip in my meat bone soup.

  47. We use parsnip to make curries. This cupcakes are beautiful and addictive.

  48. @Laurie
    Yes, my Quay Lo told me my MIL cook parsnip in stews, soup and roast them with beef. He said he too has never heard of using parsnip in dessert:D

    Yes, I satisfied my curiosity! Thanks anne.

    hehehe, my Quay Lo said his "Lucy" surprises him all the time.

    I am so happy you like my presentation.

    Of course I made them lah hehe. You should have message me on FB to let me know that you are in KL, I would have deliver a box to you personally. I am not joking.

    Thanks for your compliment.

    @Baby Sumo
    I have to pinch myself each time I buy any expensive Quay Lo food. hehehe

    The prop is my favorite Betty Boop tea pot. It was a Christmas gift from my Quay Lo. I LOVE Betty Boop!

  49. @Li Shuan
    Yes, you must:D

    It is super expensive my dear, for the one parsnip, I paid USD3.00 plus! I had a home alone Thanksgiving but I am happy to have the whole house to myself and have some really alone time to reflect on my life:D

    @Lite Home Bake
    Ya, I love bright colors too, they makes me happy:D

    @The Owl Wood
    You said the same thing as my Quay Lo. He said roast parsnip with beef is delicious.

    Yes, I know, roasting is the more common way to use parsnip isn't it? It is weird how I got this recipe.

    @Three Cookies
    Cost a little more than carrots is only with me but cost 10 times more in KL, I cannot understand.

    This is new to me too my dear. We learn new things everyday:D

  50. @Diana
    How are you feeling? I hope you have recovered.

    Min, it is RM10.90 for one parsnip!! Dang expensive right?

    @Small Kuching
    The cute doll is my Betty Boop teapot:D

    I will love parsnip if they are not so expensive:D

    I appreciate why you are not willing to pay so much for veggie… we are Asian mah.. hehe

    They better be yummy, if not I will be stomping the floor, SO EXPENSIVE!!! just kidding. hehe

    Thanks Angel.

    I am happy to see you here. I would love to get to know you better and there are so much to share:D Thanks for dropping by.

  51. @Fish
    That is why I will increase the amount of parsnip if I bake this cupcake again. I just want to see how it change the flavor. I have roasted the balance of the parsnip, it is really delicious. They are more buttery and sweeter than carrots.

    @Yee Er
    I have googled to find out what is the Chinese name for parsnip but don't have lah.

    It is worth it in the sense that it satisfied my curiosity.

    hehe, you are always so sweet my dear. Thanks.

    Thanks Filip.

    When I tasted it being roasted, I think it is worth the price I paid just to find out how it taste but it will not be a regular item, I will keep this for a treat.

    Thanks so much for thinking of me:D I will be posting that soon. I enjoyed reading your Bloggers Unplugged survey! Thanks for sharing a bit more about yourself with us.

  52. @kyleen
    No sorry needed. I like the cute story. Thanks for liking the deco of my cupcakes.

    @Baking Addict
    I am so pleased to you like coming here and I am going to see you more often? We have so much to share.

    @Les reves d'une boulangere
    I am glad I tried this new ingredient too.

    Me too, me too. hehehe If Betty Boop is a real person, know she will love my cupcakes.

    ya lor, I wanted to let you taste the cupcakes but unfortunately you are not well.

    @That Girl
    hehe, good to know I am not alone.

    You are always so supportive. Thanks.

    @chic and Gorgeous Treats
    The cupcake liner is from my step daughter:D You are right, the import tax too jack up the price.

  53. @melonpan
    Many thanks.

    @donkey and the carrot
    Me too, first time and first time taste it.

    @Ruth Ellis
    I must try this with risotto too. Sounds good to me.

    Doh doh chi kow:D

    Thanks for dropping by my dear:D Thanks for your kind words. I really appreciate it. I have tried to find out the Chinese name for parsnip but to no avail.

    Would you try to make dessert with parsnip now?

    You can get parsnip in Jaya Grocers on Empire Subang.

    I am sure you do.

    I will definitely try parsnip with curry:D

  54. Around here the price of parsnips finally went don't. So funny though, the first time I tried parsnips was when I was visiting New Zealand, and they were really good. Then when I started buying them here in Florida to find out most of them are grown in Michigan right where my family is. Up there they can get them in bulk not just a bag like we do. Now I use them all the time and my husband loves them, and askes for them often. I usually steam them, then sometimes will caramalize them in a fry pan. Last Christmas I sliced them and roasted them with Florida sweet onion, carrots, and fennel. They were so good. The texture is a little different from carrots, a little dryer, and takes a little longer to cook. If you get a large one the center can be too hard and fiborous, so just cut the cent out. This is probably more than you wanted to know about parsnips! :)

  55. I've never tried parsnips before. You've made me want to taste one!

  56. I always see parsnips on the shelf here in Australia but don't know what to do with it..

  57. I always see parsnips on the shelf here in Australia but never tempted to try because i don't know what to do with it..hahahha..

  58. @Lyndsey
    Thanks you so much to tell me more a parsnip. I roasted them, taste really good:D

    Please try, it is very tasty.

    Now you know:D

    @Soul Recipe
    Ya, I didn't too, now we know:D


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