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Some Things I Like to Cook’s Clementine Day shares her favourite healing winter recipe

IMAGE VIA SOME THINGS I LIKE TO COOK

WORDS BY IZZY WIGHT

Winter blues be gone.

Last year’s chronic Melbourne lockdown birthed a plethora of amazing creative projects – like dinner-party pop-ups, knitting enterprises, jewellery collections and bread. So much bread. A homemade sourdough loaf for every household in Melbourne’s northside (not that I’m complaining).

While most of us (me) got bored with bread and moved to an online pilates class we’d never complete, Clementine Day quickly graduated to a fully-fledged self-taught home cook. Some Things I Like To Cook was her way of connecting to the friends she couldn’t see, drawing a meaningful connection between food, people and play.


Looking for more nourishing reads? Try our Life section.


An ever-evolving project, Some Things I Like to Cook is now both a website and a cookbook, Coming Together. In her free time, Clementine works on collaborative, creative food projects with friends across Naarm – like recipe development, dining projects, food styling, private dinners, zines and publications.

Never fear, nervous chefs (again, me) – her recipes are easy, approachable and you can find most of the ingredients already in your pantry. To cut through the cold of our first winter day, I asked Clementine to share a warming recipe for the cook who needs a cheer-up.

Carrot & Parsnip Cake

This is the perfect winter cake. It really celebrates carrot and parsnip, both gorgeous root vegetables that last really well in your crisper and are readily available most of the year. It’s very simple, can be made with or without a stand mixer and won’t take too long. I normally make it when I have carrots, parsnips, or nuts to use up or when there’s a birthday that I’m ill-prepared for and need a quick cake. 

The carrot and parsnip make it super moist and delicious, and all the nuts and spices make it really textural and earthy. Play around with different nuts, if you’d like to. One of the things I like most about this cake is that aside from the cream cheese, I almost always have everything else in my pantry and fridge.

Ingredients:

3 carrots

1 parsnip

1 large handful of chopped nuts (I use pecans, walnuts, pistachios and hazelnuts)

4 eggs

200g brown sugar

100g castor sugar

250ml olive oil

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tbsp ground cinnamon 

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground fennel seed

1 tsp vanilla paste

350g self-raising flour

Cream cheese frosting:

400g full-fat cream cheese, room temperature

150g unsalted butter, room temperature

350g pure icing sugar, sifted

Juice and zest of one lime

1 tablespoon of honey, for serving

Method.

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease and line a 24cm cake tin.

2. Peel and grate carrots and parsnip, set aside.

3. Whisk together eggs and sugars until light and pale. I like to make these quite fluffy, about 8-10 minutes of beating in a stand mixer. You can also just do it by hand and not worry about whipping it so much, it’s still going to be good on the other side. Stream in olive oil, whisking to combine. Add vanilla and all spices, combine. 

4. Sift in flour and fold together, don’t overwork. Fold in carrots, parsnip and nuts and pour into the prepared cake tin. Keep a handful of nuts aside to decorate the top of the cake.

5. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a metal skewer or cake tester comes out clean. All ovens are different and you may find a variance in the cooking time. That’s okay, just keep checking it until it’s ready. Let the cake cool completely before assembling. 

For the cream cheese icing: 

6.  In an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat your room temperature butter until soft and smooth. Add in your room temperature cream cheese and beat until smooth, there should be no more clumps of butter or cream cheese and it should have a nice whipped look. 

7. Sift icing sugar into a separate bowl, and add to the mixer one tablespoon at a time, beating well between each addition. After you first add a spoon of sugar, beat on the lowest speed until just combined, then amp up to medium/high for a couple of minutes before adding the next scoop of sugar. Continue beating until all sugar is combined and it feels completely smooth when rubbed between two fingers. 

8. Squeeze in lime juice and add in lime zest. 

9. Spread between two layers of the cake and on top, then top with remaining nuts and I like to serve with a little drizzle of honey.

Find more of Clementine’s easy seasonal recipes here.

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