Parsnip and Chorizo Cake Recipe

Gâteau de Panais au Chorizo

[Parsnip and Chorizo Cake]

Yes, another gâteau! But it’s a savory one this time, that combines grated parsnips, little chunks of chorizo and chopped parsley, baked into a warm golden cake, frittata-like and satifying. The parsnips meld into the egg batter to produce a smooth, almost moussy texture, and the chorizo adds a really nice kick to their earthy sweetness. Chorizo is one of my favorite things at the moment, and I’m still looking for something that does not benefit from its addition.

I particularly like the taste of parsnips, but you could substitute other root vegetables (carrots, turnips, celery-root) or better yet, use a mix of several. The recipe as written below serves two to three guests, but you can easily double the recipe — just use a larger dish accordingly and leave it in the oven a tad longer. The gâteau also works well cold or at room-temperature and would make a delightful winter picnic item.

What do you mean, you don’t do picnics in the winter? How sad! Why do you think the phrase eaten with mittens sounds so good?

Gâteau de Panais au Chorizo

– one large parsnip, about 1.3 lbls (600 g)
– 4 eggs
– 1/4 C milk
– 2 oz (60 g) chorizo (the Spanish kind, already cooked)
– a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
– olive oil
– salt, pepper

(Serves 2 to 3.)

Scrub, peel, core and grate the parsnip. Heat some olive in a large skillet, then add in the grated parsnip and 1/4 C water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until completely softened, stirring from time to time. Transfer into a colander to drain.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Bring about 4 cups (1 liter) of water to a boil in your kettle or in a saucepan. Dice the chorizo. Rinse and dry the parsley, pluck the leaves and chop them. In a medium mixing-bowl, beat together the eggs and milk, fold in the cooked parsnip, chorizo and parsley, and season with salt (optional, as the chorizo is salted already) and pepper.

Pour into a greased 8-inch (20-cm) ovenproof dish (I use a charlotte mold, a souffle dish would work equally well) and even out the surface with a spatula. Place the dish in a larger one (a gratin dish for instance) and pour boiling water in the larger dish so the small one is in about an inch (2.5 cm) of water. This is called a “bain-marie” (literally bath-mary, don’t ask), and it regulates the temperature so the egg mixture will cook without boiling. Put both dishes into the oven and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, until set and golden on the surface.

Unmold and serve immediately, with a side of lightly-dressed greens.

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  • Malvene

    Yes! Dinner tonight. Thanks for another recipe my 17 month old twins will surely enjoy. And please let’s do give Mary a bath she loves a hot tub.

  • Peter Murray

    I have a 20lbs of parsnips in my refrigerator, and chorizo is a quick stop at the local market. A chef at a university, I try to wedge innovative food between pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches on the service line. This recipe will soon make its appearance, and I will look foward to the leftovers.

    A recent devotee to your website, you have inspired me anew.


  • Ann/brighidsdaughter

    Thank you for another savory cake recipe — I must make this! Question: Is the chorizo you use the more dry, smoked Spanish-style sausage? Mexican-style is not smoked, and quite loose in texture. I may need to substitute the andouille I have on hand.

    Parsnips are very under-rated. I’ve been making a savory parsnip tart for years. Guests enjoy it and are always surprised when I tell them what the “secret ingredient” is.

  • Asha

    I want to know what kind of chorizo you used. In my local market I get the “mexican” variety. It’s a lot like bulk sausage and needs to be cooked first. Or did you mean a “spanish” variety that is more like a smoked sausage? I haven’t had the chance to taste it and I don’t know how the two differ in usage. Thanks!

  • corey

    I must admit that I have never heard the term “eaten with mittens” but then again I am still very new to climates that require mittens….

  • The chorizo I use is the Spanish kind, which is firm (easy to dice) and already cooked. Never had the Mexican kind, I don’t think…

    Ann – If you ever get a chance to share that parsnip tart recipe, I’d love to see it!

  • Willson

    Oddly enough, the phrase “eaten with mittens” generates exactly zero hits when Googled -in English; must be a French expression. But no, that too (mangé avec mitaines) is a totally unknown phrase. Hmm.

    I’ll be saving this recipe, sounds delicious, and making them just a soon as I find a mitten-shaped pan.

    I just noticed, this week, a Spanish chorizo at the local butcher and was trying to think of something special to do with some; this dish qualifies.

  • Joan

    “eaten with mittens”…ah Clotilde there’s not a day passes without a smile while reading your daily joy…you funny funny lass you! Since we don’t have Daims in Australia, I used Picnic bars and chopped off the wafer bits…there are a few crumbs left! All those who ate of the cake adored it!!!

    off to buy parsnip and sausage..what a discovery c’nz has been ~ exploration is fun indeed..

  • Ann/brighidsdaughter

    I’ve posted the Parsnip Tart recipe on page 2 of the “What’s Cookin’?” topic in the Cooking & Eating forum. It’s a savory tart with just a hint of sweetness.

  • sarah

    mmmm – yummy! I doubled the chorizo, as it seemed a bit outweighed by the parsnips and I will probably try it w/ celeriac next time, as the parsnips are a wee bit too sweet for me, but what a delicious and original dinner! thank you.

  • I’ve been reading you for many months now. Visited Paris in January and pursued many “tips” gleaned from your website. This is my first try at one of your recipes, and already, I’m a bit baffled, stunned at what must be some obvious misprint (?), incredulous that no one else has queried this. ONE parsnip weighing in at 1kg??? How do they grow them in France? FIVE parsnips weighed only three-quarters of a kg on my scale. (A parsnip being about the size of a carrot, no?) That said, using 1kg of grated parsnip produced enough batter to fill a 13″x9″ dish, which I would say serves more than 2 or 3 people. And the chorizo question–to cook first or no–also leads me to suggest fine tuning this recipe a bit???

  • Heather – I’m very sorry you didn’t have success with this recipe. The parsnips we have here are much much larger than carrots and have a tough inner core. The weight I gave (a little under 2 lbls or 1 kg) is *before* peeling and coring, which results in much less than 1 kg grated parsnip. This may explain why you had too much of it. As for the chorizo, I’m not sure what your question is? In the comments I wrote that it was the Spanish kind, already cooked (and have now updated the recipe to note it). Again, I apologize if this was a disappointment, and I hope you’ll have better luck with other recipes you may want to try.

  • Clotilde–No worries at all! The gateau turned out well, just different from yours: more parsnippy sweetness, very very fluffy and delicate, not all that rich (somehow I think your eggs may be more intense in flavor than the ones I’m able to procure). Today I am going to try browning the leftover slices in some olive oil–twice-baked gateau??

  • Mmm. Thanks for a new idea on cooking with parsnips (which I love, and which I don’t see nearly enough down here in the Charente-Maritime). I love chorizo, too, and until now had just added it to black bean soup.

  • Hello! from Tokyo!!! First, thankyou so much about your lovely dialy, I just start to read your Blog around last month. Yes, I found your site on TITLE magazine!!! I love Chocolate as you are☆ I’ll try to make this recipe in weekend. And also I have own blog about sweets and lovely life but it’s only Japanise now…..So sorry…..I’d like to write in English and Japanese in near future and I hope you read mine!!

  • Lucy (Sydney)

    – It’s just a Nursery Rhyme !
    Three little kittens,
    They lost their mittens,
    And they began to cry,
    Oh, mother dear,
    We sadly fear
    Our mittens we have lost.
    What! Lost your mittens!
    You naughty kittens.
    Then you shall have no pie.
    Mee.ow, mee.ow, mee.ow, mee.ow.
    Then you shall have no pie.

    etc etc

  • Il a l’air démoniaque ce petit gâteau salé, j’avoue m’être largement nourrie de panais l’hiver dernier, et mon bébé aussi, je suis donc ravie de constater que je pourrai maintenant conserver ce merveilleux légume jusqu’à ses 18 ans (rires !). Je rentre juste d’Espagne avec des dégus’ de charcuterie à faire, je garderai le Chorizo au chaud pour cette recette. MErci encore de toutes tes bonnes idées, et je n’en finis pas de lire ton ouvrage C&Z. A ce propos, chapeau pour le Gâteau Pistache-Abricots-Ricotta. Bonne soirée et continue bien. Elise

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