Daring Cooks April '12: Create your own... (Parsnip Pancakes w/ Goat Cheese Topping)

Every once in a while, a curve ball comes your way.

Where you have to think in a different direction and "bushwhack" your way through something.  But sometimes, the things you have to work for are worth the effort. Kind of like the view from on top of that mountain you had to work so hard to climb.

Our April 2012 Daring Cooks hosts were David & Karen from Twenty-Fingered Cooking. They presented us with a very daring and unique challenge of forming our own recipes by using a set list of ingredients!

The concept was to pick one item from each list.

List 1: Parsnips, Eggplant (aubergine), Cauliflower
List 2: Balsamic Vinegar, Goat Cheese, Chipotle peppers
List 3: Maple Syrup, Instant Coffee, Bananas

My natural inclination would have been to roast vegetables in balsamic & maple syrup or something like that. But, I wanted to take this into a different direction. The combinations were a bit of a challenge, but not totally "Chopped" like.

It was a given that I was going to head straight for the parsnips. I think I have elucidated my love for this vegetable here and here.

Since we needed an entree, the thought of breakfast for dinner started tossing around in my head. When you are having breakfast for dinner, pancakes count as an entree, right?

Once I went down the pancake trail, the goat cheese and maple syrup just kind of made sense. Some things don't require a heck of a lot of over thinking...

I still don't understand why parsnips don't get more love. And I am going to keep on saying that until the love comes...

Get to know your parsnips people. They aren't just for roasting!

Anyhoo, the parsnip pancakes were a slightly fancy twist on a breakfast for dinners. They would go lovely with some maple link sausages and perhaps some baked apples to round it all out.

If you can't wrap your head around the concept of pancakes for dinner, then they are certainly Sunday brunch worthy.

For the pancake base recipe, I deferred to the formula from the carrot cake pancake recipe Joy the Baker Cookbook. This book hasn't been out very long, but I have already made a half dozen recipes from it. I have adapted this particular pancake recipe with several different vegetables - essentially, anything that can hold up to shredding (sweet potatoes - oh my goodness). It replaced my old standby recipe - it's that good... Although, the peeps have probably had enough of it all by now.

What can I say?

I guess I can say "eat your pancakes or you can't have any dessert"? Actually, that sounds kind of awesome - all cool mom-ish and stuff.

P.S. Today is my dad's birthday. This is the same dad who (along with mom) bravely ate the sardine rillettes - for that alone, he deserves a big shout out. Happy birthday, pop!

Parsnip Pancakes w/ Goat Cheese Topping
Inspired by The Joy the Baker Cookbook

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 large egg, room temperature
3 Tbs Muscovado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups parsnips, finely grated
Butter or cooking spray for the griddle

Goat cheese topping
4 oz log of goat cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream (add +1 Tbs if needed to thin out mixture)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Maple syrup, for serving

Combine the ingredients for the topping in a medium bowl. Using a beater (I used an immersion blender, beat ingredients together until smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & spices. Set aside,

In a medium bowl, mix together egg, Muscovado, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth. Stir in grated parsnips.

Pour wet mixture into dry mixture. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined (no large lumps). Let mixture rest for ~10 minutes.

Preheat non-stick griddle over medium heat. Add butter or cooking spray if using. Drop heaping 1 Tbs portions of the batter into the heated skillet. Cook until bubbles start popping up through the pancake (~2-3 minutes). Flip and cook on the other side ~2 more minutes, until pancakes are done.

If not serving right away, place on a baking sheet in a low oven (~175F).

Serve with goat cheese topping & a drizzle of maple syrup.

This post participate in The Daring Cooks. The link to this month's challenge can be found here. Head on over to the Daring Kitchen website to see what creative creations everyone else came up with this month!


  1. Goat cheese topping? That sounds so creative!

  2. I love parsnips! I am going to have try them as pancakes. Great job.

  3. um, YUM! I love parsnips, too! Putting them in the best breakfast food ever (pancakes) is a brilliant idea, and I bet the goat cheese and maple syrup complimented the pancakes perfectly! Great job!

  4. What a great way to use the parsnips (I am also a lover of this divine root) and with the goat cheese I bet they were scrumptious! Great job.

  5. yuuuuuum. It's Sunday morning here and the word pancakes is making my stomach growl :) Goat's cheese and maple syrup? You really couldn't go wrong could you! Sounds to die for.

  6. They look sooo good. Lunchtime isn't the best time to peruse people's creations when your stomach is empty, is it...

  7. Cher, How did we get from logistics and trucks to parsnips pancakes. That's a big leap. But, I have the faith and this sounds good. I love all root vegetables. Are parsnips and turnips interchangeable. Always am confusing the two. Mary

  8. We don't get parsnips here but I wish we did
    Brilliant job on this challenge and happy birthday to your dad

  9. Aw, Happy Birthday, Brave Dad of Cher! (Brave because of the sardines, not because Cher was such a handful ... which I'm sure she wasn't ;) .) And I agree with you, parsnips are very underrated. (Thanks for the parsnip reminder - I need to buy seeds so I can plant them this summer.) This really sounds delicious ... and at Casa SoupAddict, pancakes are definitely a dinner entree!

  10. Parsnips pancakes are certainly unique. I would eat them. And you can't go wrong with goat cheese. Great challenge and you stepped up!


Post a Comment

Hi - Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear from you!

Due to the high number of weirdo SPAM comments I have been receiving, I have turned comment moderation back on for the time being... Comments may show a slight delay.