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Because our chefs can make magic with anything, even rutabagas

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PATRICK FAHY
Blackbird

“I don’t mess a lot with rutabagas,” the pastry chef at Blackbird acknowledges. Still, he happily tackled this assignment, adapting a cake recipe to tame the vegetable’s radishlike pungency.

Rutabaga Spice Cake

Patrick Fahy gained the confidence to try new and unusual dishes while working at the French Laundry.

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (4-ounce) stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
⅓ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 cups peeled and grated rutabaga
¼ cup toasted walnuts or raisins (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and flour a 10-inch cake pan, shaking out excess flour.

2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Gradually mix in the oil and eggs. In batches, fold in the flour mixture, followed by the rutabaga and walnuts or raisins (if using).

3. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Chef tip: White chocolate pairs surprisingly well with root vegetables like rutabagas and parsnips. Fahy suggests shaving it over the cake. A pat of butter on top doesn’t hurt, either.

BILL KIM’S RUTABAGA, SQUASH, AND POTATO DUMPLINGS »
STEPHANIE IZARD’S ROOT VEGETABLE CAPONATA »

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