Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake pans as per option 1 or option 2 below.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt.
In a large bowl whisk together eggs, oil, milk and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Stir in parsnips.
Option 1: Line the bottoms of 3 - 8" round cake pans with parchment and spray sides with non-stick spray. Divide batter evenly into each pan and spread out with a spatula (about 13 ounces per pan). Bake on centre rack for 17-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Remove cake from pans and peel off parchment. Brush each layer with the simple syrup. Arrange one layer on a serving plate and spread with approximately 1/4 of icing. Top with another layer and repeat with icing and top with the remaining cake layer. Ice the top, reserving a small amount of icing to fill in the layer sides. Run a bench scraper or long straight edge spatula around the outside of the cake to smear and flatten the icing into a "naked cake" look. Dust the top with cinnamon and cut into desired wedges.
Option 2: Spray a 9"x13" pan with non-stick spray. Pour batter into the pan and spread out evenly with a spatula. Bake on centre rack for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Brush with simple syrup and spread evenly with frosting. Cut into desired squares and serve.
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil stirring until sugar is dissolved. Once at a boil, allow syrup to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in brandy. Allow to cool completely before brushing on the cake.
Cream Cheese Icing
Beat butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, spices and vanilla. Beat until just combined. Frost cake as desired.
Using a food processor, blend pretzels and sugar until you have a fine crumb. Add melted butter and pulse until combined.
Press crumbs evenly into a 10" springform pan. Bake for 6 minutes, remove and allow to cool to room temperature while preparing the filling.
Increase oven to 400°F.
Hull strawberries and cut in quarters. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Flip strawberries and continue to roast for 20 minutes. Strawberries will be soft and jammy. Allow them to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Beat in yogurt, 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and vanilla. Keep chilled until ready to proceed.
Whip heavy cream and the remaining 1/4 cup of powdered sugar until stiff. Keep chilled until ready to proceed.
Once strawberries have cooled, combine with the granulated sugar in a food processor or blender and blend until pureed and combined.
Stir strawberry mixture into the cream cheese/yogurt mixture until completed combined. Fold in whipped cream and pour over cooled pretzel crust. Smooth out top and place in freezer for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
When ready to serve, remove from freezer and remove outer springform ring at least 20 minutes prior to serving. Cut into wedges and serve garnished with additional whipped cream and fresh macerated strawberries if desired.
-strawberries can be roasted and chilled one day ahead.
-frozen cake well covered will keep for up to a month in the freezer.
Combine cherries and sugar in a small sauce pan and heat to a simmer over medium heat. Stir water and cornstarch together in a small bowl and add to cherries, stirring constantly until combine and mixture returns to a full simmer. Remove from heat and allow to cool to slightly warm or room temperature. Continue with recipe as cherries cool.
Preheat oven to 350℉ and prepare a 9"x5"x3"loaf pan by spraying with non stick spray or lightly greasing with butter and lining with parchment that overhangs the long edges.
In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt until combined.
Beat together butter, cream cheese and sugar until smooth, scraping the bowl once or twice. Add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl and beating after each until incorporated. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Pour in half the milk and half the flour and beat until just combined. Repeat with remaining milk and flour. Scrape the bowl and add chocolate chips and mix to combine.
Pour half the batter into prepared pan and spread smooth. Top with half the cherry sauce, remaining batter and cherry sauce again on the top. Using a table knife, swirl batter in a figure eight pattern two or three times to create nice swirls of cherry sauce. No need to over swirl.
Bake in preheated oven for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in pan prior to lifting out and slicing.
In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Generously butter an 8"x8" pan. Spread half the bread cubes evenly in pan and dot with half of the cream cheese chunks. Sprinkle with 1/2 the blueberries. Repeat with remaining bread, cream cheese and blueberries. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375℉. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes until golden and set in the centre. Remove from oven and serve with balsamic blueberry sauce.
Balsamic Blueberry Sauce
In a medium sauce pan combine blueberries, sugar, and 4 tbsp of water. Cook over medium heat until simmering and sugar has dissolved, approximately 10 minutes. Stir together cornstarch and remaining 2 tbsp of water. Stir into blueberries and heat to a full simmer. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and blueberry balsamic vinegar. Serve warm with french toast.
Balsamic Blueberry Sauce can be made a day ahead with the french toast and rewarmed for serving, or cooked while the Blueberry French Toast is baking. I made the french toast in muffin tins for presentation, however they were fussy to assemble and difficult to remove from tins. A single 8"x8" pan is recommended.