Easter at home
Malted Chocolate Allotment Cake
Not just a feast for the eyes but also for the stomach, this allotment cake is a happy reminder of the joy the summer months bring! A malted, rich, chocolate sponge topped with edible soil, coconut grass and sugar paste vegetables, you can have lots of fun with the family making this bake.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes (plus decoration time)
For the cake
- 235g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 235g soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 40g chocolate Ovaltine
- 35g cocoa powder
- 80ml milk, warm
- 235g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs
For the topping
- 100g bourbon biscuits
- 100g Oreo biscuits
- 70g desiccated coconut
- 1 - 2 tsp green food colouring
- 400g chocolate spread
- Fondant icing, for modelling
- Edible flowers, optional
Preheat the oven to 200°C/ Fan 180°C/ Gas Mark 6
- In a food mixer combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla essence. Beat on fast until light and fluffy.
- In a jug combine the Ovaltine, cocoa powder, and milk with 100ml of hot water to form a thick paste. Pour this into the butter sugar mixture and beat to combine.
- Sieve together the flour and baking powder. Crack in one egg to the butter chocolate mixture along with a spoon of flour. Beat for 20 seconds on fast until incorporated. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
- Fold in the reaming flour with a metal spoon until all the ingredients form a smooth chocolatey batter.
- Lightly grease the cake tin before pouring in the cake batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes until a skewer can come out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
- Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to completely cool whilst you prepare the toppings.
- Crush or blitz the biscuits in a food processor to form a crumb and set aside until ready to assemble. Make the allotment grass by combining the coconut and green food colouring in a bowl - stir well until all the coconut flakes are coated and turn a vibrant green.
- When the cake has completely cooled, spread the chocolate spread delicately over the top of the cake. Sprinkle the biscuit crumb all over the cake, pressing it gently to ensure it has stuck to the chocolate spread.
- Next, sprinkle the green coconut in lines around the parameter of the cake and then use to divide the cake into ‘vegetable beds’.
- Finish the cake by making and planting fondant vegetables and edible flowers.
- To decorate the top of the cake either make an array of vegetables from fondant icing or source edible flowers and miniature vegetables - we found cucamelons the perfect addition to our patch!
- Making fondant vegetables can be a little time consuming but a great activity whilst the cake is cooling.
- Using herbs like curly parsley for the tops of vegetables like carrots and radishes.
Help bring your culinary creations to life with homeware from Le Creuset, ZWILLING and Cath Kidston.
24cm round casserole shell pink
28cm rectangle cake tin
3-ply roaster tin
Spring Vegetable & Lamb Cutlet Traybake
Preparation time: 5 minutes (plus overnight marination) Cooking time: 50 minutes
For the marinade
- 8 lamb cutlets or chops
- 15 mint leaves, finely chopped
- 2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
- 3 sprigs thyme, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 lemon, zest & juice
- Cracked black pepper
For the bake
- 500g new potatoes
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- Sea salt
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 1 large leek, sliced into 2cm rounds
- 200g asparagus, woody ends removed
- 250g fresh or frozen broad beans
- 150g chicken stock
- ½ tbsp garlic puree
For the mint sauce
- Bunch of mint
- Pinch of salt
- 4 tbsp boiling water
- 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- The night before or at least 4 hours before cooking, marinade the cutlets. Place in a bowl along with the mint, rosemary, thyme and oil.
- Grate in the zest and squeeze in the juice of a lemon and give a good twist of pepper before massaging the marinade into the cutlets. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge overnight.
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200°C/ Fan 180°C/ Gas Mark 6. Slice the new potatoes in half and place in the roasting tin along with the oil, salt, and rosemary. Roast for 25 minutes until the potatoes are golden, tossing occasionally.
- Put the cutlets in the roasting tin (fatty rind touching the base of the roaster) and roast for a further 12 - 15 minutes.
- Remove the cutlets from the roast and cover with foil and allow to rest. Add the leeks, asparagus and broad beans to the roaster. Pour in the stock and stir through the garlic puree.
- Return the roaster to the oven and roast for a further 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft yet still vibrant.
- Quickly make the mint sauce by place all the ingredients in a small food processor. Pulse until a course, herby sauce forms.
- To serve, return the rested cutlets to the roaster and drizzle over the mint sauce. Serve straight to the table.
- When you add the cutlets or chops to the roaster, place them fat side touching the base of the roaster. This will render down the fat in the short amount of time they are in the oven.
- If you prefer your lamb cooked well done, cook for a further 5 - 6 minutes then allow to rest while the vegetables finish cooking.
Dress your Easter table
From colourful egg cups to spring-inspired tableware from Soho Home, Villeroy & Boch and The White Company.
Audley silver salt & pepper grinders
Rosa linen table runner
The White Company
Spring votive candle
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