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Easter carrot patch traybake
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125g dark brown soft sugar
175g golden caster sugar
300ml sunflower oil
3 British Blacktail Eggs (any size)
300g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
275g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
75g walnuts, chopped
2 x 105g packs Elizabeth Shaw Cappuccino Flutes, or 2 x 114g packs chocolate fingers
Cooks’ Ingredients Carrot Icing Decorations (or make your own from orange and green fondant icing)
For the icing
100g soft cheese (full fat)
30g unsalted butter, softened
200g icing sugar
For the chocolate soil
100g caster sugar
75g dark chocolate, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Line a 23x33cm tray with baking parchment.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the sugars, oil and eggs together until smooth. Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and ½ tsp salt, then beat until well mixed.
3. Stir in the carrots and walnuts until evenly dispersed. Pour into the lined tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
4. To make the icing, use an electric whisk to blend the soft cheese and butter together. Add the icing sugar in a few separate stages until it is all combined, then whisk on high speed for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is thick, pale and light.
5. For the chocolate soil, combine the caster sugar and 2 tbsp water in a small saucepan. Heat over a medium heat until the edges of the sugar syrup turn to a pale brown colour. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, then stir vigorously until a soil-like powder forms. Spread onto a baking tray and leave to cool completely.
6. Place the cake onto a serving board and spread the top and sides with cream cheese icing. If needed, cut the chocolate sticks/fingers into lengths about the same depth as the cake, then use them to cover the outside edges to make a fence. Sprinkle the chocolate soil over the cake, then nestle in the fondant carrots. This cake will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Cook’s tip Make extra chocolate soil and use it to decorate other Easter bakes. It looks great on cupcakes, over chocolate mousse or on my bunny tail biscuits.
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