It's nearly holiday time. And with family and friends gathering, the kids home for the holidays and Easter cards and crafts coming from school by the bucket load, we feel the time is right for a little Easter bake-off.
In this week’s post, Brahman Hills executive chef - Jan Louis Van der Schyff - shares a couple of his toothsome recipes. We are going to try our hands at a homemade carrot cake - classic Easter fare. Then there’s delicious shortbread for a moreish holiday treat. And finally Pintrest worthy unicorn bark - easy to make with the kids, festively decorated and delicious fun.
So gather your sieve, don your apron, invite your little helpers and let’s get baking!
Carrot cake is a firm Easter favourite. Beautifully moist and spicy, you can make this cake in tiers and layer with cream cheese frosting. Be sure to grate the carrots on the smallest setting and don’t be shy with the spices. With add-ins, less is more in this case. Too many extras and the cake consistency will become crumbly, gummy or wet. Not the piece of cake you’re looking for!
1.4kg grated carrot (grate finely)
240g pecan nuts (roasted)
40g baking powder
20g ground cinnamon
20g ginger powder
5g all spice
20g bicarb of soda
420g brown sugar
120g golden syrup
880ml cooking oil
1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
180g cream cheese
A tin of home-baked shortbread. Yum! It’s a holiday treat that’s stood the test of many tea times. It keeps everyone happy from granny to baby. If it’s a warm South African day when you’re cooking, then wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill it in the fridge until it’s easy to handle. You can get fancy and roll dough into thin-ish sausage shapes and then twist them before baking - making a fun shortbread twirl. Or dip half the biscuit (after it has baked and cooled) into melted chocolate for a semi-coated look. We’ve also seen a dent made in the top of the biscuit dough cookies which, after baking, are then filled with mini chocolate eggs so they resemble little nests.
75g castor sugar
250g plain flour
And finally an especially colourful one that you can easily do with the kids over the Easter holidays! This one is a doddle to make and the kiddies can get involved too. So, the toppings are only limited by your personal preferences, size and availability. You could also buy coloured melting chocolate if you can get your hands on some, but white chocolate coloured by food colouring works just as well. Have a look at the clip from DELISH to see how they do it.
Happy baking and happy holidays from the kitchen at Brahman Hills!