Easter eats

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Enjoy some Easter food with a luxe twist this year, with these two recipes brought to you by food writer Libby Kimber.

Carrot cake

Images and text from Oats in the North, Wheat from the South by Regula Ysewijn, photography by Regula Ysewijn. Murdoch Books, RRP $49.99. Available 15 April.

Serves: 6-8

easter food

For the cake

  • 250ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 225g raw (demerara) sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 300g wholemeal wheat flour or spelt flour
  • Grated zest of 1/2 orange
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 5 large cloves, ground
  • Pinch of pepper and sea salt
  • 400g carrots, grated
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g pecans or walnuts, broken
  • Butter, for greasing
  • Flour, for dusting

For the topping

  • 200g cashews, soaked overnight in cold water or in hot water for 1–2 hours
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup or golden syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 100g Greek yoghurt, skyr or coconut yoghurt
  • Unsalted pistachio nuts or marzipan carrots

Start with the topping. Drain the cashews and pat dry with paper towel. Place in a food processor or blender, add the syrup and blend until smooth. Add the salt and yoghurt and blend until smooth and creamy. Spoon into a small bowl and place in the fridge.

Preheat your oven to 180°C and prepare two 18–20cm round cake tins.

For the cake, beat the oil and sugar together in an electric mixer for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add a teaspoon of flour with the last egg to prevent the mixture from separating.

Add the orange zest, spices and salt, followed by the grated carrot. Mix well with a spatula. Mix in the remaining flour and the baking powder until the batter is well combined. Finally, stir in the nuts.

Divide the batter between the two tins. Firmly tap the tins on the bench to distribute the batter and remove any air bubbles.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 35–40 minutes, then test the cakes with a skewer – if it comes out clean, the cakes are ready.

Allow the cakes to cool completely before assembling. If you’ve made the cakes a day ahead, place them in the fridge 1 hour before decorating.

Spread or pipe one-third of the topping over the bottom cake layer. Add the second cake layer and spread the rest of the topping over the cake. Decorate with whole and chopped pistachio nuts or marzipan carrots. Place the cake in the refrigerator after assembly if you’re not serving it immediately.

Choc banana soft-serve

Images and text from The Australian Healthy Skin Diet by Geraldine Georgeou, photography by Chris Chen. Murdoch Books, RRP $35.

Serves: 4

  • 2 bananas, chopped and frozen
  • 2 Tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (50g) vanilla protein powder
  • 30g cacao nibs
  • 30g flaked almonds

Put the banana, cacao powder, maple syrup and protein powder in a small food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Spoon into glasses or cups, top with cacao nibs and flaked almonds and serve immediately.

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