Forget the chocolate eggs this Easter, get creative with this edible garden from the team at Petal Met Sugar in Woolloomooloo. Go on, do that hard-working Easter bunny a good turn.
For chocolate cake base
180g butter, softened
200g plain flour
9g baking powder
45g cocoa powder
Milk chocolate ganache
250ml pure cream
340g Callebaut milk chocolate (about 33.6 per cent cocoa solids) or milk chocolate
Chocolate strawberry "carrots"
1 punnet strawberries
150g orange Callebaut chocolate (or 150g white chocolate, and an oil-based or chocolate-specific orange food colouring)
chocolate ripple biscuits, crushed
edible flowers (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 160C fan forced. Spray a 25cm x 18cm pan with cooking spray and line with baking paper.
2. Mix the butter, sugar and salt until creamy and lighter in colour.
3. Add eggs one by one, beating well between each, then continue mixing for one minute until light and fluffy.
4. Add sifted plain flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder and mix until combined.
5. Add milk gradually in a slow stream to prevent lumps.
6. Fill your prepared cake tin to three-quarters full.
7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a metal skewer, stuck into the middle, comes out clean.
8. Take out of the oven and place upside down on a metal rack to cool down, about 30 minutes, to flatten the top.
9. To make the ganache, bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan. Pour hot cream over the chocolate in a large bowl, to allow space for mixing. Whisk your mixture together until there are no more chocolate lumps and it is well combined. Refrigerate until firm.
10. Rinse strawberries and place them on a paper towel to completely dry. Melt orange Callebaut chocolate in 20 second bursts in the microwave, stirring in-between. If using white chocolate, mix in orange food colouring one drop at a time. (Tip: if you use a smaller bowl, you will need less chocolate to submerge your strawberries.)
11. Use cooking oil spray to stick a sheet of baking paper onto a tray. Dip the strawberries in the chocolate, until it reaches the green stem and place on to the paper. Using a spoon or piping bag, drizzle a little extra chocolate across the strawberries, either in a zig zag or straight across, to make the lines on a carrot. Set in the fridge.
12. To assemble, spread the milk chocolate ganache on top of the chocolate cake. Sprinkle crushed chocolate biscuits to completely cover the ganache so that it resembles soil.
13. Use a teaspoon to dig little holes and plant your strawberry "carrots" in the cake.
14. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with edible flowers on the soil as desired.
Petal Met Sugar is a florist and bakery based in Sydney's Woolloomooloo, see petalmetsugar.com.au