All things eggy - from chocolates to decorations (Part 1) - Easter passion cake & Malted hot cross buns

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Set your table to match the occasion with spring flowers, pastel-hued crockery and all things eggy - from chocolates to decorations.

Easter passion cake

Carrots and pineapple make this cake incredibly moist - a real teatime treat!

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves 16

Easy/prepare ahead/freeze (cake only)

Description: Easter passion cake

Easter passion cake

300g (10oz) golden caster sugar

3 free-range eggs

300ml (1/2pt) sunflower oil

1tsp vanilla extract

300g (10oz) self-raising flour

2tsp ground cinnamon

50g (2oz) desiccated coconut

150g (5oz) carrots, peeled and grated

225g can crushed pineapple, drained

For the filling and decoration

500g tub mascarpone cheese

1tbsp vanilla extract

50g (2oz) caster sugar

8tbsp lemon curd

Handful mini eggs

You will need

2 x 20cm (8in) round cake tins, lined with baking parchment

  1. Heat the oven to 190 C, 170 C fan, 375 F, gas 5. Put the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla into a bowl and whisk with an electric mixer for a few minutes, until pale and well combined.
  2. Sift in the flour and cinnamon. Add the coconut, carrots and pineapple and gently fold everything together. Divide the mixture between the tins. Bake for 30 minutes, until well risen, golden and shrinking away from the sides of the tin. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool.
  3. To make the filling, put the mascarpone, vanilla and sugar in a bowl and mix together until smooth.
  4. Slice each cake in half, horizontally. Put the base of 1 cake on to a cake stand or serving plate, spread with 4tbsp lemon curd. Top with another cake and spread with half the flavored mascarpone. Repeat with the other 2 layers of cake and arrange the eggs on top.

Per serving: 482 calories, 32g fat (13g saturated), 47g carbohydrate

Malted hot cross buns

A new take on a favorite still has dried fruit to help towards your 5 a day.

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus rising

Cooking time; 20 minutes

Makes 12

Prepare ahead

Description: Malted hot cross buns

Malted hot cross buns

500g (1lb 2oz) strong white bread flour

250g (9oz) malted strong brown flour

85g (31/2oz) butter, cubed

1tsp each cinnamon and mixed spice

50g (2oz) light muscovado sugar

150g (5oz) mixed dried fruit

85g (31/2oz) dried apricots, chopped

7g sachet easy-bake dried yeast

300ml (1/2pt) warm milk

2tbsp malt extract (we used Rayner's)

2 free-range eggs

For the crosses

85g (31/2oz) plain white flour

2tbsp golden caster sugar, to glaze

You will need

Large baking sheet, greased

Piping bag fitted with 1cm (1/2in) nozzle

  1. Heat the oven to 200 C, 180 C fan, 400 F, gas 6. Sift the flours and 1tsp salt in a bowl. Rub in the butter, until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the spices, sugar, dried fruit and yeast. Make a well in the center. Beat the milk, malt and eggs together; add to the flour and mix to a soft dough. Turn out on to a floured surface; knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  2. Knock back the dough and knead lightly for a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape into buns. Place on the baking sheet, cover loosely with oiled clingfilm; leave in a warm place for 45 minutes, until doubled in size.
  3. Cut a cross in the top of each bun. Mix the flour and 3 to 4tbsp cold water to form a paste. Pipe a cross on each bun. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir the sugar into 1tbsp boiling water until syrupy. Remove from the oven; brush with the glaze. Cool on a rack.
Per bun: 400 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated), 75g carbohydrate
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