Flower deliveries are fast being booked up and there’s no shops open – so if you’ve left it late to show your mum she matters this Mothers’ Day (14 March), it’s time to get your pinny on and make her something special.
These are so easy, but resemble pricey Parisian treats.
180g chocolate (milk or plain), chopped
60g chopped almonds
20g chopped, dried fruit eg. cherries, apricots
30g contrasting chocolate (plain, milk or white)
Optional sprinkles: flaky sea-salt, crystallised ginger, sugared orange and lemon peel, coconut flakes
1. Quarter-fill a small pan with water, set over a low heat, and bring to a gentle simmer. Put a dry, ovenproof bowl over the pan and add the chocolate. Melt, stirring occasionally. (If you have a sugar thermometer you can temper the chocolate to make it shine and give it ‘snap’. Heat it to 110°–115°F, then cool to 95°–100°F and use).
2. Line a tray with baking parchment. When the chocolate is melted, let it cool slightly, then use a spoon or piping bag to make circles on the paper. Sprinkle with toppings, and allow to set.
3. In a clean bowl, melt the contrasting chocolate, then use a teaspoon to drizzle over the set discs.
4. Separate with baking paper when you pack them.
Lemon drizzle cake
The classic afternoon tea delight - easy to rustle up, but looks a million dollars.
225g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
zest of 1 lemon
For the drizzle
2 tbsps lemon juice
85g caster sugar
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC (180ºC Fan). Grease a 1L loaf tin and line with baking paper.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together until primrose-yellow, then whisk in each egg separately.
3. Fold the flour in with a metal spoon, and stir the lemon zest through.
4. Transfer the mix to the tin. Bake for an hour. Check it’s done by inserting a skewer in the centre - it should stay clean.
5. Mix the sugar and lemon juice until the granules are melted. Skewer little holes in the cake top.
6. Transfer from tin to a wire rack over a baking tray. Pour the lemon drizzle mix all over the cake and let it cool.
Watch: Paula Deen shares special Mother’s Day dish
This requires a bit of effort, but it’s a beautiful edible gift. You could also use raspberries.
For the pastry
75g cold, unsalted butter, cubed
150g plain flour
50g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
For the crème patissière
3-4 drops vanilla essence
2 egg yolks
2 tbsps cornflour, mixed to a paste with cold water
65g granulated sugar
For the topping
200g strawberries, whole (small) or halved (large)
1 tbsp icing sugar
1. Make the pastry. Add butter and flour to a food processor and pulse, or rub together till you have a fine, crumb-y texture. Stir through the icing sugar, then add egg yolk to bind. If it feels very dry, add a tsp of cold water.
2. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in cling-film and chill for half an hour (you and the pastry).
3. Preheat the oven to 180°(160° fan). Grease a 20cm loose-bottomed tart tin, and roll out the pastry to line, leaving an overhang. Line the base with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes, remove beans and paper and bake for another 10 minutes, or until pastry is dry and golden.
4. Make the crème patissière: Put 350ml milk and the vanilla into a medium saucepan. Warm to a light simmer, stirring.
5. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolk, 150ml milk, cornflour and granulated sugar.
6. Slowly, pour in the heated milk, whisking as you go. Return to the pan, and heat, whisking, till it boils. Turn heat down and keep stirring till you have a thick custard.
7. Cool before using. Place cling-film on the surface to stop skin forming.
8. Pour the crème patissiere into the case, and decorate with strawberries. Sieve icing sugar over to finish.
Read more: Quick and easy recipes for kids lunchboxes
You cannot go wrong with these little love-bombs and they’re easy for children to make, supervised.
2-3 tsps boiling water
120g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
170g caster sugar
170g butter (room temp)
For the buttercream icing
60g butter (room temp)
250g icing sugar
¼ tsp red food colour
Sugar flowers or sweets to top
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160° fan) and line a bun tin with paper cases.
2. Mix the boiling water with the cocoa to form a thick paste (half a tsp at a time).
3. Add the rest of the cake ingredients to a large bowl, and beat with a whisk, incorporating the cocoa paste.
4. Distribute between cases with two spoons.
5. Bake for 12-15 minutes till the tops are risen and spring back when touched. Leave to cool on a rack.
6. Make the icing: Beat the butter till creamy and add icing sugar a little at a time. Add the colouring, and trickle in milk to a stiff consistency.
7. Use a piping bag or teaspoon to ice each cake, and add decorations to finish.
Watch: Try the magical drip cake trend at home with three ingredients