From the moment we are born our Mum’s do so much for us that on Mother’s Day it can sometimes be the case that we feel like the bunch of flowers, a card or chocolates we might buy maybe isn’t quite enough to show how much we love them.
One thing we know that our Mum’s love though, is a handmade gift. Whether it was your first handprint Mother’s Day card or the first time you made them a paper flower, gifts that are handmade come from the heart. Rather than take the handmade down the craft route, we thought we’d indulge in something homemade with our afternoon tea treats, perfect to show your Mum you care.
BBC Good Food
Give a traditional afternoon tea classic a fruity twist and when lovingly covered with rich dark chocolate what is there not to like?
“The perfect addition to your Mother's Day this year, an afternoon tea with a twist on some classics.”
200g dark chocolate, finely chopped
Freeze-dried raspberry pieces, to decorate (optional)
For the chocolate biscuit base;
100g butter, softened
75g icing sugar
1 medium egg yolk
1tsp vanilla extract
175g plain flour
4tbsp cocoa powder
For the marshmallow;
3 gelatine leaves
3 medium egg whites
175g white caster sugar
Good quality raspberry jam
- First, make the chocolate biscuit bases. Put the butter and icing sugar in a large bowl, mash together with a wooden spoon then beat for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, milk, flour, cocoa and a pinch of salt and mix again. Tip onto your work surface and knead briefly until evenly coloured. Wrap in cling film, pat into a disc and chill for 20 minutes.
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment. Dust the surface with a little flour, unwrap the dough and roll to the thickness of a £1 coin. Use a 5cm cookie cutter to stamp out as many discs as you can, then re-roll the trimmings to cut out more – you should get about 35 in total. Place on the baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes, swapping the trays over halfway through. Cool on a wire rack.
- Next, make the marshmallow filling. Put the gelatine in a bowl of cold water and set aside to soften. Put the egg white, sugar, 1 tbsp water and a good pinch of salt in a heatproof bowl. Place over a pan of gently simmering water making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and whisk until thick and leaving a prominent trail from the beaters – this will take about 5 minutes. When the meringue is thick, remove the bowl from the heat and continue whisking while you add the gelatine leaves, one at a time. Keep whisking for another 3-5 minutes until the meringue has cooled slightly and is really stiff. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle.
- Flip each biscuit over so the bottom is facing upwards. Spoon 1/2 tsp jam onto the middle of each biscuit. Holding the piping bag above the jam, pipe a blob of meringue to fill the surface of the biscuit, quickly pulling away to make a spike. Leave to set for 30 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds or so to ensure it doesn’t burn. To cover the teacakes in chocolate, hold each one above the bowl at an angle and drizzle over the chocolate, letting it run back into the bowl, turning the teacake until completely covered. Place on a wire rack suspended over a baking tray. After 5-10 teacakes, sprinkle over a little freeze dried raspberry, if using.
BBC Good Food
Our next perfect little portion uses a flavour combination made in heaven, strawberry and white chocolate. This combined with rich, light pastry makes for the perfect afternoon tea treat.
For the choux pastry;
75g plain flour
2 large eggs
1 tbsp flaked almonds (optional)
For the filling;
2 tbsp custard powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
150ml Greek yoghurt
15g coarsely grated white chocolate
125g small strawberries, halved
Dusting of icing sugar (optional)
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Heat the butter in a non-stick pan with 125ml water until melted. Increase the heat until boiling then remove from the heat and quickly beat in the flour until the mixture comes together as a ball. Cool for 5 minutes then beat the eggs with 1 tbsp water then beat into the pastry a little at a time to make a thick glossy mix.
- Spoon onto the baking tray in 8 equal size blobs then add the almonds if using, poking them into the mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes until well risen and golden. Take from the oven make a slash in the sides and return to the oven for 5 minutes to dry out.
- While baking make the filling. Mix the custard powder with a little of the milk, then with the remaining milk and vanilla put in a non stick pan and cook, stirring over the heat until thickened. Stand for 5 minutes then beat in the yoghurt and set aside to cool, stirring frequently to make sure a skin doesn’t form. When cool, stir in the grated chocolate.
- Reserve 1tbsp of the custard mix then use the rest to fill the buns. Distribute all but 8 halves of the strawberries between the buns, then blob a little of the remaining custard filling on top and add the reserved strawberries. Lightly dust with icing sugar before serving if you like.
There’s no need to miss out on a fantastic afternoon tea just because of an allergy. This fantastic recipe makes a rich light gluten-free sponge!
150g dark chocolate
110g butter (unsalted) diced
125g golden caster sugar
4 eggs, separated
50g gluten-free plain flour
1tsp gluten-free baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a round, loose-bottomed 20cm tin.
- Place the dark chocolate and butter into a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat gently to melt the contents. Stir until the mix has melted then add the golden caster sugar.
- Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl with the egg yolks, flour, baking powder and vanilla extract. In another, clean dry bowl beat the egg whites until stiff.
- Add the egg white mix one tablespoon at a time and fold into the cake mix. Gradually mix everything together, pour into a cake tin and bake for 50 minutes.
- Leave to cool for five minutes before turning out and serving.
These perfect little portions of squishy goodness add the perfect modern twist to a much loved tradition.
5 free range eggs (whites only)
300g caster sugar
Food colouring if wanted
- Start by lining a large flat baking tray with baking paper.
Preheat oven to 200C. Line a deep roasting tray with baking paper, pour in caster sugar and put it in the oven for about 5 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to melt. Heating the sugar helps to create a glossy stable mixture.
- Meanwhile, crack the egg whites into your Kitchen Aid bowl, or a non-plastic bowl. Make sure your bowl and whisk are free from grease. At first whisk slowly allowing small stabilising bubbles to form, then increase the speed until the egg whites form stiff peaks.The sugar should be ready to take out of the oven at this point.
- Turn your oven down to 100C.
- While you whisk at full speed, slowly, big spoon by spoon, add the hot sugar to the meringue mixture. Once you have added all of the sugar, continue to whisk on full speed for about 5-7 minutes. Feel a bit of the mixture between your fingers, if you can still feel the gritty sugar keep whisking at full speed until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth, stiff and glossy.
- If you wish to colour your meringue turn a large piping bag inside out and paint stripes of food colouring down the sides. Add your meringue mix and pipe into small blobs pulling away quickly to create a peak.
- Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes.
Any one of these afternoon tea treats would make a lovely gift or full menu for your Mum, Nan, Godmother or any other woman you want to celebrate this Mother’s Day.Back to the Magazine