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Thursday, 10 May 2012

Mother's Day Baking Ideas and Treats

I LOVE YOU MUM!

It is Mother's Day in my homeland this weekend and I can't be with my Mum or send her baked treats which is really frustrating and sad.  I will of course Skype with her and phone her but will miss not being with her on the day.  I am so lucky because she is totally awesome and the best Mum in the world I could ever have.  She is also a fabulous Nana to my 3 daughters.  We can't wait until she comes all the way over to see us again.

Hopefully not everyone will be like us and separate from their Mums on the day.  If you are in a similar situation to us, my thoughts are with you, as they are with those whose Mums are not around for whatever reason. 

Should you want to whip up some treats for your Mum, or encourage your children, partner or others to make some for you, then this is the blog post for you.  I blogged some Mother's Day Recipes for Mothering Sunday here in the UK and thought I would suggest some more recipes suitable for everyone from young children, and those who don't cook that often, to experienced cooks so that Mums can be pampered and given tasty treats.

Remember, you can treat your Mum to a homemade pressie anytime,
 not just on Mother's Day!


Breakfast

Easy Breakfast Trifle Treat
 
This looks great if you can put it into tall glasses or tumblers.  Great recipe that kids can make themselves as all it involves is layering ingredients into bowls or glasses. 

2 cups low-fat natural yoghurt
2 Tablespoons honey
2 cups breakfast cereal (Muesli or oats based is best)
2 punnets of berries or 1 tin of well drained tinned fruit salad

Put the yoghurt and honey into a bowl and mix together well. Divide half the yoghurt evenly between 4 small bowls or tall glasses.  Top with half of the cereal and then half of the berries/fruit salad.  Repeat the layers until all the ingredients have been used.



Fruit Bread

2 tsp mixed spice
3 1/4 cups plain flour
2 tsp instant dried yeast
1/4 cup sugar
375ml (1 1/2 cups) warm water
2 cups of mixed dried fruit
1 Tblsp milk
1 Tblsp each cinnamon and sugar mixed together

Sift mixed spice and 3 cups flour into a bowl. Stir in yeast and sugar. Make a well in the centre. Add water then mix to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Add remaining flour. Knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. I use my stand mixer to knead my bread if I'm not in the mood to knead it by hand.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. I leave my dough in the stand mixer, with the plastic shield on it the dough proves quite happily. Grease a 6cm-deep, 9cm x 19cm loaf tin.

Using your fist, punch the dough down. Knead until smooth. I just knead the dough a little in my stand mixer. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface. Gradually knead in the dried fruit. Again, I just use my stand mixer. Shape then put in to the prepared loaf tin. Cover with lightly greased cling film and set aside in a warm place for 15 minutes or until the dough rises to the top of the tin.

Meanwhile, your preheat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced. Once the dough has risen, brush the top of it with milk. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 170C/150C fan-forced. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and hollow when tapped on top. Stand in tin for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve with butter and jam.



Continuing the breakfast theme, you could make some PikeletsCrumpets, or just serve toast with spread and a hot cuppa or juice.  I'm sure most Mums would appreciate a breakfast that they didn't have to prepare themselves.  Some flowers from the garden in a small vase on the breakfast tray or table along with using some decent crockery and cutlery will help make the occasion a bit more speacial too.

Treats and Baking

Chocolate Balls

This is another treat that kids can make themeselves and is fab for kids parties as well as Mother's Day treats.  You could decorate a special box to put them in as well, just make sure it's suitable to put food in, you don't want Mum getting crook.

8 Weetbix, crushed
1 cup sultanas
½ cup cocoa
1 x 395g can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup chocolate cake decorating sprinkles or 100's and 1000's

Put the crushed Weetbix, sultanas, cocoa and condensed milk into a large bowl and mix until totally combined.  Roll the mixture into 30 balls and then roll them in the sprinkles.  Put them in the fridge to firm up for a bit before you serve them.



Cake Balls or Cake Pops

You can put these on a stick or leave them as cake balls and put them in mini muffin cases.  Cake pops are perfect for birthday parties or gift ideas as well as a Mother's Day treat.  They are so easy to make, the only heat required is to melt the chocolate, so kids can make these easily.  You can either make your own sponge cake or use a bought one.  You could use a few tablespoons of buttercream icing instead of the chocolate to make the cake balls if you wanted to.  However, make sure the mixture isn't too wet or you won't be able to mould it into balls properly.  If you decide to use buttercream mix it in one tablespoon at a time.

100g good quality milk or dark chocolate
250g plain sponge cake
2 tbsp desiccated coconut

To decorate:

300g milk, dark or white chocolate
Cake decorating sprinkles, finely chopped nuts or grated chocolate

Melt the chocolate in heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Crumble the cake into a bowl, then stir in the melted chocolate and desiccated coconut.  Mix well until completely combined.

Roll golf ball sized pieces of the mixture into balls. If you want to make cake pops insert the sticks now about 1/2 way through the cake pop.  Put in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes, or until they are firm.

Meanwhile, melt the 300g of additional chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water and line a baking tray with greaseproof/non-stick baking paper.  Put your choice of sprinkles onto a plate.

Take the chilled cake balls or cake pops out of the fridge and carefully dip them one at a time into the melted chocolate.  Gently roll in the decorating sprinkles and then put them on the lined baking tray so that the chocolate coating can firm up.  You can do this at room temperature or put the cake balls or pops back in the fridge for another 20 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.


You could also make a Quick and Easy Banana Cake, Sponge Traybake or Chocolate Loaf.  You can find some great recipes to get blokes baking on the Blokes Who Bake website which has a wealth of recipes written by blokes for blokes. 

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