As Mother’s day fast approaches (don’t worry, you still have time but not long) I get a little unnerved by the displays in shops encouraging us to spend hundreds of pounds on our Mums. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Mum but she would be horrified (and probably a bit perplexed) if I bought her an iPad for Mother’s Day.
To me Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday as it’s known in my house is a time for a simple thank you and I love you. A card, maybe some daffodils and perhaps something homemade… like a cake.
Waitrose got in touch and invited me to recreate some of their Mother’s Day recipes. There are many inspiring homemade gift ideas on Waitrose.com to help you spoil your Mum this Mother’s Day. How about a luxurious Lemon Drizzle Cake or this classic recipe for a Victoria Sandwich?
I asked Bernie which he would like me to make and he requested Delia’s Coffee & Walnut Sponge Cake. I also decided to make the Rhubarb & Ginger Tart too, as the recipe looked really easy to recreate if you are wanting to get little ones involved with the gift making.
I fiddled with the recipes slightly, not all deliberate! One of the fiddles I did have control over was the decision to use fresh espresso from our new coffee machine, rather than the espresso powder listed. I’ve been wanting to experiment with that for a while, so this seemed like the perfect excuse. I also rearranged the order I followed the recipe, as my way felt more natural – not that I am questioning Delia of course!
I used a different size tin, I’d assumed the sandwich tins listed were a standard size. But when I transferred the mixture to the prepared tins I soon realised there was nowhere near enough. Apparently the difference between 18cm and 21cm is MASSIVE. After a brief panic I decided to make a single layer cake. The other change I made was another forced one – somehow (I may blame baby brain for this one) rather than walnut halves I had picked up walnut pieces. Not a problem in the cake itself but the recipe called for 8 walnut pieces to be placed around the edge of the cake. So I blitzed them up and completely covered the cake instead. If I was making the cake again, I might try toasting them too.
The fiddle for the Tart was also down to baby brain, I failed to read the recipe properly and rather than buying a block of puff pastry, I bought sheets. Not really that much of a problem and makes it even easier to assemble for those tiny human hands, if recreating with the kids. Also I do not own a 23cm pie dish, so I went for a 23cm square dish which worked fine.
If you wanted to make things harder for yourself, you could make the puff pastry and also the jam filling yourself.
Coffee & Walnut Cake
adapted from Delia’s Coffee & Walnut Sponge Cake – Waitrose.com
single shot of espresso
115g / 4oz unsalted butter – at room temp, cubed
115g / 4oz golden caster sugar
2 large eggs – lightly beaten
115g / 4oz self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g / 1.8oz walnuts – blitzed
For the topping…
single shot of espresso
250g / 8.8oz mascarpone
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
75g / 2.6oz walnuts – blitzed
Make a single shot of espresso and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 170°c / 325°f / gas mark 3 and line & grease a 21cm loose bottomed cake tin.
In a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar – once pale and fluffy slowly add the beaten egg, a bit at a time.
Carefully mix in the flour and baking powder, once all combined the mix will be quite stiff – you want to add enough espresso so the mix falls easily off a spatula. I used the full single shot but you may find you need less.
Finally fold in the blitzed walnuts. Transfer to the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in its tin for 5 minutes. Then gently remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile make another single shot of espresso, once cooled mix it with the mascarpone & sugar.
Spread it all over the top and side of the cooled cake, then cover liberally with the remaining blitzed walnuts.
This cake will last a few days in the fridge but is best eaten on the day it’s baked.
Rhubarb & Ginger Bakewell Tart
adapted from Waitrose.com
1 sheet of ready rolled puff pastry – about 215g (if frozen, thaw fully)
4 tbsp Waitrose Rhubarb & Ginger Extra Fruity Preserve
100g / 3.5oz unsalted butter – room temperature
100g / 3.5oz golden caster sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg – lightly beaten
100g / 3.5oz ground almonds
a big handful or two of flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 190°c / 375°f / gas mark 5
Get your sheet of puff pastry and check it will snuggly fit into your chosen dish, if not – roll it out a bit so it does.
Place it in the dish and fold, crimp, squidge any overhanging pastry into the dish. You don’t need to be precious about it, which really is the joy of this very simple tart.
Prick over the bottom with a fork.
Spread the jam over the pastry.
In a stand mixer cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale.
Add the egg, a little at a time and then fold in the ground almonds.
Spread this over the jam layer, leaving a little border.
Sprinkle over a handful or two of flaked almonds.
Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, if the top starts to get too brown – cover with tin foil.
Once baked, you can eat it straight away if you want.
You could allow it to cool a little.
You can let it cool fully.
You can eat it a few days later.
You can serve it with cream.
Or Greek yogurt.
Or Ice Cream.
Whatever you fancy really.
But most importantly, you should serve it to your Mum and say thanks for being awesome.
Check out the Waitrose Mother’s Day page for gift ideas and other Mother’s Day recipes including Heston’s brunch and Roasts. You can also share your #ThanksMum messages on a app, which is creating a beautiful 3D flower installation at Kew Gardens with the chance to be entered into a Mother’s Day prize draw.
Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Waitrose.com, they provided the ingredients and recipe. All pictures, words, baking, eating and opinions are my own.