Mother’s Day Recipe!

Mother’s Day strawberry & mascarpone cream Victoria sponge

StrawberryCake

 

I always feel spring is coming when Mother’s Day has arrived. Even if the weather doesn’t oblige, I like to bake a cake that invokes springtime. This is a lovely cake for a family Sunday lunch. If you do not like to use mascarpone cheese, then use all freshly whipped cream.

150g (6oz) butter/margarine, at room temperature

125g (5oz) caster sugar

3 large eggs

50g (2oz) potato flour

50g (2oz) corn flour

50g (2oz) tapioca flour

1 teaspoon GF baking powder

½ teaspoon guar gum

To decorate

150ml (5floz) whipping cream

225g (9oz) mascarpone cheese

3 tablespoons icing sugar

1 punnet of strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped

Extra icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190°C/375°F.

Grease two 20cm/8in sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter/margarine with the sugar until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly.

Add the eggs, a little at a time, to the butter/margarine mixture. Beat between each addition.

In another bowl, sieve the flours, baking powder and guar gum and mix until blended.

Using a spoon, rather than a mixer, fold the flour into the egg mixture in three or four batches. Make sure one batch is folded in before adding the next one.

If the mixture seems a little tight – i.e. too stiff and does not drop easily off a spoon – then add 1–2 teaspoons of warm water. Add one at a time and mix it in. This will loosen the mixture.

Divide evenly between the two tins and smooth the surface with the back of a palette knife.

Bake in the preheated oven on the centre shelf for 25 minutes or so – the sponges should be golden brown and springy.

Remove from the oven and leave to sit in the tins for 1–2 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling tray. It is easier to do this if you first loosen around the edges with a flat knife.

Peel off the baking parchment and allow to cool.68 68‍

 

To decorate

When the sponge is cool, whip the cream lightly. In a separate bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese and sieve in the icing sugar, beating until fully blended.

Add the whipped cream and mix in.

Place one sponge with its bottom facing upwards on a serving plate. Spread the mascarpone filling generously onto this and sprinkle with halved strawberries. Hold some strawberries back for the top of the cake.

Sandwich the second sponge snugly on top of the first.

Dust the top with icing sugar and arrange a pile of strawberry segments in the centre.

St. Patrick’s Day Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Chocolate peppermint cookies

These cookies are a fun way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. If you have a shamrock-shaped cutter, even better! Store the cookies in an airtight container until you are ready and add the frosting just before serving.

Shamrock cookies

Makes 12–14

200g (8oz) Denise’s Delicious flour blend
¼ teaspoon GF baking powder
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
100g (4oz) butter/margarine, at room temperature
100g (4oz) caster sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting
200g (8oz) icing sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2–3 teaspoons water
Natural green food colouring

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190°C/375°F. Grease a baking tray lightly and place a sheet of baking parchment on top.

In a medium bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Sieve these three times to make sure the cocoa is blended.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter/margarine and sugar until light in colour and fluffy in texture. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined, but do not overbeat. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.

Transfer the dough to a large sheet of baking parchment and shape into a log 4–5cm/1½–2in in diameter. Roll up in the parchment, wrapping well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm.

Slice the chilled cookie dough log into rounds no more than ½cm/¼in thick. Alternatively, if you want to use a cookie cutter roll out the dough using some potato flour to stop it sticking and cut with the cookie cutter. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet leaving plenty of space between each cookie.

Bake for 11–13 minutes, until the cookies are set around the edges and firm.

Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2–3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday!

Gluten-Free Buttermilk pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup

My idea of an ideal brunch is to have a pile of buttermilk pancakes; all to myself!

I load the plate with fresh berries however, my version of a ‘drizzle’ of maple syrup or honey (depending on my mood) is so heavy-handed that I fear for my calorie intake for that meal. Perhaps it’s just as well that I don’t have the time to make these pancakes as regularly as I’d like!

Derek and I have recently discovered the chef Simon Hopkinson on BBC Good Food. I think Derek likes him because they both cook like Frenchmen; lashings of butter & salt in everything. Simon made the most divine pancakes recently, filled with crème pâtissière and with a rum sauce. Not quite for breakfast but a brilliant way to finish a dinner party. I’m looking forward to trying the recipe in a gluten free version on my Delicious Derek for Valentine’s.

In the meantime, let’s be a little bit healthy for pancake Tuesday and start the day with these nice, quick to make pancakes. And, oh, by the way – easy on the maple syrup!!

If you don’t feel like blending the flour yourself, pop on to http://www.delicious.ie/shop and pick up a bag of it!

Ingredients

150g (6oz) Denise’s Delicious flour blend

1 tablespoon GF baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons caster sugar

2 large eggs

390ml (13floz) buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Butter/margarine to grease pan

To serve:

175g (7oz) blueberries

Maple syrup

Method

  1. Preheat the griddle pan (or heavy-based frying pan).
  2. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and stir in the sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk and add the buttermilk and vanilla extract and whisk until fully combined.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Using a whisk, beat well.
  5. Melt butter/margarine in preheated pan and pour some batter into the centre of pan. Tilt the pan to spread the batter until pancake is approximately 10–12cm/4–4½in in diameter.
  6. When batter has set, flip pancake using a palette knife or fish slice, and brown on the other sides. Repeat until all the pancakes are cooked.
  7. Serve warm with fresh blueberries and maple syrup.

Buttermilk pancakes