I tentatively write this recipe up as a ‘mother’s day’ blog post. But I won’t lecture how we should all be thankful for our mothers. The thing is, mothering is an act. It’s not a giving-birth right. Not in my opinion anyway. READ MORE
Mother’s Day looms. I already have my gifts; a little cardboard pot coloured in with felt tips and a card shaped like a tea pot with some letters written backwards. These are my riches and I’ll keep them until they wheel me into a rest home. If you’ve already got the card and have run out of cardboard boxes to colour in then may I suggest this little afternoon tea for your Ma?
I made a lovely video with the Scoff folks to show off how to make this afternoon tea. You can see the vid on my YouTube channel and also the Scoff one. You can watch it below too.
145ml very cold whole or semi-skimmed milk, plus extra for brushing
100g clotted cream
Mix the flour and baking powder together until well distributed. Stir the very cold butter pieces through the flour with a blunt knife until all the pieces are well coated. Wash your hands in cold water and rub the fat into the flour until you have a breadcrumb like consistency. You can also use a pastry cutter for this job if you have one.
Add the milk chocolate chips and stir well.
Zest the orange and add to the milk, then pour over the butter and flour mixture and bring together with a blunt knife, then use your hands to pull it together by squeezing. Wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7 and check the rack is at the top of the oven. Cover a baking sheet with non-stick greaseproof paper.
Flour your work surface, then pop the scone dough out onto it. Roll to about a 3cm-thickness then use a mini scone cutter dipped in flour to cut straight down, without twisting or turning it. Then place onto a baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used, you can re-squidge it but the scones won’t be as tender.
Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk, making sure that none of it runs down the sides as it will stop a good rise. Bake immediately for 10–15 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the scones are well risen. (A good scone has a little split in the middle, ready for breaking in two with your hands.)
What do Mums like? Hmmm. Difficult. I know what most of us don’t like. After a quick poll of my Mum mates I found a general agreement that we don’t like being used as a hankerchief. Most of us walk about with knees/thighs/tummies/shoulders covered in snot. The height of the body dependant on the age of our children.
We are not so keen on retrieving foreign objects from little mouths either. It’s not the mouth that’s the issue, it’s the possibility of what might be in it. So far today I have removed a dried leaf, a dead spider and a small piece of unidentified plastic from my youngest child’s chops.
And contrary to popular belief we’re less than keen on telling our children off. It’s not fun, it makes us feel like a nag and it prematurely ages us, so just quit hammering the car window with your Matchbox car/biting your brother/staying out until 3am and not calling/trying to escape across busy roads whilst giggling like a loon. Then we can be Fun Mum. A breed rarely met, but much revered.
I’m afraid I don’t know what all Mums like. To state the obvious, we’re all individuals. I can hazard a guess that most people (Mums or not) rather like a sit down now and again. And often with a hot beverage of choice and a slice of cake. Well, this is quite literally a cupcake, easy to make and oh so delicious. Of course if your Mum isn’t a carrot cake lover you could choose whatever cake her favourite is. It is Mother’s Day, after all.
NB: Please check that your teacup can be heated to 170C. Dishwasher safe is a good sign… anything very old or precious or dainty should not be used, save it cracks.
Makes one large cupcake and one smaller one. (About 10cm across and about 5cm across at the top of the cup.) It all depends on the size of your cups. I can’t be more specific than that, sorry.
75g self raising flour
1 large egg
50g caster sugar
50g margarine/soft butter
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp whole/semi skimmed milk
zest of one orange
50g grated carrot (about 1 large carrot/1.5 medium)
115g cream cheese
90g icing sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1) Preheat the oven to Gas 3/170C. Check the rack is in the centre of the oven. Find a baking tray and give your tea cup(s) a good wash and dry.
2) Put the flour, egg, caster sugar, margarine, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar, milk and orange zest into a mixing bowl and whizz together for about 3 minutes with an electric mixer until light and fluffy and creamy looking. Add the grated carrot, stir in.
3) Spoon into your tea cup(s) already placed on your baking tray (space them well apart.) Only fill to half way as this this cake rises a bit.
4) Bake immediately for about 25 minutes for the small cup and about 35 minutes for the larger one. It’s very hard to give precise baking times as your cups may vary in size. You want a toothpick or skewer to come out of the centre of your cake clean, so once they look slightly brown on top, test them. My little one had to come out first. Once baked cool on a wire rack. Obviously don’t tip the cake out of the cup.
5) Mix the cream cheese and icing sugar with a metal spoon until all the lumps have gone and you have a pouring consistency. Then taste it. The quantities I have given are for an icing with a little acidic bite left from the cream cheese. If you don’t like this, add more icing sugar until you’re palate is happy. You could add more orange zest to the icing if your Mum is an orange person.
6) If your cakes have domed so much in the oven there’s no room for icing then lop the top off and eat it. You need the rim of the tea cup to be free of cake by about 1cm for the icing. Spoon the cream cheese icing onto the cooled cakes and then top with a fine dusting of cinnamon. Serve with a card and a coffee/tea.
I’m a mum of 3 boys, a cookbook writer and also a finalist on the 2011 Great British Bake Off.
I’ve decided to record the recipes I use, partly to save them somewhere and partly in case someone else might like to use them...