MAKE sure your mum has a Mothering Sunday to savour – with some fabulous food.
As lockdown grinds on, there is no better way to make mums feel special this weekend than a home-cooked masterpiece. So we asked five celebrity chefs to share recipes that remind them of their mothers – and here’s what they dished up, from a spicy curry to sweet treats . . .
LISA FAULKNER: My mum’s Pavlova
Actress and telly cook Lisa, who won Celebrity MasterChef in 2010, reckons you just cannot beat her mum’s Pavlova.
The former EastEnders star, 49, says: “This dessert will always be special to me as it reminds me of Mummy. It was crispy on the outside but deliciously soft and chewy in the middle, topped with strawberries and raspberries on cream.
“I think about my mum so often but especially on Mother’s Day and it’s lovely to be able to celebrate her by making her favourite dessert.”
- 3 egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 250g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp malt vinegar
- 300ml double cream
- 1 x 400g tin raspberries in syrup or juice
- 250g strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 250g raspberries (You can use whatever fruit is in season)
- Preheat the oven to 140C (275F), gas mark 1.
- Draw a 9in circle on non-stick baking paper as a guide and place on a baking tray.
- Whisk the egg whites with the salt in a large, clean bowl, with a hand-held electric mixer, until very stiff, then gradually whisk in the sugar.
- Whisk until it forms stiff peaks – this takes 3 to 4 minutes. Fold in the vanilla extract and vinegar.
- Spread the meringue mixture over the circle on the non-stick paper and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour until firm.
- Mummy’s trick – which I always do, and believe is the key to a perfect meringue – was to turn off the oven and leave the meringue in with the door closed for another half an hour.
- Leave the meringue to cool and peel off the baking paper from the bottom with care.
- Place the Pavlova on a serving plate.
- Whip the cream until stiff, pile on top of the meringue and decorate with the fruit. I strain the tinned raspberries and pile them in the centre, then arrange the rest of the fruit on the top.
NADIYA HUSSAIN: Mum’s Bengali korma
Great British Bake Off star Nadiya, who won the show in 2015 before becoming a TV host with the most, never forgets her mum’s magic.
Nadiya, 36, says: “The korma I grew up with had an aroma that took over the house and hit you in the face when you walked into the kitchen – a beautiful chicken dish, with warm flavours of cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and the perfect hit of green chilli.
“This is one of the recipes that says ‘home’ to me. Nobody cooks it like Mum does.”
- 4 chicken thighs
- 4 chicken drumsticks
- 5 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 big cinnamon stick
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 whole cardamom pods
- 1 whole star anise
- 10 cloves of garlic
- 7½ cm piece of ginger
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 large onions
- 200ml water
- 6 green chillies
- 8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
- Put a large pan on a medium heat, and add butter and oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cardamom pods and star anise. Heat until the spices darken.
- Peel the garlic and ginger then blitz both in a food processor.
- Add a little water so they form a paste, then add this to the pan.
- Add the salt and cook gently on low heat for 10 minutes.
- Finely chop the onions and add to the pan. Cook gently for 20 minutes.
- Add 200ml water and continue to cook gently until the onions melt down completely. To help the process, you can use a potato masher. Keep stirring and ensure the bottom doesn’t catch. What you don’t want to do is colour the onions.
- Add water, 100ml at a time if it starts to catch.
- Add the chicken to the pan then cover and leave to cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Boil the eggs. Once boiled, put them directly into cold water to make them easier to peel – then peel and quarter them.
- Once the chicken is cooked, add the eggs and cook for a final 10 minutes.
- Lastly, split the green chillies lengthways, remove the seeds and add to the pan. Best served with hot basmati rice.
- Buy your mum a Mother’s Day digital gift card from the charity Mary’s Meals. The £15.90 you pay will feed a hungry child for a year – and each card features a celeb’s favourite recipe, including this one from Nadiya.
MARY BERRY: Brioche apple pudding
Food writer and chef Mary, who was a judge on The Great British Bake Off before it switched from BBC1 to Channel 4 in 2016, sure knows a good pudding.
Mary, 85, says of her chosen recipe: “This comforting pud is perfect for the family for a special Mother’s Day meal.
“There will be lots of happy faces when it comes to the table. My family loves it served warm, with cream, custard and ice cream.”
- ½ brioche loaf
- 175g butter, softened,
- plus extra for greasing
- 175g caster sugar
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 175g ground almonds
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 25g plain flour
- About 2 red dessert apples, skin on, cored and thinly sliced.
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
- 1 tbsp flaked almonds
- Icing sugar, to dust
- You need a big, shallow, oven- proof dish, about 11in in diameter.
- Preheat the oven to 200°c/180°c fan/Gas 6 and grease the dish with butter.
- Cut the brioche into thin slices, about 5mm, and arrange over the base of the dish.
- Make sure you cover the base and fill in all the gaps, but don’t overlap the slices.
- Measure the butter and sugar into a food processor and whizz until pale and fluffy.
- Add the almond extract, ground almonds, eggs and flour, then whizz again until the mixture is soft and creamy and there are no lumps. Be careful not to overprocess.
- Spoon the mixture over the brioche base and spread it to the sides.
- Arrange the sliced apples in a neat, overlapping, circular pattern on top.
- Bake the pudding in the oven for about 40 minutes until lightly golden all over and firm in the centre when lightly pressed.
- Melt the jam with 2tbsp water in a small pan.
- Brush over the surface and sprinkle with flaked almonds.
- Dust the pudding with icing sugar and serve warm.
- Simple Comforts by Mary Berry (BBC Books, £26).
NICK NAIRN: My mum’s pancakes
Scots chef Nick’s mum made flipping great pancakes, at least twice a week.
Nick, 62, says: “I know we should all be treating our mums on Mother’s Day, but I looked forward to her making these pancakes for me on her ancient Aga – and scoffing them with homemade jam or a little clotted cream.
“It takes me back to that warm, buttery smell of childhood.”
- 75g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g granulated sugar
- 1 fresh farm egg
- 150ml milk
- A little butter to serve
- Sift the flour and the baking powder into a bowl and stir in the granulated sugar.
- Whisk the egg and then stir it into the dry ingredients – it is important you don’t beat it.
- Then whisk in enough milk to give a batter which has the consistency of double cream.
- Heat a smooth, cast- iron griddle, or frying pan, over a medium heat.
- Test the heat by sprinkling the griddle with a little flour. If it browns straight away, it is too hot. If it takes a few seconds before it browns, it’s perfect.
- Drop 3 tbsp of the batter, spaced a little apart from each other, on to the griddle.
- When bubbles appear on the tops of the pancakes and they are all golden-brown underneath, after about 2 to 3 minutes, turn then using a pallet knife and cook for about another 2 minutes until golden brown on the other side.
- Lift them on to a plate, cover with a cloth and keep warm while you cook the rest.
- You should have about 12 pancakes.
- To serve, spread them with butter and jam.
MICHEL ROUX Jr: Chocolate cookies
(Makes 30 cookies)
Former Master-Chef judge Michel, who works his magic at London restaurant La Gavroche, knows how to score brownie points.
Michel, 60, says of his special recipe: “My mother made the most wonderful things with chocolate, and this dark-chocolate confection reminds me of my childhood.
“It’s the perfect balance of crunchie, dark-chocolate cookie and soft, indulgent brownie. It’s the Roux family’s favourite sweet treat.”
- 125g butter at room temperature
- 1 egg yolk
- 60g soft brown sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- Pinch of salt
- 130g flour, sifted
- 3 tbsp pure cacao powder
- Pinch of baking powder
- 100g white chocolate, cut into chips or nibs
- Using fingers, mix the butter, egg yolk, sugar, honey and salt in a bowl until smooth.
- Then gradually add the sifted flour, cacao powder and baking powder. Do not overwork.
- Quickly add the chocolate nibs.
- Roll the mixture into cylinders about 3cm in diameter, then refrigerate.
- When the cylinders are set, cut into 5mm slices and put on a non-stick baking sheet.
- Cook in a pre-heated oven at 180°C/Gas 4 for 15 minutes. Cool before eating.
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