Mother’s Day baked treats

Two sweet treats for the mammy

After Eight Brownie

After Eight Brownie

Sun, Mar 10, 2013, 12:54

While Mothering Sunday comes from Christian tradition, later on it seems to have also signified a day when domestic help could return to their homes to spend time with their families. That was in much the same way that Little Christmas was a day that womenfolk were supposed to have off from their everyday drudge and grind of their life.

A push for the revival of Mother's Day came in the middle of the last century. There was also, of course, a desire among retailers to create certain commercial activity around the day. And, lo and behold, the revival was indeed all the more successful once a little marketing was wrapped around it.

To most of us, once we get past a certain age, these “Hallmark” holidays seem all the more trite. But then you get a crumpled little card, scrawled by podgy fingers and you realise there are some little believers out there.

So if it means getting a cup of tea in bed, a dodgy looking home-made card and an attempt to make your day a little more special, I say go for it. Embrace the cheesiness of it all.

And if you want to create a little razzle-dazzle for your mum, then I would most definitely go for one of these brownie recipes.

The first batch we made were the After Eight ones from the Hawksmoor At Home cookbook. Hawksmoor is one of my favourite London restaurants – the kimchi burger is a must if you get over there.

Feeling a little plucky after the success of the first batch, we went on to make the Dime bar and peanut butter ones, a Kemp sisters creation.

They are pretty much perfect brownies. Yes, the amount of sugar is high, but I did make the first batch with coconut sugar and they were grand. Still sugar, but slightly less evil.

I think the After Eight ones are best served when frozen and only thawed gently. But the Dime bar and peanut butter ones are definitely the winner and best when slightly chilled or at room temperature.

Next on my experiment list will be brownies made with crunchies. I’m also dreaming about a batch with swirls of toffee sauce and then sprinkled with some crunchy sea salt to give that fantastic combo of salty, sweet richness.

For mums not wanting to eat such evil things, here too is a very healthy breakfast cake. It needs a little help – a blob of Greek yoghurt and drizzle of honey – but healthy mums will appreciate your choice of this cake.

All three say “I love you” in no uncertain terms, so get that apron on and get baking.