As a child I remember Mother’s Day was pretty much like every other day apart from two things. One – my father bought my mother flowers. This never normally happened. Two- I would rather unsuccessfully try to bake my mother something whilst keeping her completely in the dark. “Baking Incognito” if you will. This in itself was no mean feat given that my mother was (and still is despite her ailments) one of those archetypal Gaelic matriarchs who perpetually inhabit the kitchen, who know the correct oven temperature despite the dial markings having been eroded from years of use, and who insist that portion sizes are too small if you can still see the plate you’re being served on. Think Mary Berry meets Mrs. Brown. Yeah- there you have it.
Before I go any further I feel it only right I should clarify that by saying, “ …bake my mother something…” what I in fact mean is raiding the kitchen cupboard for what usually turned out to be a Green’s cheesecake packet mix and adding my own “special touch” to it. Yes, even as a nipper I was gustatorily experimental! A box mix enfant terrible! Said special touches ranged from grated chocolate topping to a hidden banana filling to that time where I added so much Baileys (I told you it was Baking Incognito!) that the final cheesecake was not as much sliceable as it was pourable.
Fast forward 30 years and now I’m the Gaelic “matriarchal” figure in my household, even down to intuitive temperature skills, but with added facial hair. People often ask me where I came up with the name “Mr. Mom’s”. It was actually whilst scrolling through my social media feed a couple of years ago on Mother’s Day that I noticed a post. It was from a woman wishing, “A Happy Mother’s day to all the Moms, Grandmas, and let’s not forget the Mr. Moms (in reference to gay male parents). I liked it, it resonated with me as a gay dad and it stuck. The rest, as they say, is history.
History that has led to my children being the first wave of my “tasting panel”. Even when their critique is not required it is doled out in precocious abundance. Baking with them is like looking at the world from an angle askew. Ingredients are suddenly wondrous and methods appear mystical- yet it all happens with a déjà vu tinged familiarity.
Mother’s Day for us is about the female influences and role models that our children have in our family. A chance for Granny and Auntie to step into the spotlight, and for me to step into the kitchen with the kids. Food gifts are something I completely endorse. To me a food gift is more than just the gift itself. It’s about the time taken to think how suitable it may be, the time taken to create it, and make sure it’s worthy of its recipient. Knowing that every step of the way the creator had the recipient in mind. And in the case of Mother’s Day in their heart as well.
To celebrate this Mother’s Day, Dr. Oetker has teamed up with GBBO finalist Ian Cumming to create a recipe book that encourages kids to get in the kitchen to create some tasty treats for Mum. Brimming with fun recipes and tips, it’s a great way to introduce your little ones to the wonders of the kitchen. All with adult supervision of course!
Dr. Oetker wants to encourage children to bake with their dad, grandma or auntie and create a special surprise gift for mum. To do this, they have created a fun and engaging Mother’s Day-themed recipe book especially for children, featuring illustrations of four simple recipes from Ian Cumming, GBBO finalist and dad of two.
One of the recipes are these adorable chocolate flowerpot cupcakes-
Developed by Ian Cumming, the man who showed a flair for innovative interpretation of bakes, gives a suitably endearing twist on the traditional chocolate cupcake. Whether they’re for mums or grandmas, these adorable “flowerpot” cupcakes are certain to charm on Mothering Sunday. Using some delightful touches from the Dr. Oetker range lends that extra special touch for that extra special mothering influence in your life. Because the Dr. Oetker decorating range is so easy to use they’re ideal for little hands in helping out. If your children are anything like mine you may find it a struggle to actually have a full batch of completed cupcakes without some “disappearing”!
The Bake Mum’s Day recipe book can be downloaded here www.oetker.co.uk/mothersday The team at Dr. Oetker asked me to lend a hand in providing some tips for you whilst making the recipe. After all there’s always room for a little Mr. Mom’s twist on things!
– Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. This saves so many problems- from lumpy cupcake batter to possible splitting.
– If you’re using silicone flowerpot moulds (available from quality bake shops) I find it best if you “grease the mounds” beforehand with butter. For ease I just pop on a disposable glove, grab a finger-full of butter and apply. Using your finger makes it a lot easier than trying to use a brush or any other method to get into those fiddly crevices.
– When you remove the cupcakes from the oven, leave to partially cool (about 5 mins) remove from the flowerpot molds and leave to cool completely. While the cakes are cooling clean, rinse, and dry the molds. Then before you serve pop the cakes back into the molds. This means it’s so much easier for guests to get the cakes out nice and neatly upon serving.
– For some added texture I trim any domed top from the cakes, spread with a layer of Dr. Oetker chocolate cupcake icing, sprinkle on some crushed Bourbon biscuits (soil) and top with a swirl of Dr. Oetker cupcake icing as per the recipe.
– When you do have your children helping out, I find it saves so much mess and cleaning up if you have everything weighed out and in plastic bowls; plates; beakers. That way the little ones can actively enjoy getting the ingredients together and you don’t have to worry about them spilling heavy bags of flour, or breaking shells into the mixture.
Dr. Oetker Twitter Competition
For more family friendly recipes, head over to www.oetker.co.uk
They are also running a competition on Twitter to win a copy of the book as well as some baking goodies. To enter, just RT their competition tweet and follow @DrOetkerBakes