Mother's Day recipes with Michelle Darmody

The recipes included here are all ones that my mother baked for us and still does, says Michelle Darmody.

My mother has baked bread, cakes and all manner of treats pretty consistently throughout my life. 

No trip home to Cork is complete without a mound of scones, fresh brown soda bread, and usually a pavlova for after dinner. 

It is a pleasure to have grown up in a kitchen that is a hive of activity.

The recipes included here are all ones that my mother baked for us and still does. 

The chocolate muffins were so popular with fellow classmates that one of my siblings was known to auction off theirs to the highest school-going bidder. 

My mother uses a drinking chocolate powder as this is lighter than cocoa, which is especially suitable for school children. It is a nice recipe to either make with your own mother or children. 

You do not need a mixer, just a large bowl and wooden spoon. 

As with pastry, the less you handle scone dough the lighter your scones will be. 

Your mixture should be soft but not sticky, just pat the dough down to size rather than use a rolling pin before cutting. 

If you do not have cream of tartar and bread soda, you can substitute them both for baking powder. If you do this, it is best to use milk instead of buttermilk. 

I love the vanilla and pear combination but you can also use nuts or some other dried fruits. 

At this time of year, berries are beginning to appear and this pavlova is a nice Easter dessert. 

For me it is the sweet taste of home.

Chocolate lunchbox muffins

Mother's Day recipes with Michelle Darmody

  • 240g of self raising flour
  • 4 tbs of drinking chocolate powder
  • 110g of caster sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 120mls of milk
  • 120g of butter, melted and cooled
  • 90g of chocolate chips

Method

Heat your oven to 180 degrees.

Mix the flour, chocolate powder and sugar and beat in the milk and egg with a wooden spoon to form a smooth batter.

Beat in the melted butter and then stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the mixture into 12 bun cases and bake for 20 minutes.

Spring berry pavlova

Mother's Day recipes with Michelle Darmody

  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 310g of caster sugar
  • 2 tsp of corn flour
  • 2 tsp of white malt vinegar
  • fresh cream, whipped
  • a selection of berries

Method

Preheat your oven to 130 Celsius or 266 Fahrenheit.

Put egg whites and salt into a very clean mixing bowl. Whisk lightly until the colour begins to change.

Add half of the caster sugar and whisk until stiff. 

Turn the speed of the mixer down low and add the rest of the sugar a tablespoon at a time.

Add corn flour and beat, add vinegar and beat.

Cut a square of parchment to fit your baking tray then cut this in two. Lightly grease. Scoop mixture on to parchment and make an indentation in the centre and swirl the edges

Cook in a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 120 degrees. Cook for an hour and a half to two hours depending on your oven.

When the meringue is done it should slide off the baking tray onto a plate. 

You can then pull the paper gently out from underneath on both sides. 

Because it is cut in two it should pull away easier.

Once cooled fill the hollow with whipped cream and berries.

Pear and vanilla scones

Mother's Day recipes with Michelle Darmody

  • 450g of plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 very level tsp of baking soda
  • 4 very level tsp of cream of tartar
  • 80g of cold butter, cubed
  • 80g of caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • enough butter milk to make 300mls when added to the egg
  • 1 hard pear, cored, peeled and cut into cubes

Method

Preheat your oven to 200 degree and line a baking tray with parchment.

Mix flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar and rub in the cold butter then stir in the sugar.

Lightly mix the egg, vanilla and milk they should add to 300 mls combined. Add them to mixture.

Gently stir in the chopped pear.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat to about an inch and a half thickness.

Cut about 14 scones with round cutter and place apart on baking tray.

Bake for about 20 minutes until risen and golden on top.


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