As my children grow and we are thrust into a whole new family dynamic, my appreciation for mothers — my own, Simon’s and beautiful mothers all over the world who have inspired me — indeed deepens with each passing year…
There is so much involved with being “a Mum” and of all my roles as a woman, daughter, sister, friend, writer, practitioner, categorically being a mother teaches me more about myself then any other responsibility I have. Between the domestics, transportation services and emotional support we provide undoubtedly motherhood is completely overwhelming, challenging, breath taking and the most sacred and wonderful decision I have ever made. How lucky and fortunate we are to know what it is to be a mother.
For those of you who do not have children — trust that you are likely to be a nurturing and wise mentor for many who may not call you Mum but instead proclaim you to be their “dear and precious friend”. Some of my girlfriends have claimed a maternal role over me in times of my greatest need and despair. The capacity to mother – to listen, to nurture, guide and love unconditionally is common to all women. Happy Mothers Day Ladies!
Partners and husbands here are two cake recipes that I promise will be a winner for Mothers Day – God knows all mothers love a piece of cake occasionally, especially if they are on the healthy side. While you may have purchased her an array of gifts and planned breakfast in bed please note that a homemade cake is now also mandatory. The first cake – Persian Love Cake is grain free so perfect for paleo mothers and the second is a Pear Cake. Both are incredibly moreish.
. . . . .
Persian Love Cake
This recipe is taken from a lovely little cookbook called, “Food From A Loving Home” by Lauren Burns and Sarah Rudledge. Being focused on ‘less’ grains in our diet I have ‘fallen’ for this recipe time and time again. I love its crunchy base, smooth, soft centre and the overtones of cardamom in the yoghurt cream sauce.
Please note the base of this cake can burn easily so don’t have your oven up too high or be in a rush when making this cake. If you crank up the oven and try to fast track the baking process inevitably the base will burn (clearly I have had this happen in my urgency some days to eat this cake!).
If I don’t have almond meal I tend to use any nuts (grinding them in a blender) and prefer the cardamom cream as straight yoghurt rather then half cream, half yoghurt. Either way it’s delicious though.
Cake: Serves 6
- 120g butter, softened
- 360g almond meal
- 180g raw sugar
- 180g brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 250g Greek-style plain yoghurt plus extra to serve
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped pistachios
- Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease a 26 cm spring-form tin with a little of the butter and line with grease proof paper. Put the almond meal, sugars, salt and remaining butter in a food processor and blend until coarse crumbs form. Spoon half this mixture into the spring-form tin, gently pressing to cover the base evenly. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Leave the oven on.
- Add the eggs, yoghurt and nutmeg to the uncooked mixture in the food processor and mixed until smooth and creamy. Pour over the cooked base and smooth the top. Scatter the pistachios around the edges and bake for 45-50 minutes until golden. The cake shouldn’t be too soft in the middle. Give it a little jiggle — if the middle moves, return it to the oven for a little longer.
- Let the cake cool in the tin for a few minutes, then run a knife around the edges if needed and release the spring-form clasp. Serve at room temperature, with extra yoghurt or with cardamom cream (see below). The cake can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
- 1/2 cup plain yoghurt
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Seeds from 5 fresh cardamom pods, crushed
- Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
. . . . .
Jen’s Pear Cake
This cake (taken from ‘Lunchbox Solutions‘) looks divine and it is absolutely delicious hot or cold. Depending on your mood you can add or leave out the syrup—it is moist either way and it is complemented beautifully by sweetened yoghurt. This pear cake is de?nitely one of our family favourites!
Cake: Serves 6
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil (to grease pan)
- 3 medium pears (see method for their preparation)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (to splash over pear pieces)
- 200 grams (approx. 1 cup) butter, at room temperature
- 120 grams (¾ cup) coconut sugar
- 2 free-range eggs, beaten
- 120 ml (approx. ½ cup) maple syrup or agave syrup
- 185 ml (¾ cup) milk / rice milk
- 2 tablespoons apple juice
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- 160 grams (approx.1 cup) self-raising gluten-free ?our
- 70 grams (approx. ½ cup) coconut ?our
- 55g (approx. ½ cup) almond meal
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F
- Grease a deep 23cm cake tin or baking pan with the coconut oil and line with baking paper.
- Peel and remove the cores of the pears.
- Finely chop 1½ pears (for adding to the mixture)
- Slice the remaining 1½ pears (these will be used for cake decoration).
- Sprinkle lemon juice onto the pears to prevent browning and set aside. (Tip: if you are using organic pears or you wash the pears in a fruit-and- vegetable wash, then it is ?ne to leave the skins on, as they provide extra ?bre. Otherwise, you can peel the pears before chopping.)
- In a medium bowl, sift together the self-raising ?our and coconut ?our, and stir in the almond meal
- In a large bowl, using an electric beater or cake mixer, cream the butter and coconut sugar. Continue beating for a few minutes until the mixture is smooth and creamy. It should be light in colour and not lumpy
- Add the beaten eggs a little at a time, whilst continuing to mix
- When the eggs have thoroughly combined into the mixture, add the maple syrup, milk, apple juice and salt. At the same time, gradually add the dry ingredients.
- Mix until well combined. Fold in the chopped pears and stir gently with a wooden spoon
- Place the cake mixture into the pre-prepared cake tin and neatly arrange the sliced pears on top of the cake in a fan shape if desired. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of honey over the top.
- Place in the oven and bake for 50 — 55 minutes or until the cake is just ?rm and browned slightly. (NOTE: Check the cake after 20 minutes. If you feel the cake is scorching or browning too quickly, remove it from the oven and cover with baking paper)
- While the cake is in the oven, make a glaze by gently heating the butter, and cinnamon together in a small saucepan until all the ingredients are dissolved.
- Remove the cake from the oven and remove the baking paper (if using). Spread the glaze over the top with a pastry brush. Return the cake to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes .
Remove from the oven and leave the cake to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out on a serving dish. Slice and serve with natural yoghurt sweetened with agave or a butter and coconut sugar syrup.
. . . .
Wishing you exceptional health and a deliciously happy mother’s day!
Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani