Mother's Day breakfast recipes: Bake Off's Flora Shedden aims to impress her mum

Flora Shedden
This morning Flora Shedden is serving a Mother’s Day treat to say thank you for the superhuman efforts that are helping to transform a building site into a new home... - Studio Yagüe

The day is upon us. Make-or-break best-sibling day. Crooked-daffodil-in-a-jar-or-huge-bouquet-through-the-post day. It’s Mother’s Day, and if this is news to you, you may already have been upstaged by a brother or sister with a keen eye for diary dates and a knack for nailing online gift orders.

Mother’s Day in our house is quite often a last-minute effort. Despite lots of “I don’t need anything” or “I have more than enough” or “You could do the dishes for once” from our mother, my siblings and I often attempt to show some form of gratitude in person.

I made my first ever batch of cinnamon buns for her once (poor rise, overcooked). I also remember some pretty poor cards and, aged seven or eight, offering home-made pottery lovingly flung together.

Speaking to the mother of a friend recently, however, reassured me about my childhood efforts: Neil Forbes, now the chef and owner of Café St Honoré in Edinburgh, once made his mum a cup of tea using the hot-water tap. It’s doubtful that his future career as a successful restaurateur was obvious at that point.

Lukewarm cuppas aside, it can be difficult to express enough gratitude on Mother’s Day, not least, I’m finding, to my own lovely mum. This week I am moving out of home and into the flat above my bakery, and without even batting an eyelid my mum has been working tirelessly, painting, tidying, scrubbing, grouting and generally organising what is currently a bomb site of a flat.

A thick and stubborn layer of dust covers everything. There are pots and pots of filler, plaster repair and goodness knows what other substances lying all over the place. A sprinkling of a rubble-like mixture is gathering in the bath. The stairs are so thick with sanding dust that the brown carpet (not a design feature that’s staying, thankfully) has turned a light shade of grey.

Flora Sheddens latest recipes

But there is my mum, still sweeping, cleaning and painting, painstakingly getting the space ready for the big move. When I had to redo a wall in the shower after my limited abilities as a novice tiler were exposed, she stayed and helped until after 11pm so I wasn’t alone.

Even when I have whizzed off in a hurry to various places for work meetings, she has popped in to seal another plastered wall and even helped the workmen while she was at it.

So, yes, my mum is Wonder Woman and the only reason anything I am doing is possible. Thank you, Mum. And sorry this Mother’s Day will be spent painting and building IKEA flat-packs. French toast is on me.

‘Gatherings’, Flora’s debut cookbook will be published in January 2017. You can pre-order it here.

Fruity French toast

Credit: Studio Yagüe

SERVES

2

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large eggs
  • 100ml whole milk
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg, plus extra for serving
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 4 (thick) slices of brioche
  • Knob of butter
  • 50g crème fraîche
  • Pomegranate seeds, and/or sliced strawberries when in season, to serve
  • 30g flaked almonds, toasted

METHOD

  1. In a wide dish, beat the eggs, milk, nutmeg and sugar together until well combined. Add the brioche slices and turn them over, allowing each slice to absorb the mixture on both sides. If the bread is stale, leave a little longer to soften.
  2. In a large frying pan melt a knob of butter over a medium-high heat. Once melted, add two slices of the soaked brioche to the pan and cook for two minutes on each side or until golden brown. Set aside and repeat with the other two.
  3. Stack a couple of pieces of brioche on a plate. Add a dollop of crème fraîche then scatter with the fruit and flaked almonds. Grate a little nutmeg on the top. Serve immediately.

Seedy granola with dark chocolate

Credit: Studio Yagüe

Serve this granola with a good dollop of yogurt, a wee splash of milk and plenty of blueberries. If you are feeling extra naughty you can add some chocolate curls on top.

MAKES

750g

INGREDIENTS

  • A little sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 100ml maple syrup
  • 100ml runny honey
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, in liquid form
  • 300g rolled oats
  • 100g mixed seeds
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 50g ground almonds (omit for more seeds if nuts are an issue)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 50g coconut flakes

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas 3. Grease a deep baking tray with a little sunflower oil.
  2. In a bowl, stir together all of the ingredients except for the chocolate and coconut flakes. Make sure everything is well coated before tipping in to the tray. Spread all over but don’t worry if there are a few lumps.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes before removing and stirring well to stop uneven colouring. Return to the oven for a further five to 10 minutes. You want it to be golden but still soft, as it crisps up during cooling.
  4. Chop the chocolate into little chunks. Once the granola is out of the oven, stir through the coconut flakes. Sprinkle the chocolate evenly over the top but do not stir as it will melt immediately.
  5. Set aside to cool completely, until the chocolate has solidified again. Transfer into an airtight glass jar or plastic tub and store for up to two months.

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