Mothers don't want fancy presents, or even flashy, treat meals (though she probably wouldn't object!). Ask most mums what they'd like on Mothering Sunday (March 26, in case it's not on your calendar) and it's likely to be 'time with the family'.
So book yourself in for a bake off, make a cake and turn up in time for afternoon tea. It's guaranteed to make everyone happy.
(And if your mum's not around, bake a cake anyway, pop a bottle of bubbles in her honour and sink your teeth into a delicious slice of naughtiness.)
These three spectacular bakes from blogger and baker to the stars, Georgia Green (www.georgias-cakes.co.uk), are made for mums.
GEORGIA'S TWO-TIER FRASIER CAKE
For the genoise sponge:
200g eggs (about 4)
40g egg yolk
150g caster sugar
150g plain flour
24g melted butter
For the creme patisserie:
1 vanilla pod
80g egg yolk
120g caster sugar
40g plain flour
40g corn flour
300g softened butter
2 punnets fresh strawberries
Sugar syrup (equal measures of caster sugar and water)
Starting with the genoise, whisk together the eggs, yolk and sugar until ribbon stage (thick enough for you to write with it in the mixture).
Sift in half the ﬂour and gently fold, then add the remaining ﬂour. Once combined, add the melted butter and fold in.
Pour into two mousse rings (or cake tins with removable bases) - one eight inches and one four inches - and cook at 180C for 20 minutes, until the cake springs back and a knife comes out clean.
For the creme patisserie, scrape the vanilla seeds into the milk and heat until it's steaming.
While it's heating, whisk together the yolks and caster sugar until pale. Sift in both ﬂours and whisk together to combine.
Pour half of the hot milk into the sugar/egg/ﬂour and mix in, then add this mixture back to the milk pan where the rest of the milk already is, and whisk while cooking back on the heat. This will begin to thicken, so keep whisking until it starts to boil (you will see bubbles try to escape from the bottom!).
Take off the heat, transfer onto a tray, spread it ﬂat, cover tightly with cling ﬁlm and leave to cool. Once cool, whisk back up and gradually add the softened butter to achieve the correct consistency.
When the cake is cooked, remove from the tin and wash the tin ring up - you will need this for assembly.
Trim the top of the cooled genoise sponge so it's ﬂat, and keep this aside (try not to eat it!). Then, cut the remaining sponge cake in half, as neatly as possible so you now have two layers.
Put one of the layers back in the mousse ring (which should now be on cake board to serve), press down and coat with sugar syrup.
Cut the stalks from the strawberries and cut in half lengthways. Arrange these around the rim of the mousse tin, facing outwards. Fill any gaps between the strawberries with the creme patisserie (a piping bag will help). Then spread out a generous layer of creme patisserie on the bottom.
With the spare trimming of the sponge, soak in sugar syrup and place in the centre. If any strawberries are left over, cut them into smaller cubes and gather them on top of this layer of sponge. Then add the remaining creme patisserie and cover all of the cake right up to the top of the tin.
When the creme patisserie is smoothed out, gently lift up the mousse ring, and the alignment of strawberries should be neat and visible. Now the top layer of genoise can be placed on top, with a quick dusting of icing sugar.
Repeat for the smaller cake, then arrange the fruit to decorate over the top and finish with a dusting of icing sugar.
GEORGIA'S OMBRE CAKE
For the cake:
250g caster sugar
250g self raising ﬂour
200g eggs (about 4)
1tsp vanilla extract
For the buttercream:
500g icing sugar
150g softened butter
1 vanilla pod
Pink food colouring
To decorate (optional):
Fresh fruit macarons
White chocolate shards
To make the cake, melt the butter then mix together with the caster sugar. Add the eggs and mix through, then the ﬂour and vanilla until incorporated.
Divide equally into two six-inch cake tins and bake at 180C for 30-40 minutes, until they are cooked through.
For the buttercream, beat together the icing sugar, butter and milk and add the seeds from the vanilla pod. Keep beating until the mixture is light and ﬂuffy.
Once the cakes have cooled, cut into two layers so you have a total of four layers of cake.
Put the ﬁrst layer onto a cake board or plate with a little buttercream underneath so it doesn't slip. Pipe or spread some buttercream onto the layer of cake and sandwich another on top. Repeat until you get to the last cake, being sure to turn the final layer upside down, so the top is the ﬂat part from the cake tin.
Smother buttercream over the whole layered cake and scrape away the excess (this is called crumb coating).
Refrigerate or freeze for 20 minutes until the buttercream has hardened.
In a separate bowl, mix a couple of heaped tablespoons of buttercream with some food colouring to get a dark colour. Spread a thin layer of the coloured buttercream around the bottom of the cake.
Add some more white buttercream to the coloured one to make a lighter shade, and spread it on the cake just above the layer you just did. Repeat until you get to the top, where you want to spread white buttercream on the top layer and the top of the cake. Use a scraper or palate knife to go around the cake, smooth out the sides and you should achieve the ombre effect.
Even out the top of the cake so it's ﬂat and decorate with fruit, flowers and sweet treats, or however you like!
CREME PATISSERIE & FRESH FRUIT TART
For the pastry:
50g egg (about 1)
Pinch of salt
For the jam:
Lemon juice, if needed
For the creme patisserie:
60g egg yolk
90g caster sugar
30g corn flour
Fresh fruit (Georgia uses blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, but you can choose what you like)
Gold leaf or dust (optional)
To make the pastry, rub the flour, salt and butter together to form a sand-like consistency. Add the egg and combine until dough is formed. Chill in fridge for 15 minutes, until firm.
Blind bake in your tin with baking beans for 12 minutes, until the edges have started to become crisp, then remove the beans and cook until light and golden (about 10 more minutes).
For the creme patisserie, scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the milk and heat up until steaming.
Whisk together the yolk and sugar until light and creamy. Sift in the flours and combine.
Pour half the milk into the egg mix, then pour all the mix into the milk pan and stir constantly until thickened and bubbling.
Transfer onto a flat tray and cover with cling film until cool. Whisk up again until the mix is smooth, and fill a piping bag.
To make the jam, mix the raspberries and sugar in a pan and bring up to 107C. Pour onto a flat tray and leave to cool. If the mixture is too thick, add lemon juice to loosen it up.
To assemble your tart, spread a layer of jam on to the base of the pastry. Pipe over the creme patisserie. Pipe some larger drops of creme patisserie on the top, then scatter the fruit and finish off with some gold leaf or dust (if using).
THREE OF THE BEST... Mother's Day treats
The Organic Hamper Company Queen For a Day Hamper, £100, NotOnTheHighStreet.com (www.notonthehighstreet.com)
Mother's Day Flowers Biscuit Tin, £30, Biscuiteers (www.biscuiteers.com)
:: The Artisan Gin Maker's Kit, £29.99, Firebox (www.firebox.com)
What could be more appropriate than mother's ruin on Mother's Day? This lovely kit contains everything she needs (apart from a bottle of vodka - yes, you did read that right) to make her very own fancy gin. Cheers!