Here's an idea for Mother's Day, which falls on the 3rd of April this year. Forget lavender scented soap and other unimaginative gifts - why not show your appreciation in the form of a home-baked cake this Mother's Day?!
Or if you can't yet rely on your own children to lavish you with gifts on Mother's Day as a mark of their appreciation for all you do, try baking this chocolate cake together.
It should help instill in them that mums deserve a bit of spoiling at least once a year, and will also give you the perfect reason to put your feet up and indulge yourself in a little me-time on Mother's Day.
A friend gave me this fool-proof recipe for a delicious fudgy chocolate cake that is completely unbeatable, and by making it for the mum in your life you'll be breathing new life into an old tradition, too.
It seems mothers have been celebrated since the beginning of time, and the origins of Mother's Day can be traced back to the Greek and Roman empires. Mothering Sunday has been celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent since the 1600s and in the 19th century a custom emerged whereby people working away from home would return home on Mothering Sunday armed with small gifts or cakes for their mothers, and posies of wild flowers gathered from hedgerows along the way.
I reckon a home-baked cake and a simple bouquet of flowers would melt any mother's heart, and this cake is fantastically moist and fluffy.
200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 small packet of chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 175 C or gas mark 4 and grease a 20cm round cake tin.
Sieve together the dry ingredients then add the oil, vinegar and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Pour the cake mix into your cake tin (and sprinkle over a small packet of chocolate chips if you like) then bake it for about 35-40 minutes until springy to the touch. Use a skewer to test if it's ready - if it comes out clean it's cooked, if not give it another five minutes then test again. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
If you're a frosting fan by all means rustle some up but I prefer this drizzled with cream or gently warmed in the microwave (or better still hot from the oven) with a dollop of good vanilla ice cream on top.
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