My mum is a glamorous but self-effacing blonde, who hates shopping but loves shoes and has a penchant for navy strength gin. She goes tap dancing, plays the violin and loves botanical drawing. She is the mother of four daughters, gets impassioned about politics, loves dancing with her grandchildren and has loud fits of giggles at least twice a day. In the ‘60s, she worked in town planning at County Hall by day and stomped the Kings Road by night in the latest Biba, before rocking out to The Rolling Stones. She is warm and daft, beautiful but approachable, generous, clever and fidgety. She looks years younger than her age, gets excited by new ideas, but would be happier holidaying in Cornwall than any of the world’s most exotic places.
Most of all, my mum is a lot of fun - she throws her head back when she laughs, lets us borrow her clothes and will offer you the entire contents of her fridge if you visit. I have inherited that trait, along with her fear of under-catering, which is why you will rarely leave either her home or mine, hungry or sober.
With this in mind, I wanted to create a fun and slightly naughty gluten-free cake for her that is also deceptively unassuming to look at. Pretty, yes, but not old fashioned, and delicate without being in the least bit fussy. I looked to the drinks cabinet for inspiration and dusted off a bottle of Amaretto, before rooting out a bag of sour cherries from the back of the cupboard.
I made these cakes gluten-free as my mum, like so many of the people closest to me, is a gluten dodger. If your mother can eat wheat, you can substitute the rice flour with plain wheat flour if you wish.
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