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Mother’s Day: 4 easy recipes to make your mother feel special

Cinnamon buns. Picture: Supplied

Cinnamon buns. Picture: Supplied

Published May 5, 2022


How many times has she cooked for you? Cleaned up after you? Hugged you, nurtured you, and loved you? It is time to return the favour. This Mother’s Day, taking place on May 8, take good care of Mom with a delicious, home-made meal.

If you are a bit nervous about your cooking skills, chefs at Capsicum Culinary Studio share recipes of their favourite dishes they most remember their moms whipping up for them, that you can also try.

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Cinnamon buns


¾ cup milk

¼ cup sugar

2 tsp dried yeast

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1 egg and 1 yolk

75g butter, melted

3 cups flour

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¼ tsp salt

Zest of 1 orange

¾ brown sugar

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1 tbs cinnamon

¼ cup butter, melted

For the icing

½ cup icing sugar

2 tbs warm water


Preheat an oven to 180°C. Place the milk and sugar in a medium-sized bowl and warm in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds. Remove, sprinkle over the yeast, and set aside for 10 minutes until light and frothy. Using a fork, whisk in the eggs and butter, and set aside.

In a large bowl, place the flour, salt, and orange zest. Pour the yeast mixture into the dry mix and stir to form a sticky dough. Tip onto a lightly floured bench and knead for 5-8 minutes. Add a little flour if necessary. Place the dough into a clean lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm, dry place for an hour or until doubled in size. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Grease and line a square or round tin, about 24cm, with baking paper.

When the dough is ready, remove it from the bowl and knead gently for 1 minute. Roll out to make a 27cm x 22cm rectangle and brush with the melted butter, reserving a little for the top. Sprinkle over the cinnamon mixture evenly. Roll the dough tightly from the long side into a log. Cut using a small, serrated knife at 3cm intervals. Place the buns into the tin, and brush with a little extra butter. Place back into a warm place for 30 minutes until doubled in size.

Place the buns in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, until golden and puffed. Remove and cool for 15 minutes before icing.

To make the icing, combine the icing sugar and warm water in a small bowl. Drizzle over the buns. Serve while still warm.


Tomato and pancetta quiche


130g butter

255g all-purpose flour

5 eggs

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cold water

180g pancetta, cut into small pieces

1 tbs oil

⅔ cup of milk

225g creme fraiche

110g Emmental cheese, grated

6 cherry tomatoes, halved tomatoes

A handful of parsley, chopped

Pinch of pepper

Pinch of nutmeg

Sprig of basil


Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Place the flour in a bowl and add the butter. Cut the butter into tiny pieces, add 1 egg, salt and water, and knead into a supple dough. Wrap in clingfilm and allow to rest for an hour in the fridge. Grease a 23cm baking pan with butter and dust with flour. Cook the pancetta in a frying pan until crisp, transfer to a plate covered with kitchen towels, and drain.

Combine milk, creme fraiche, grated cheese, and the 4 eggs in a bowl and mix. Add pepper and nutmeg to taste. Add chopped parsley and mix. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it into a circle of about 25cm in diameter and transfer to the baking pan, covering the bottom and sides. With a fork, prick tiny holes in the bottom to prevent it from rising. Trim excess dough off the top. Spread bacon evenly over the bottom then pour in the cheese mixture. Spread the tomato halves over the top, then place the quiche in the middle of the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve with a sprig of basil for added colour.


Gnocchi with spinach and walnuts

Serves: 4


250g spinach

500g gnocchi

75g mature cheese, grated

25g Parmesan cheese, grated

200g crème fraîche

½ tsp English mustard

Grating of fresh nutmeg

A handful of walnut, broken into pieces


Preheat the grill to high. In a colander, pour boiling water over the spinach until it has wilted. Cool a little, squeeze out the excess liquid, and set aside. Cook the gnocchi in boiling water for 2 minutes, until they float, then drain.

Mix the two kinds of cheese. Spoon the crème fraîche and mustard into a pan, and warm over low heat. Stir in three-quarters of the cheeses and heat gently until you have a smooth sauce (about 3 minutes).

Season, gently stir in the nutmeg, gnocchi, and spinach, and heat through. Grill in a heatproof dish, topped with the remaining cheese, for 3-4 minutes until golden. Top with walnuts and serve with a crisp green salad.


Tiramisu with speculaas


250g mascarpone

100g brown sugar

20 Speculaas biscuits

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

50ml Marsala or Amaretto

20ml black coffee (espresso)


Take the eggs and separate the whites from the yolks. Add yolks to a mixing bowl and slowly add the brown sugar and the vanilla extract until you get a frothy mix. Add the mascarpone and mix with a whisk.

Beat the egg whites until firm peaks form then, using a spatula, carefully and gently fold it into the eggs/mascarpone mix. In a separate dish, mix the coffee and the Marsala. Quickly dip the Speculaas in the wine. Do not soak them completely as they have to remain a bit solid. Place one or two soaked biscuits at the bottom of a small bowl or dessert glass, then cover with a layer of the egg mascarpone mix.

Alternate layers of biscuits with layers of cream, making sure to end with a layer of the mascarpone. Place the bowls/glasses in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Before serving, sprinkle the top with crushed Speculaas crumbs (or chocolate shavings) and add a sprig of mint for colour.

Note: You can substitute the wine for dark rum or brand, but reduce the amount used.

You can also add fresh raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries to the top of the desert.