On Mother’s Day, four Irish businesswomen share the invaluable advice and recipes their mums have passed on to them …
Eunice Power and her mum, Eithne Sheehan
“The best advice from my mum, Eithne Sheehan, has always been to go with my gut feeling,” says Eunice Power, owner of And Chips, Dungarvan. “She has always told me to be kind to others and myself. Thirdly, not to eat too much cake! That said, I am sharing mum’s fruit cake recipe which has been taped to the inside of the kitchen cupboard for as long as I can remember.”
“Mum’s orange sultana cake is legendary, always in the tin at home and frequently made with love for friends and neighbours. I’ve converted the ingredients from pounds to grams for the first time as below …”
Recipe: Mum’s Orange Sultana Cake
Finely grated rind and juice of 2 medium oranges
7 tablespoons of whiskey or brandy
Combine the above and soak overnight in a sealed container.
Line a 8inch cake tin or 2xlb loaf tins with baking parchment.
225g butter – soft texture as room temperature
225g caster sugar
4 medium or 3 large eggs
225g strong white flour (if available)
Pinch of baking powder
1 level teaspoon of ground nutmeg
Cream the butter and sugar until white and creamy.
Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Sieve the dry ingredients together and fold gently into the creamed mixture. Add in the fruit mix and stir gently.
Bake in an 8inch round tin or 2 x 1lb loaf tins.
(Note: If using loaf tins weigh them when they are filled to see if they need same amount of mix in each of them to ensure even baking)
Baking: 2 loaf tins – I hour at 145°C Fan reduce to 125°C for 30 minutes.
Round tin 135°C fan for 2 hours. Then reduce to 120°C for 40-60 mins.
Carol Barrett and her mum, Mary O’Donovan
“I’m the third generation of my family to run Dunmore House, Clonakilty and my son Peter is the fourth,” says Carol Barrett. “I remember growing up here at Dunmore and just loved being part of the buzz of welcoming guests and spending time in the kitchen with my grandfather and my mum. I learned how to make this soda bread by watching mum make it when I was just a girl and still make it for our guests to this day. It has been served at Dunmore House for the last 35 years!”
“My mum has a saying, ‘Stop it now on time’, meaning to think before a disagreement escalates. These are wise words to live by and have been very valuable over the years.”
Recipe: Dunmore House Brown Soda Bread
250g brown flour
75g white flour
1/8 cup porridge oats
1/8 cup wheat germ
¼ cup wheat bran
1/8 tsp salt
¾ tsp bread soda (sieved)
1/8 cup sunflower oil
Milk – until correct consistency
Preheat oven to 180 – 200oC
1 loaf tin, well-oiled or parchment lined
Put all dry ingredients, including the sieved bread soda into a large bowl, and mix well.
Whisk the egg, add the oil and treacle and buttermilk.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in all the liquid, mix well and add milk if necessary.
The mixture should be soft, then pour into your oiled tin.
Sprinkle some mixed seeds on the top.
Bake for 60 mins approximately or until the bread is nice and crusty and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Cool on a wire rack.
Gráinne Mullins and her mum, Esther Mullins
“My mother is an inspirational, hardworking woman who always sees the best in people,” says Gráinne Mullins, founder of Grá Chocolates, recently profiled in the Forbes’ 30 under 30 list; thegloss.ie “She has always advised me to be who I am and to do things that make me happy. She always encouraged me to be a chef as she knew that’s where I was my happiest.”
“We make this apple crumble every autumn when the apples are on our trees in the garden. We often make the same recipe with blackberries, or rhubarb from the garden. The smell of it cooking in the oven brings back so many happy memories”
Recipe: Tradtional Apple Crumble
400g cooking apples
50g caster sugar
35g wholemeal flour
35g plain flour
35g rolled oats
70g unsalted butter
20g caster sugar
20g demerara sugar
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Peel and core the apples, chop into chunks.
Place in a saucepan on a medium heat with 50g of sugar.
Cook for about five minutes until the apples have softened.
Cube the butter and place in a mixing bowl with the flours. Rub together until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add in the remaining sugar.
Transfer the apples to a baking dish and add the crumble. Top with oats and Wheetabix and bake for 25-30 mins.
Suzanne Mullen and her mum, Thelma Slattery
“Mam’s main piece of advice has always been to treat everyone with respect – both customers and the people who work with us at The Station House Hotel, Co Meath. It’s one of her greatest strengths – that and her cooking,” says Suzanne Mullen, general manager. “Everyone who has worked with us over the 40 years in the hotel has always loved my mother – she is kind and maternal, yet strong and a work horse, setting a great example for everyone. I hope that Denise and my sister can live up to her example! I am sharing Thelma’s recipe for scones, always a favourite with our guests.”
Recipe: Station House Scones
1 lb plain good flour
2 oz yeast
½ oz baking powder
¼ oz salt
3 oz sultanas
¼ lb of Butter
100ml full fat milk
Put the flour, butter and salt in a bowl. Knead until the texture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add all remaining dry ingredients and mix well.
Mix the egg and milk together. Add this to the dry mixture.
Knead lightly and roll out to ½ inch thickness.
Cut out scone shapes with a cup or glass.
Bake at 175ºC for 20 minutes. Turn tray around after 10 minutes.
When baked, dust with icing sugar if desired.
Best enjoyed with butter, jam and whipped cream.