Tag Archives: cake

Happy 4th Birthday Sam

Sorry! We’ve had internet trouble with switching providers, and before that I had a serious case of writer’s block. In October Sam turned 4 and was as insane as ever.

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For his birthday her got numerous trains and train related items, and was incredibly happy about it. For his actual birthday he didn’t have cake, he had a birthday stack of doughnuts.

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He was very impressed, as was I, because I was already doing two cakes. Those are Sainsbury’s lower fat doughnuts, and they are delicious. not too greasy and very light!

Cake number one was for his family birthday dinner at Grandma and Grandad’s, and he requested Olaf.

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I really enjoyed making him actually. It’s not as easy as it looks though, carving the shapes from cake is crumbly! Also it looks like it’s going to look terrible right up until you get the arms, hair and eyebrows on.IMG_4865

His nose was my favourite part. Side note, if you need black icing, even if it’s a small amount, for the love of all that is sweet and delicious, buy black icing. I had a huge bag of white and thought nah, it’ll be fine, I’ve got gel colouring! It was not fine. It took forever to mix. It also dyed my hands grey. He’s lumpier than I hoped, but I think that could be remedied by either having thicker icing, or a layer of marzipan under it. We’re not huge fans of icing or marzipan though, so we skipped it.

For his birthday party he took some friends to Kirklees Light Railway, which was a big hit. They provide a hostess, food and a (stationary) party train carriage, the return train ride for 10 kids and 4 adults, and some games at the other end, so there’s minimal preparation for me! It was just under £100, though you can add on party bags. We chose to do our own though.

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The party carriage also has the drivers cabin in the end with lots of controls to fiddle with, and the boys all loved it.

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For the cake Sam decided he wanted to pick a shop cake this time, and after having several projects running recently I was more than happy with that!

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He even had his own birthday express train! There were other passengers, but he had a separate carriage. I can’t fault the service there either, they’re all fab and great with the kids.

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All in all, he had a lovely birthday and is growing up fast. He loves nursery school and has some firm friends, and he loves to play on the tablet, but mostly, he loves trains, singing, and dogs. He will sing anything and everything, and comes home from school happiest when they’ve done a new song. If there’s a dog on the street we have to stop and stroke him. On the same day as his party we also took him to a nearby dog show and he LOVED it. Almost as much as me!

Love you Sam, keep up your mental enthusiasm 🙂

Next time – Ethan’s first try at cosplay!

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Henry is One

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This happened.

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We had a quiet day with magic chocolate cake and presents and I only got a tiny bit sad that my baby is getting so huge.

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Yeah, we bought him a drum. I’m not sure how terribly sensible that was, but he absolutely loves it, and it’s not so irritating I want to pull my own ears off, so success! He also got many cute outfits from aunties, uncles and grandparents. So, milestones. He has six teeth. He crawls ridiculously fast, and sees no need to try to walk. he can pull up onto his tiptoes and reach the sideboards in the kitchen. He climbs the stairs, then when he gets there, goes through and shuts the stair gate. He says Mama, with meaning. He also says Dada less frequently. His main noise is OOOOOOOH with an accompanying ooh face, with big lips. He is king of the duck face. He adores his brothers, who love him right back. He got the blonde curls that Ethan had, and Richard had as a child.

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And bathtime is his favourite. Although wotsits are a close second.

I can’t quite believe it. A whole year since he came hurtling into our family, and Sam was insisting he was a hugglemonster. I love him so hard you guys. I’m trying to be happy that he’s at a fun age rather than sad that he’s not little anymore, and it works. And sometimes, when I’m changing his nappy, He pulls up his legs and crosses his ankles, just like he did when he was tiny.

And then I pretend for a second that he still is 🙂

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Magic Chocolate Cake

 I’ve had a few requests so here it is, the un-killable cake. I made more this week (goodbye waist!) and forgot to take it out of the oven for like 15 minutes, and it was still fine. I’d turned the oven off at least. Right, let’s get to it.

200g/7oz self raising flour
225g/8oz caster sugar
1/2tsp salt
25g/1oz cocoa powder
100g/4oz margarine
2 eggs
150ml milk
splash of vanilla

Preheat the oven to 180°c.

Mix the dry ingredients then rub in margarine. Mix the wet ingredients and beat. Combine.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. I usually stick it in what I think is a 9 inch round tin.

This is how the recipe pretty much reads in my book. It originally came from the Be-Ro baking book via my lovely friend Jannine, and I have since had and lost 2 Be-Ro books. They sell for about 80p, but last time I was in morrisons I couldn’t find a replacement. Luckily I had it in my recipe notebook, although it looks like this through my terrible handwriting and overuse:

The original calls for 5tbsp of evaporated milk and 5tbsp of water, but Jannine and I both thought, nah, that’s just milk, and replaced it. Because evaporated milk is gross, and I never want to buy it. I also usually have to cook it a little longer as the batter is really quite runny. I’ve swapped butter in for the marg, and I’ve never used caster sugar, just bog standard granulated, because when I make cake it’s usually on a whim, and who has caster sugar just in the cupboard? Aside from you know, grown up people who bake properly.
Now for the icing, because of reasons.
9oz sieved icing sugar
2.5oz butter/marg
3tbsp hot milk
1tbsp cocoa powder
1tsp vanilla
Melt the butter, add the hot milk and vanilla, then the cocoa powder and sugar. Beat it to death, done. If you want it thick enough to spread (like the above picture) add a bit more sugar. I can’t tell you how much more really because I just go til it looks right. Also I tend to guess with the cocoa too, but basically, you can’t go wrong with this either.  Both last a few days, which is more than enough.
So there it is, make it, eat it, and curse me on the last slice. If you intend to take it somewhere or share, and you have willpower like mine, make it right before you need it, because it is very much moreish.
Also if anyone does manage to ruin it, let me know and I’ll make you some kind of award, because seriously, you’ve got recipe destroying skillz.

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Sam’s Birthday Week

 My boy is 3. THREE. Insanity. You may recognise this cake. He had the same last year. We didn’t have cake candles then either, but it was sparklers then, not tealights. Bad mummy!
 That face though. So happy to have blown out candles that they could have been anything with a flame.
 He is still all about the nee naws and choo choos. ONLY MORE. Especially the trains. We got him this Thomas ‘take n play’ set, and mum (who came up the night before and stayed for the birthday) got him a couple of trains to go with it. Ethan chose some chuggington trains, and he was good to go. For literally days. And that’s only so far.
 Today was family dinner at the Brown’s house, and therefore ‘proper’ birthday cake was required, which was good, because atleast half of the Peppa Pig cake went in the bin. Quite frankly, it was disgusting, and tasted faintly of plastic.

Thomas cake was requested, and I made my idiot-proof and delicious Milk Chocolate Cake. It always works and is moist and delicious, without going soggy. Proof: I made this one at 8pm after a hugely busy day and an iffy night with Henry. I put the ingredients in in a different order, because I was tired and couldn’t remember what I did last time. I baked it at a different temperature by accident. I had not quite enough cocoa and added a bit of hot chocolate powder to make it up.

It was perfect. I’m going to rename it the magic cake, because I literally cannot mess it up. substitutions, whatever. It’s unstoppable in it’s quest for chocolatey satisfaction.

I slightly messed up my proportions with the decorations which is not unusual for me – Ethan had a race track cake 2 years ago and I managed to make the track only wide enough for one car – but I think I am getting better! And yes, that’s a tiny Tardis. I had a little blue left, and what else 🙂 Ethan thought it was great, and Sam liked it enough that as soon as he’d blown out the candles (proper ones this time, thanks to Grandma) He grabbed it off and ate it. He didn’t even have any of the cake itself, just that and a tree! I also – typically – couldn’t find any of his Thomas toys, so it had to be a James Cake instead.

He then had a few more presents, another Thomas that lights up and moves, and a wooden train whistle (which may disappear now and then) from Grandma and Grandad, a colouring and sticker book, and a CD and book of nursery rhymes which we’ve already had on and he’s danced to, from Aunty Joanne and Uncle David, and this from Aunty Stella and Uncle Carl…
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 I’ve just noticed Henry’s demon eyes in the background!
It’s a bull shaped space hopper! The advantage being it has four feet, rather than a round bottom, nice and stable. He’s been bouncing around on it for about half an hour (about as long as you can do anything when you’re newly three and have eaten a large chuck of icing) before being forced to dismount and get ready for bed.
We had a visit from the Dummy Fairy too this week. It went well… until bedtime. He didn’t want his new glowy nightlight, he didn’t want the fairy to take his dummies to make new ones for little babies, apparently the babies don’t want his dummies. There were a few wakings that night. However he only asked once or twice the next night, and not since, so hurrah!
Three years. He still loves ears for comfort, especially now he has Henry’s. He still has trouble keeping his covers on, not only himself, but his entire bed. He still curls his little body up and sometimes sticks his bum in the air in that classic sleeping baby pose. And yet he’s also so grown up. He sings. He loves numbers and counting, and is starting nursery school after Christmas. NURSERY SCHOOL you guys.
 It’s flown by since he was a little dot, the littlest of my three, none of whom were particularly small. He came speeding into the world with his little crop of dark hair and hasn’t stopped since. We spent a few hours in hospital (a 3am birth will do that) and then phoned around to let everyone know at about 6:30 before beating a hasty retreat from the postnatal ward. We took him back to Grandma and Grandad’s house to meet his big brother who adored him.
He still does, most of the time. They are wonderful playmates and well matched verbal sparring partners, though thankfully mostly the former. There’s the same gap between them as between Sam and Henry, and Sam has that same adoration for Henry, it’s lovely to see, the circle of brotherhood continuing.
Happy birthday mad boy. We love your crazy dancing and mad debating skills, even if they do usually just come down to simply insisting you are right until we give up. Don’t change too much my darling.

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While you weren’t watching..

Sam has been a complete monkey.

 Cough medicine while I was in the shower. Thankfully it came out pretty easily and he missed both Henry’s nearby blankets, and my nearby bag.

Again, while I was in the shower. Talc EVERYWHERE. Again, not too bad, hoovers up easily enough.

Then today, he found the chocolate spread. Thankfully the jar was almost empty so instead of being a horrendous mess it was just funny. Also note the odd shoes. He’s a weird little dude.
Also I somehow missed that Ethan is a ginormous boy now, he had sports day this week.

Skipping, backwards running, bat and ball and space hopper. In 6 weeks he starts year one at school. Though that can’t be possible as surely only yesterday we were finishing Christmas, and how has he had 5 birthdays? I still remember the very first so clearly.

My niece turns five next month too, but holidays and things mean she had her party yesterday. Look at the awesome cake my sister Amy made!

 She’s very talented!

 While I have been watching, the boys have been absolutely gorgeous to Henry. They both completely love him to bits, which is pretty handy. Although Sam does take it a bit far occasionally. He likes to touch. Especially when Henry is sleeping. Usually when I’d like him to remain sleeping. If that’s the worst I have to put up with though, I’ll take it gladly.

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Ethan is Five!

 To be fair, his birthday was a while ago now, oops. Unfortunately I have been absolutely wrecked since and so have not been in the blogging mood. He had a lovely day, and as it fell on a Thursday Daddy was also working from home. Extra bonus – school finished for half term the day before, so we had a lovely calm day. We started the morning with presents, and he got a main present from us, two small presents and a small one from Sam. He was chuffed to bits as he got the Ben 10 game for the Xbox, some spiderman megablocks figures and 2 more characters for his batcave – the Joker and Harley Quinn.
 He’s also insane 😉 I didn’t realise before how much his face matches his shirt! In the afternoon we went to see his cousins and play, then home again to go out for dinner. Ethan picked Silkwood Farm which is his favourite, due to the fact that they have a large play area which includes a couple of computer games. We all like it though as the food is good and the boys can escape to play once they’ve had enough sitting still.
 Last Saturday it was party time, and so being 38 weeks and roughly the size of a barge (name that Disney movie) we decided to go with a soft play centre party, and a rather simple cake design! It was held at The Playstation in Ossett, and they were fab. Great food, good party bags and lots of fun. Ethan was very lucky to have several friends come and spoil him with presents.
I love his face here, the little mad man. He’s growing up so fast and turning into a really lovely little boy (when he wants to be of course!) and very kind. He’s much better at sharing and dictated a lovely letter to Daddy for me yesterday.
He’s very excited for the baby to come and is convinced he’s coming this week. Not that I’d object to that!

We’ve had a lovely fairly relaxed half term, Ethan has been having great fun with his new toys, and we had a couple of nice days with a really lovely sunny day on Friday, where we went to the park (though not for long as there’s no shade there and the boys got a bit overheated) and popped into the shop on the way home for ice lollies. It speaks volumes about these two that this was the most ‘normal’ looking photo of them, and I took four! They spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the garden and making puddles when I got the hose out for them.
Yesterday was another lovely day, where Ethan insisted that they wait for me to get up before going shopping (something usually reserved for just boys while I slowly regain consciousness) as he didn’t want me to miss the animals at the farm shop. Sam was in his element, and almost exploded with joy when a horse snuffled his head. We also saw a peacock with his tail out, and fed the horses carrots, at which point I think Sam could have died happy!
As for me, I am 39 weeks and 2 days. Due on Friday. I am tired of being enormous now, though I must say I’m not exactly looking forward to evicting him! Still though, it’s almost done, and I absolutely cannot wait to snuggle him 🙂

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