Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Happy Birthday to my Boys

It is birthday season over here at the Grosgrain Green ranch. Every family has one. The birthday month during which it seems that EVERYONE has their birthday. Actually we have 2. December is actually worse for P and his family (me, his sister, one of his brothers, his mum, his brother in law, even an auntie), but June is pretty bad too. First we have my mum, then in the course of a single week: P's niece, Small Boy and P. And don't forget we have Father's Day in there too (x 2 for me - presents for both P and my actual dad), plus my sister's wedding anniversary and for a short while, my brother's too!

And so, last weekend we celebrated Small Boy's third birthday! Where oh where has the time flown? I just cannot believe that 3 years ago he was a teeny 7lb 11oz baby, 13 days overdue and still protesting that he wanted to stay in there (an emergency c-section was the only way to persuade him to come out as, as it turned out, he was anterior - facing the wrong way). It's been a great 3 years. So weird to think he wasn't always walking and talking and  having opinions, and eating 2 breakfasts every day and singing These Boots Are Made for Walking and quoting Lion King ("I laugh in the face of danger, ha ha ha. What's "danger" mummy?")!

The third birthday, in our house anyway, meant 2 parties and therefore 2 cakes. You can probably imagine how my weekend went. Baking and cleaning and buying food and wrapping pass the parcel, followed by baking and cleaning and making tea and wrapping pass the parcel.

Here are the cakes that I made!

My mum, ensuring that the candles didn't blow out in the wind. Obligatory jelly and ice cream in the background!
Sunday's party, which was family only, called for a dinosaur cake! I wish we'd got a better picture, because I am particularly proud of those wee dinosaurs. I did use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes, but the details, including eyes, dots, toes, the triangles on the back of the T Rex - their personalities - were added by hand! I made a fantastic discovery in the supermarket which was ready-coloured fondant icing which was a real time and effort saver, not to mention giving me the bonus of avoiding oddly stained hands from liquid food colouring! Suffice to say, Small Boy loved it, as did everyone else and it was very quickly scoffed!

The cake was a madeira, made from one of my sister's recipe books. It calls for a ridiculous 8 eggs, and about a million grams of flour, but then it is a 22" cake! The "background" icing was orange flavoured butter icing (flavoured with the grated peel of one orange).

This was for the friends party on Monday and was a fantastic Nigella recipe (Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake from Feast) where you chuck everything in a food processer. Brilliant! And it was very tasty too. Decorated, as you can see, in the classic Brit style: with Smarties!

Actually, for those of you interested in baking and icing cakes, Nigella had a fantastic tip: tear 4 strips of greaseproof paper and make a square with them, placing the cake on top (on your serving plate, obvs), so that the paper is poking out the side. Ice the cake. Once the icing is set, gently pull out each strip of paper, leaving an iced cake on a perfectly clean plate! Genius!

P's birthday is today - Happy Birthday, sweetie - and as we are still polishing off the above cakes, he didn't get one. But we did have an Indian takeaway in the garden tonight to celebrate. Nearly as good! :)


  1. Happy Birthday to your little ones!!

  2. happy birthday small boy (and P!). we are the same. MIL's bday yesterday, mine today and not quite so small small girl's on Monday! nice cakes - i will be baking on saturday!

  3. Happy Birthday to your boys :) Love the dinosaurs and you can't beat a chocolate smarties cake!!



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