Today is my husbands birthday, he is twenty one again!
We do birthdays cheaply in our house, but I can honestly say, we find them more enjoyable nowadays than we used to.
One of the things we do, which is now a family tradition in our house, is to decorate our rooms with ‘Happy Birthday Banners’ , balloons and streamers. A packet of balloons and streamers do not cost a lot, but make the house look great on a birthday.
‘Happy Birthday Banners’ would cost a lot to buy if we bought them everytime someone in our family had a birthday, but we reuse them over and over again. We have had them for years and they still look as good as new.
We buy birthday cards for both our daughters, our families and friends, but my husband and I have such fun making each others cards. We really make each other laugh with the things that we write in them and the daft photographs we use. The cards are good as they are so personal to each other.
The cards have also become a tradition for our birthdays. My daughters made their dad a card too. It means so much to have a homemade card, that has had time and love spent on it.
We were going to treat ourselves to a meal out at Bella Italia, as we were going to use our Tesco Clubcard Vouchers to pay for the food. Unfortunately, my youngest daughter has been off school today, as she is poorly, so we will have to wait for another time. Instead I cooked my husbands favourite meal, which is pasta in a creamy bacon and summer squash sauce. I served it with a lovely homegrown salad.
After dinner we play games together. Tonight my daughter has made a quiz for us all to enjoy.
Many times I have heard people say that nowadays, supermarket cakes are so cheap to buy it just isn’t worth making a birthday cake anymore.
I would like to dispute this as I think a homemade cake tastes far nicer than the synthetic tasting shop bought cakes that you buy and can be made far cheaper.
Below is the chocolate birthday cake that I made for just £2.76:
The photo doesn’t really pick up the gold balls that are scattered over the grated chocolate.
It tastes lovely and although it’s not professionally decorated, I think I did a good job.
My husband loves chocolate cake which is why I made it. The recipe for the sponge cake is so easy to make as all the ingredients go into the bowl together. My mum gave me this recipe ages ago and I have used it many many times, in different ways, and it has never failed me. So thank you mum.
A ‘Throw It All In’ Sponge Cake Recipe:
6 oz of Margarine
6 oz Caster sugar
6 oz Self raising flour
A few drops of Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Preheat the oven Gas Mark 4 / 350F / 176C
Grease two 8 inch round baking tins with margarine and then dust them with flour.
Sieve the dry ingredients into a bowl and then add the eggs and vanilla extract.
Mix until all the ingredients are combined.
Add a little bit of water if needed, to achieve a good dropping consistency
(i.e. it drops off the spoon easily).
Smooth the mixture equally between your cake tins and cook for approximately 25 minutes.
Turn the cakes out onto a cooling tray and decorate when it is cold.
You can decorate the cake as you wish.
I put jam inside my cake and decorated with a chocolate buttercream frosting:
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe:
110 grams Margarine (you can use butter if you like)
56 grams Coco powder
428 grams Icing sugar
3 tablespoons of milk
1 ½ teaspoons of Vanilla extract
Cream the margarine and Coco powder.
Add the vanilla extract.
Add the icing sugar, half a cup at a time, with a splash of milk mixing until it’s all combined.
Beat the mixture for as long as you can, until it is light and fluffy.
Use it to decorate your cake.
I use a warm knife to spread it all over the cake as it’s easier this way. I also use a piping bag to put ‘peaks’ on the cake, but it’s up to you.
I decorated my cake with grated chocolate and edible gold balls.
Thank you for joining in our celebrations today.