My birthday came round again recently. I used to have my birthday cake made by a friend who is a genuine French pattisiere, but she has moved to Jersey, so I had to make my own this year. Actually, having a birthday in mid-January is not great, even if you don't have to make your own cake. It's too close to the festive season for anyone - including me - to feel much like celebrating.
I made the winter plum cake from Nigella's How to be a domestic goddess. It is basically an almond cake with added tinned plums. Although not up to the standard set by my friend, my cake was still judged pretty good by the adults in our house. The kids were less keen, but that merely means dh and I will get to eat more than one slice each :-)
I also made a batch of espresso cupcakes from the same book, which incorporate my favourite dark chocolate and coffee. Predictably, no-one else in the house likes them. So I'll have to scoff the lot:
From this photo, you can see that I need more icing practice! I don't seem to have a very steady hand - and it's not 'cos of the booze, as I'm sworn off alcohol for January. Also, the muffin cases were too big, but I couldn't find any ordinary fairy-cake sized ones in my cupboard that weren't printed with festive snowmen.
For the Shrek cookbook fans, last weekend, ds and I also made "Swamp Rat* kebabs", or at least, ds prepared the marinade and helped cut up the vegetables. Then it was discovered that a new episode of Raven was on TV, so I had to finish off the kebab-making and grilling by myself.
*It wasn't really rat. It was lamb.