It was my birthday on Thursday and this year I decided to embrace it. I do have a tendency to suffer from Birthday blues. About a week before and a week afterwards I am….. well lets say difficult. I typically try and pretend my birthday is not happening, but then mourn the lack of birthday phone calls and presents as a reflection on my unloveableness, plunging me deeper into self indulgent despair. Last year was particularly bad when my own mother didn’t even call me for my birthday, she just sent an email. 😦
I wasn’t always like this. There was a time that I loved birthdays. As a child I was fortunate to have my birthday fall not only in the school holidays but in summer. I got dressed up in a new dress, friends were there to keep me occupied and Mutti organised food and party games. The turning point came on my 10th birthday. A short time before my actual birthday occurred, some inane smiling mother of a friend, gleefully exclaimed. ‘How exciting you are turning ten. That is double digits, you will never be a single digit again’. From that moment on I saw birthdays as a reminder of the relentless march of time, a force over which I had no control. Some would say I was a dramatic child, I like to call it sensitive 😉
These birthday blues have meant that I have always just ignored birthdays, no grand parties, no fancy dinners, just a studied attempt at surviving another birthday and the accompanying reflections on another year gone. Birthdays for me have always been the most disappointing when in a relationship. I have always thought that this person who is supposed to care about you, would not let your birthday pass without making a fuss. I was wrong. Nearly every partner has been ‘too busy’ to buy me anything or book a restaurant for my birthday, or If they do actually book something, like they promised, they organise something on the day and give me 1 hour’s notice. So on my birthday I am either inwardly sulking or frazzled and snippy.
Why am I telling you all this. Well this year I decided, NO! I am not working on my birthday. NO! I am not going without birthday cake and NO! I am not waiting for someone else to instigate birthday celebrations. So I took the day off and went to the day spa for a few hours, but not before whipping up my very own birthday cake.
This just looked so pretty in the Woman’s Weekly magazine and I love mascarpone frosting. I made a few changes as I always do. The cake is unbelievably moist. It does make assembly a bit of a challenge and really needs to be kept refrigerated to stop it from becoming impossible to cut. Everyone loved it and the colour is just so girly and festive!
Do you celebrate birthdays?
Pink Velvet Birthday Cake
Adapted from a recipe by Fran Abdallaoui from Womens Weekly
- 125 gms softened unsalted butter
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- ½ cups of caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cups of plain flour
- 2 tablespoons of cornflour
- 2 tablespoons coca powder
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- 1 tbsp rose pink food colouring
- 1 tsp of white vinegar
- 1 tsp of bi carb
- 100 gms of raspberry jam
- 250 gms cream cheese
- 1 cup of icing sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 250 gms of mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup of thickened cream
White Chocolate Bark
- 200 gms block of white chocolate
1. Line and grease two 22 cm round cake tins
2. Sift together flours cocoa
3. Combine buttermilk and food colouring in bowl
4. Beat butter, vanilla extract and sugar with eggs until light and fluffy.
5. Fold flour and cocoa mix into butter mix with pink coloured buttermilk in two alternating batches.
6. In a small bowl combine vinegar and bi carb soda until it fizzes and then fold into the cake mixture
7. Divide mixture between two baking tins
8. Put into oven on 180 degrees for 25 mins or until skewer comes out clean
9. Allow cakes to cool in tin for a few minutes before turning out on to rack and allowing to fully cool
10. Wrap in plastic and place into freezer for at least 30 mins. This will make the cake much easier to cut
11. While the cake is cooling make the frosting
12. Beat cream cheese mascarpone and vanilla extract together until smooth and then add cream and sifted icing sugar continuing to beat until smooth. Place in fridge.
13. Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. Place one sheet of baking paper on a surface and spread the melted chocolate out across the paper until smooth and a thin layer. Top with another sheet of baking paper and roll into a tube before placing in the fridge to cool
14. Cut the cake into two horizontally to get two layers.
15. Place one layer down on a plate or serving stand and spread with some raspberry jam
16. Spread the frosting on another layer and place the jam and frosting together in a sandwich. Repeat with remaining layers.
17. Top the cake with half of the remaining frosting and spread across the top and down the sides use the remaining frosting to spread and smooth the sides
18. Unroll the white chocolate tube allowing to crack and crumble.
19. Press shards of chocolate on the side of the cake and place in the fridge to let frosting get firmer before serving.
20. Slice and serve to friends and family!