Thursday, 2 February 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

It was my birthday last week, the weekend prior to that it was my daughter's birthday, the Monday before that it was my father's birthday, ten days before that it was my brother's birthday .................... the birthdays seemed never ending.  By the time I reached my birthday the thought of making another cake filled me with dread - so I didn't bother!  My daughters were disappointed (despite there being cake in both cake tins), so the evening following my birthday when I went out for dinner with friends, they decided, unbeknown to me, to make me a cake.  I came home to a cake sitting on the cooker with "Happy Birthday Mummy" stuck to the tiles behind - I'm not sure how to describe how this made me feel, but I think proud sums it up best.  Not "proud that they love me so much to go to the bother" but "proud that they are growing into thoughtful young ladies".

Anyway, before a tear drips down my face onto the keyboard - elder daughter had been off school all week - ill, didn't eat for three days, dry rich tea biscuits for two days kind of ill - so on Thursday (I think) whilst eating lunch I was watching a repeat of one of Nigella's programmes and she made an easy flourless chocolate cake.  Elder daughter was obviously taking note, because that is the cake they made for me on the evening that I was out.

So, here is the cake

I have no idea which book this recipe is in (because I can't find it) - the girls downloaded the recipe from Nigella's website.  All I can remember is that the chocolate was melted and mixed with the butter, the eggs (5) were separated, yolks beaten with some sugar, whites beaten with some sugar - yolks mixed with the butter and chocolate and then the whites mixed in to finish it off  oh yes and Nigella used Cointreau I think it was, but as we didn't have any the girls improvised and added Amaretto (apparently when they couldn't undo the lid they asked their father to do it who commented "you're going too far now" - he didn't think so when he was tucking into a slice I can assure you.  Can't remember how long it cooked for or at what temperature!  Sorry.  They on Friday afternoon we had it for afternoon tea with some whipped cream resting gently on top.

Small portions were required only because of the depth of flavour of the chocolate.

I thought they did very well - even if they did use ten eggs!  Only five were required for the recipe but after a bit of a mistake they had to chuck the first five and start again!!

As I was writing this and worrying that I didn't have the recipe or book to refer back to for the details, it occurred to me that Nigella - just like Delia - doesn't need a surname for everyone to know who she is!

How many more Cooks/Chefs do we know instantly by their first name - Nigel, Heston, Rick, Tamasin, Jamie, Gordon - who have I forgotten?  Do let me know who I have omitted from this list.


  1. Happy Birthday Jennifer. What thoughtful young Ladies your Daughter's are.

  2. Happy Birthday. Best Wishes Jude x

  3. Happy Birthday Jen, what a great surprise! How wonderful that they are now doing things on their own.

    Of course on this side of the world we also know Maggie (Beer) Stephanie (Alexander) Donna (Hay) George (Calombaris) but have to be honest I think Nigella and Jamie are by far the best known.

  4. A rather belated Happy Birthday and what a lovely surprise for you. Hard to lose 5 eggs, but making mistakes is their best way to learn.

    What about Hugh?

  5. Thank you all for your comments - how could I have forgotten Hugh - I love his cooking and his television programmes. Shame on me!