birthday cake


Christmas is behind us and in our house that means that it's birthday time.  D and I welcomed a daughter into our lives thirteen years ago on December 31st.  Thus she became 'Kid #1'.  She was a little early so we were not exactly prepared and were certainly not prepared for the prospect of a birthday falling on NYE every year.  It's kinda like celebrating a birthday on Christmas Day or Hallowe'en.  Whether you like it or not, it won't exactly be about you, people will always be busy and/or away and your birthday party will never fall on the day of your actual birthday.  Ever since it's been something that's mattered to her, we have tried to make the day about her celebration and also give her a chance to celebrate later with friends.  This year has been no exception and here is how the birthday run-down has gone:
 - Early birthday party with friends two weeks before Christmas.  Homemade pizza for 12 (Ummmm yea)
 - Early birthday gift (see below for reason)
 - Early birthday dinner b/c D had to leave a day early for a tv NYE gig.  Homemade burgers and fries at her request.
 - Birth day we go to a movie
 - After movie we go to a local restaurant to try the burgers (success... and I got some good craft beer)
 - Come home eat cake and watch D perform on national tv


Kid #1 is now officially a teenager and I haven't aged a day.  She got a big ass speaker for her phone - cause that's what you do now.  You don't wear pinstripe jeans and listen to a cassette tape on your walkman with big felts on the headphones that fall off before you even get to school.  Now she can bluetooth her music to a boom box.  D and I were regretting the decision about 12 minutes after she had gotten it and were already asking her to turn it down.  She is officially a teenager and we are officially the parents of one.

In other news:
Please watch this movie - Yes, it has subtitles and yes hollywood is doing a remake but who cares about that.  It's a fantastic movie.
I found this article very amusing and applicable
D and I finally listened to this entire album and it's really really good
I'm just going to go ahead and take this article at face value


I'm sure that you all need another birthday cake recipe like you need a hole in your head.  Maybe you really do need a hole in your head.  Such is life.  I happen to have a lot of egg whites kicking around my kitchen because I make ice cream on the regular.  If you don't make ice cream then I guess make custard or something with the yolks.


Vanilla Birthday Cake with Chocolate Buttercream icing
adapted from here and here
makes 1 two-layer cake

2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
6 egg whites (about 3/4 cup)
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Butter and flour two round cake tins (8 or 9 inch will work - 9 inch will produce thinner layers)
Combine the butter and sugar together.  Mix and whisk (by hand or use a mixer) until light and fluffy - about 2 minutes.
Add the vanilla and continue to beat for another minute.
Combine the egg whites and milk together whisking until incorporated (about a minute)
Continue mixing the butter mixture at low speed (or whisking by hand) and alternately add the flour and milk mixture beginning and ending with the flour.  Beat well after each addition (the batter may look a little grainy)
Pour equally into the two baking tins.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the edges of the cake have pulled away from the sides of the tin and are turning golden.  A cake tester should come out of the centre of the cake clean.
Cool completely before removing from the cake tin.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing
makes enough for 1 two layer cake

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp espresso coffee powder
1 tsp vanilla
4 - 5 tbsp cream

Sift together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and espresso powder.
Fluff the butter using a whisk or mixer for a minute or two.
Slowly add the icing sugar, cocoa powder mixture - beating continuously at low speed.
Beat for about 2 minutes
Add the vanilla and 2 tbsp of cream.  Continue to beat.
Add enough cream to get the icing to a spreadable consistency.
Set aside to ice the cake once it has cooled completely.

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St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

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Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
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