Today saw the first of the children’s birthdays for 2015. Our little boy, the youngest of our gang, my baby is another year older. It always amazes me how quickly time goes by; one minute we’re holding a helpless little baby and the next he’s a boisterous little boy, running amuck, climbing on furniture, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake and looking at you with the most adorable brown eyes and the cheekiest of smiles.
My Cuddlemonster, our lovely boy is 2.
We decided we wouldn’t have a party and having been bombarded with toys at Christmas we kept his presents small. That may seem a bit like there was little effort made but really, we don’t need parties, big toys or copious amounts of sugar-laden treats to have a celebration. This was our boys day, there were huge smiles and cuddles, lots of cuddles; and of course cake!
When it comes to birthday cakes, I’ve always let my children choose what they would like from our nice cookbook collection and I would do my best to deliver. However, when you’re approaching your second birthday, decisions such as what cake one would like are even more simple. The older children asked him what kind of birthday cake he would like, he responded quite simply, ‘Sam Cake’
Since the arrival of Netflix into our house, he has become quite a fan of Fireman Sam! With two seasons and a movie to watch he has a constant supply of Fireman Sam and I could quite possibly take on any of the roles should the current voice-overs decide to retire lol!
We are currently going through a bit of a lifestyle change in the Simply Homemade home so I was keen to make a reasonably healthy(ish) cake for this birthday as he is one I still have some control over. Now I know birthdays are only once a year and it probably sounds incredibly boring to want to make healthier alternative cakes, but trust me the recipes I chose do not compromise on flavour, they are still sweet but refined sugar does not have a role in any of the recipes.
For his main cake, I chose a recipe I have made a number of times before, Donal Skehan’s Dark Chocolate Mud Pie. This is a delicious, moist, gluten-free cake. I used coconut sugar in place of the caster sugar. This was topped with a healthier homemade version of nutella; I used Ella Woodward’s recipe for that which can be found here. The look was completed with his beloved Sam, a topper I got from Topcake Ireland.
The end result was quite successful, though admittedly I could have taken the cake from the oven 3-5 minutes sooner than I did, but it was still moist, incredibly fudgy and a big hit with everybody, in particular, the birthday boy who in all his excitement at seeing Fireman Sam on it gleefully poked it with his chubby little fingers!
I also made some cupcakes. The recipe for these can be found in one of my favourite books, The Extra Virgin Kitchen by Susan Jane White. Again these are gluten-free and high on flavour. I’ve made them quite a few times now and they have become a firm favourite with us all. These too were topped with the aforementioned nutella and some Fireman Sam rice paper toppers that I also got from Topcake Ireland.
My boy was absolutely thrilled and we were treated too delightful chants of ‘Sam, Sam, Sam’ followed by the one-sentence he sings at the top of his voice though we are quite possibly the only people who understand it! ‘Sam is the hewo next dooooooooor’ 😉
We had a lovely chilled out day with our little boy, we even got some nice photographs of him with his best pal who for the next four weeks and three days, is two with him
So there we have it, my last baby is not really a baby anymore though for as long as I can get away with it, I will continue to call him that, my baby. Sinéad over at Bumbles of Rice wrote this lovely post, Celebrating the Day we Became Parents, where she makes a wonderful suggestion, children’s birthdays, particularly those of your first born can be celebrated as Mammyversaries and Daddyversaries, a genius idea. Now obviously as I mentioned already, this boy is our last born, the last little baby to join our family, the last time we felt like new parents all over again, because no matter how many babies you have, for each one, you (or certainly I did) feel like a new parent. So later tonight, when he is tucked up in his cot, wearing his new Fireman Sam pyjama’s, Mr. Simply Homemade and I will have a glass of wine and celebrate, a Daddyversary for him and a Mammyversary for me. (And we will toast Sinéad too for a brilliant idea, it needs to become a thing!)