Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy Birthday to The Boy!

So the boy will be one this week and this has truly been the most fantastic year of my life. I love being a mother and everything that comes with it. My husband and I are lucky to have such a wonderful boy. I have no other children of my own to compare him to, but he is what people call an easy baby. He is happy as can be and so much fun to play with and be around.

Over the course of the past year, My husband and I have changed over 2000 diapers, buckled him in and out of the car at least 1000 times, and given 365 baths, yet it feels like he was born yesterday. Everyone says that time flies and they grow up so fast, but unless you live it, you cannot quite believe it. There are times I would love to rewind to the first few days of his life to re-experience those moments, and times that I would love to fast forward to his twenties just to see what he will be like. I enjoy every second we spend together and words cannot describe how much we love him.

I am most thankful that he was born healthy, and I am grateful that no allergies have presented thus far. As I prepared for his first birthday party today, I couldn’t help but think about all the children with allergies who cannot eat cake at other people’s parties. Having been in that situation many times myself, I know that it never really bothered me too much, probably because I have never been allowed desserts unless my mother made it. I think it’s probably harder for the parent than it is for the child. Now that I am a parent, I can’t imagine being in the position of having to explain to the boy that he can’t have something everyone else is having. It would break my heart. I know there are thousands of mother’s out there who do have to go through this for so many allergies (i.e nuts, eggs, milk, gluten etc…) and I wonder how you do this. Please comment and share your experiences.

For the boy’s party today, I ordered a peanut/nut free cake from TBCY and it tasted delicious and looked adorable in the boy’s hair after he got his hands on it. As requested by my youngest niece, I had also made her favourite chocolate cake, but it didn’t make it to the party because the cake broke on it’s way out of the pan (I ran out of parchment paper!). For his actual birthday (Wednesday), I plan to make my favourite Vanilla flavoured cake, with Vanilla buttercream frosting.

So here are the 2 recipes, and of course both are completely nut free, and the Chocolate one is also dairy free. I have also included my favourite buttercream recipe which works with both cakes but is obviously not dairy free. Just remember to always read the ingredients of the products you are using. Note- Fry’s cocoa for the chocolate cake can be purchased at regular grocery stores and at Costco. The one from Costco has a may contain label and the other does not. I called the company and the one for Costco is made in a different facility which is why it has the may contain label.

Chocolaty Chocolate Cake (Peanut/Nut Free AND Dairy Free)

• 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups sugar
• 3/4 cup baking cocoa
• 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup Vegetable oil
• 2 tsp vanilla
• 3/4 cup boiling water
• 1 c. Hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Line two 9 inch pans with parchment paper, grease and flour the pans. (For those who are new to the kitchen, cut parchment paper into circle the size of the pan and then grease the paper and the sides of the pan, this makes it MUCH easier to remove the cake from the pan and prevents the cake from breaking).

Combine the dry ingredients in large bowl, then add the remaining ingredients except for the boiling water. Beat well with an electric mixer or hand mixer for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add the boiling water. The batter will be thin, ignore this. Pour evenly into the two pans.

Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in the pan completely and then remove the cakes from the pan before frosting(Discard the parchment paper).

Again for those new to the kitchen (you know who you are!)- To frost- put one layer on the actual cake stand you plan to use, frost the top, then put the second layer on top and frost the top and sides using an offset spatula.

Best Ever Vanilla Birthday Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Line two 9 inch pans with parchment paper, grease and flour the pans.

• 3 ¼ cups cake flour (Make sure you use cake flour-it really makes a difference)
• 1tbs. baking powder
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 3/4 cups milk
• 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
• 4 eggs
• 1 cup unsalted butter (cut into chunks at room temperature)
• 2 cups sugar

Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside in a bowl.

Mix the milk and vanilla in a glass and set aside

With an electric mixer, or a hand mixer, beat the butter for approx 2 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add the sugar and mix for another 3-4 minutes. Then add the eggs one at a time, ensuring each one is incorporated before adding another.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/3 of the milk mixture. Add another 1/3 flour, and another 1/3 milk, do this until both are finished.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in the pan completely and then remove the cakes from the pan before frosting. (Discard the parchment paper)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

• ½ cup buter (1 stick) at room temperature
• 5 cups Icing Sugar
• 2 tsp Pure Vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp milk

With an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth and fluffy (approx 2 minutes). Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Continue mixing for approx 1 minute on low speed. If it is not the desired consistency add more sugar (to make it thicker), or more milk (to make it thinner).

This can be made ahead and refrigerated. Take it out at least an hour before use.



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