Can you believe two years have gone by already? Our little blondie is still as cute as ever, with an infectious giggle and a gleeful smile. He'll happily give out hugs, high fives and "hiya"s to everyone he sees (at least after the first five minutes of staring suspiciously). He likes things in order; he will make sure your cup is on a coaster and that spills are wiped up. He has a sweet tooth that we struggle not to indulge, and an interest in vehicles which rivals his big brother's. And he's been singing Happy Birthday for months now, so it's a good thing he finally got to sing it to himself!
His birthday was fairly quiet. He enjoyed unwrapping presents, ably assisted by Toby. The coach was a big hit, but I think he liked them all! Graham took him out for breakfast, and I made pizza and birthday cake for dinner.
Is it mean to smuggle vegetables into your child's birthday cake? Not when it tastes this good! I came across a recipe for chocolate courgette loaf in Green & Black's Chocolate Recipes, and since I happened to have a courgette that needed using, I gave it a go. Peeling the courgette eliminated the risk of suspicious green flecks in the cake, and even I, who knew it was there, couldn't detect it in the finished article. It was just a nice moist chocolate cake.
Chocolate Courgette Cake
175g / 6 oz dark chocolate
225g / 8 oz courgettes (zucchini)
200g / 8 oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
110g / 4 oz sugar
175 ml / 6 fl oz sunflower oil
2 medium eggs
Grease and 8-inch / 20cm round tin and line the base. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Melt the chocolate, and peel and coarsely grate the courgettes.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt and cinnamon. Add the sugar and courgettes, and mix together. Measure out the oil in a jug, break the eggs in and whisk the eggs and oil together. Tip into the mixing bowl and give it a good stir, then stir in the melted chocolate.
Put the mixture into the cake tin and smooth out. Bake for about 50 minutes until firm to the touch. Leave it in the tin until mostly cool, then turn out and finish cooling on a rack.
For the icing, beat together 150g / 5 oz softened butter, 300g / 10 oz icing sugar and 25g / 1 oz cocoa powder. Add a spoonful or two of water or milk to make it a spreading consistency. Ice the top and sides of the cake. Serve to unsuspecting small children and watch them devour it.