Posts Tagged sisters

Sisters, Cake and a Butter Mountain

It was my youngest’s 16th birthday and my eldest (well, only by 18 months), decided to test out a recipe she had seen being made by a T.V. chef  and surprise her sister with a birthday cake.  The name of the cake is ‘I Can’t Believe You Made That Cake’ as, although fairly simple to make, it looks quite spectacular. 

Proud Eldest with Friends & Cake

Suitably Impressed Youngest

In case you too wish to use the equivalent of  a  World War II British family’s entire annual butter ration I reproduce the BBC recipe for you below.   If you cannot find the ‘chocolate cigarillos’, try chocolate fingers as my daughter did. 

This cake is dramatic, delicious and versatile: decorate with fresh flowers for a christening or wedding cake, top with strawberries or raspberries for something girly, or add quartered figs for a Father’s day cake.

Equipment and preparation: You will need a 20cm/8in round deep cake tin and a 20cm/8in cake board.


For the buttercream

For the decoration

  • fresh flowers, for a Christening cake
  • strawberries or raspberries, for the girls
  • figs, quartered, for the boys

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180/C/350F/Gas 4 and line a 20cm/8in round deep cake tin with baking paper and brush or spray with oil.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until they begin to go pale. Add half of the eggs and half of the flour and mix well. Add the rest of the eggs, flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder and beat for a minute or two until the mixture is uniform. Dollop into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 30–40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
  3. Meanwhile, make the buttercream: put the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and whisk together until the mixture goes fluffy. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and whisk for a further two minutes.
  4. Once the cake is completely cool, remove it from the tin. Carefully cut the top flat with a large serrated knife. (Eat this bit as a chef’s perk!)
  5. Turn the cake upside down on a 20cm/8in cake board so that the bottom now becomes a nice flat top. Split the cake horizontally and sandwich the top and bottom together with a 1cm/½in layer of buttercream.
  6. Spread half of the remaining buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake, making it as smooth as possible. Put it in the fridge to set before doing another layer – this makes it much easier to get neat squared-off edges.
  7. Gently push the cigarillos vertically onto the sides of the cake, positioning them as straight as possible and making sure they touch the bottom.
  8. The next step is up to you – I can’t tell you the wide-eyed looks you’ll get when you walk into a room holding this finished cake. Serve with a self-satisfied grin.


A day later and I’m still having trouble waddling from one room to another!

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It’s Mothers’ Day in France


Mothers' Day

My Mothers' Day Breakfast

Today, 30th May,  is Mothers’ Day in France.  It’s quite a lot later than in the U.K.    When we first moved here I had the English and French Mothers’ Days but now, as we have lived here for 5 years,(and I might get a reputation for being greedy)  I just have the French one.  My girls get a bit confused as, because we get English T.V., they see all the ads for Mothers’ Day in the U.K. and then sort of forget about it by the time it comes round in France.

Anyway, despite the fact that they had bought the card back in March, they remembered not to give it to me until today and, because my youngest had dropped a big hint that they had not forgotten, I had to stay in bed until they bought me up my card, pressie and cup of tea.  My girls not being early risers, I had to lay awake for an hour until they got out of bed! 

I love my card.  It is especially relevant as Mr. Tialys is 6’4″ tall and the tallest of the rest of us is 5’5″ (and that’s not me!).

Mothers Day

So True!


Bless ’em. 


For those of you that know us – I know, I know, this photo is around 3 years out of date but I haven’t got any (decent) recent ones as they barely stagger into the light these days  *must take more ‘sister’ photos*.

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