I DID IT!!

Yes yes I did it! I completed one whole month of blogging daily, successfully. Without. Missing. A. Day. Yayyyyy!

*Punches fist in the air*

Ok ok.. I may have written mostly rubbish, just whatever came to my mind. But write I did, without fail. And that’s a huge achievement considering the number of times I have attempted similar daily blogging challenges in the past 7 years of my blogging life, only to give up midway. This time though, I didn’t have the heart to give up. There were times when I did, almost. There were times when I didn’t have anything much to say and yet managed to say something in the nick of time!

Has it been easy? Well, not really. I have struggled to cook up new things to say everyday! But it hasn’t been as difficult as I had thought it would be either. Probably because I started out without expecting much. I hadn’t expected to stick around till the end, for one. Secondly, I didn’t expect anyone would come around to read me because I wasn’t around much to stay on in the readers’ minds. So there was no scope of getting disappointed and demoralized about not having any readers come over to read what I shared. There wasn’t any external pressure of blog hopping or readership to bog me down. This time I purely wrote to let my thoughts that had got clogged over the months, flow free, without worrying much about anything else.

And in the process I earned some returning readers and some new readers, who all kept me going.Β So a BIG thank you going out to all of you for coming over and leaving your comments. You all have no idea how motivating your words have been πŸ™‚

I posed this challenge to myself hoping to learn a thing or two while going about living it up. One of the things that I learned was to believe in myself. Also stay true to myself, which I have tried to be. But the biggest learning to come out it has been, to never quit. And quit I did not, I’m glad!

Tomorrow a new month begins. The last of this year. But the best, if you ask me, in terms of the spirit and hope that it brings along for the next year.

So till I see you all again, eat, drink, and be merry! Here’s to a wonderful month up ahead!

Cheers πŸ™‚

Number 8 B’day Cake for my 8 Year Old..

Namnam turned 8 last week. And I had planned to bake a special cake for her. So, like a good mom, I asked her what kind of cake she would like on her bday and pat came the reply- A ‘Thea Stilton’ cake, based on her favourite book!

Now the thought of having to design a figurine cake with its whiskers and ears and nose and lashes perfectly in place, among other things, was enough to petrify the lazy, utterly uncreative, unartistic, not to forget, awfully messy mom in me! 😯

Sooooo, the good mom brought out the meanie mom from within and moulded her child into getting excited about another cake that was relatively easy to bake, and also stayed true to the occasion :twisted:.

And when I told her that she could assist me in decorating the cake, the excitement level shot a few notches up πŸ™‚

Here’s what we made for the 8 year old and her friends who had come over to celebrate the day with us πŸ™‚

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In case any of you is wondering how I made this, here’s how..

I baked 2 round chocolate cakes using a 9 inch baking dish. Once the cakes were completely cooled, I cut a hole with a 2cm round mouthed glass in the middle of each.

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Then I cut off a bit from the edge of both the cakes in equal measure, applied some chocolate frosting (recipe to follow as the post progresses) on the edges..

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And joined the cakes..

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Then applied some more frosting, around the cakes.

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And some more, liberally!

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The last step was the decorating with m&m gems for which I got able help from the b’day girl herself.

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And that is how we pulled off the number 8 cake.

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Now to the recipes.

Chocolate cake:

Any chocolate cake would work well. I normally use a very simple recipe which I have shared with IMC for their Book Week special as well here.

However, this time I baked my cakes using this recipe from Add a Pinch, which turned out supremely moist and delicious!

Frosting:

For frosting, well, all I can say is that it’s a blessing if you have baker-friends you can turn to :). They can be absolute life-savers! I had scouted around various websites in search of a good frosting recipe but in vain, until Monika came to my rescue. She shared this easy-peasy, super-yum recipe of hers which worked like a charm!

Thank you so much, Mon πŸ™‚

And here goes the recipe, as given by her, verbatim..

Ingredients

100 gm dark chocolate

200 gm package cream cheese

4 cups confectioners’ sugar/ Icing sugar( In my case, 3 cups more than sufficed)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cream if required

Method

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave oven.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Pour melted chocolate into cream cheese and mix on medium speed until well blended. Add vanilla and pinch of salt. Slowly mix in the confectioners sugar.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the mixer speed to medium-high. Slowly add cream until the frosting is spreading consistency.

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Edited to Add:

Pixie asked me a very relevant question after reading the post. She wanted to know whether we ate the pieces of cake that I cut from the middle and edges. To answer her and anyone who may have had the same doubt- Yessss, we totally did! We gobbled them all up! Namnam even took some pieces to school to have at lunch.

Chocolates of any any kind, size or shape are not to be wasted, you see! That’s the golden rule of my chocoholic household πŸ˜›