Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Meryl !!!

I wanted to specially bake a birthday cake for my younger daughter on her actual day, (coincidentally, it fell on Good Friday this year) and brought her to the places she had been wanting to since the last celebration was a rush.   However, she said her friends would be dragging her out for celebration.  Sigh! With my elder daughter not coming back this week and my younger would be out with friends, it seemed  that I and my hubby would be left alone again :(

I insisted of baking her a proper birthday cake despite my busy schedule.   I picked up a  Nutella Choc Mousse Cake recipe from Jess of Bakericious but made some modification to it.   Given that my nights were filled with numerous conference calls, I had no choice to juggle the cake baking between the calls but for the icing part, I could only start after all calls ended.   I was too tired after the icing and could not continue as it was almost midnight at that time.  I had therefore left the final frosting and decoration to the next morning.

Phew! With all the touch up and decoration in the next morning, the cake finally looked presentable :) 

My daughter's friends only arrived after lunch.  It was a small get-together, only 6-7 of them were invited.  Their original plan was to get-together here for birthday cake cutting ceremony  and then proceed to elsewhere for their 2nd part of their program ...

The house was full of laughter and chit-chat, I could see they were having a lot of fun and enjoying the time together.  I guessed they might have forgotten keeping track of their time and by then I reminded them, it had passed 5pm.   It's time for cake cutting celebration!  The kids gathered all around the birthday girl and sang a birthday song for her.  My daughter was so overjoyed and I believed that she felt so special that day. It was such a bliss that the kids enjoyed the cake so much so that they finished the whole cake...

After the cake cutting ceremony, the kids changed their mind and decided to study together  rather than hanging out since school exam is approaching.  I was glad that this bunch of friends were so sensible and hardworking.   Thumbs-up!

My hubby and I decided to bring the kids for dinner as it was late, past 7pm.  We brought them to Pizza Hut since most kids love pizza and western foods and it's a great place for birthday celebration.  Some of the them ordered pizza, others order spaghetti and other stuffs, my hubby and I tried the Pizza Hut's new launched set meals. 

I was glad that Pizza Hut has improved their food quality and menu variety over time and most impressed me was their customer services!  The restaurant officer gave my daughter a surprise of a birthday cake and some balloons.  It was a great time together with the kids and  I could see my daughter was so excited and happy ... 

The dinner ended with a group photo and let's cheer for happiness !   I thought my day would full with loneliness but turned out, it was so fulfilling and blessing as firstly,  the birthday cake was awesome,  most importantly was the joy we brought to the birthday girl.  Although it's a simple celebration, a gathering of friends together; I believe my daughter was filled with great happiness and joyous that day. 

If you are looking for birthday cake recipe, I would like to recommend this to you  as it's worth the effort.    Cheers!!

Choc Nutella Layer Cake Recipe
Preparation:
- Prepare one 7” round chocolate sponge cake cut into 3 layers.  Click here for recipe but cut amount to 70%.

Ingredients for Choc Nutella Filling: adopted from Jess from Bakericious.

- 50g dark chocolate (54% couverture chocolate)
- 100g nutella
- 40g butter
-  1 egg yolk
- 15g sugar (can cut down to 10g)
- 1 tsp gelatin powder + 1 tbsp water (can increase to 1 1/4 gelatine)
- 200ml whipped cream
- 30-50g Valrhona Crunchy Dark Chocolate Pearl

Filling Method :
1.  Melt chcolate and nutella over double boiler, stir till melt.   Add in butter and mix till smooth and well combined.   Put aside to cool. 
2.  Whisk egg yolk and sugar over double boiler till pale and thicken.  Put aside to cool.
3.  Pour egg yolk mixture (from step 2) into chocolate nutella mixture (from step 1).  Mix well.  If the mixture becomes thicken, whisk with a electronic mixer for a while till smooth.
4.  Mix gelatine and water together, double boil till gelatine dissolved.  Put aside.
5.  Whisk whipping cream over ice water till soft stiff (about 1.5-2 mins).  Add in chocolate nutella mixture (from step 3) and mix well gently at low speed. 
6.  Pour in gelatine solution and gently stir till well combined.   Freeze in fridge for 10-15 mins to let it thicken.

To Assemble:
6. Place 1 layer of sponge cake onto a 7" loose form tin. Divide chocolate nutella mixture into 3.5 portion, spread one portion onto the 1st layer and distributed evenly.  Sprinkle with crunchy dark chocolate pearl.
7. Cover with the 2nd layer of sponge cake and spread another portion of chocolate nutella mixture and sprinkle some more crunchy dark chocolate pearl. Repeat the same for the top layer with chocolate nutella mixture only and cover the remaining at all sides. Chill in the fridge overnight or at least 3 hours before final frosting and touch up.

To prepare chocolate ganache: 
8.  Bring 60g of milk to boil, add in 60g of dark chocolate and stir till melted.  Add in 15g of butter and mix till well combined.  Cool its temperature over ice-water and let it thicken. 

Final touch up and decor:  
9.  Frost the cake with chocolate ganache and freeze for another 30 mins. 
10. Remove from fridge and decorate as desired.  Chill the cake for 1 hour before serving. 

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