July is a month of birthdays on my calender. I love planning for birthdays, cakes, parties- that sorta thing. It was my hubby’s birthday middle of July and it was the first time in 8 years that we weren’t together to celebrate his birthday. He was travelling for work and we ( Mimi and I ) missed him on his birthday. But the the clock struck 12, Mimi sang “Happy Birthday’ to her Papa, making him all teary-eyed over the phone. It was a beautiful moment for all of us. It was decided that we would wait for him to come back to us over the weekend and we would celebrate his birthday with some good old-fashioned chocolate cake and lots of chocolate frosting.
This was a trigger good enough to take me down the memory lane -
2oo5, the year he got angry - I met him at the Alumini Party in June and we started dating soon after. His birthday in July was eagerly anticipated and we cut a cake the day before and he hinted that he would wait for my call at 12 am. I was the early-to-bed, early-to-rise kind of person and I slept without wishing him. He was upset and he called me, reminding me that I forgot to wish him. I thought that was terribly cute. But he still holds it against me everytime we discuss his birthday.
2006, the year I got angry - Married and nearly settling into our new life, his birthday was my chance to make amends for the previous one. I co-ordinated with friends and decided to throw him a surprise birthday party. I called for his favourite food from his favourite restaurant, decorated the place, invited friends, and made sure he didn’t have an inkling about what was going on. It was a working day and we went to our respective offices after deciding on some vague dinner plans outside for his birthday. Come evening and I eagerly awaited his return along with some 15 odd friends, at home. He got extraordinarily late owing to the bad traffic. I kept panicking and kept calling him every 2 minutes asking him where he had reached. In one of those calls, he realized and asked me if I had planned a surprise birthday party for him. I was completely shattered that he could guess it so easily. He could have atleast pretended to be surprised. I got upset and felt cheated for all my efforts. But we did have a good party and great memories too from that birthday.
2007, when we wanted to be all by ourselves - Like they say, today’s tragedy is tomorrow’s comedy. For this birthday, we went to a Japanese restaurant and laughed at the previous years’ mishaps and arguments sipping on sake and munching on some delectable prawn tempura. It was quiet. It was memorable. It was about us.
2008, when he was set to travel long term for work - This was a birthday with lot of mixed feelings. He was all set to travel to the US for 8 long months. A week from his birthday, he was to board his flight to Seattle. We had to drink our blues away so we went to our favourite pub in town with a few friends and laughed the evening away. But somewhere in the corner of our hearts, that birthday still serves as a reminder of having spent the longest time away from each other.
2009, when I truly surprised him at work - I was 6 months pregnant that year and we celebrated his birthday in the UK. I ordered for a birthday cake, chocolates and flowers to be delivered at his work place. He called me from office expressing how much he liked the surprise and how it made his day. It was a good, good day, where all three (well, almost 3 ) of us had a good time together, cutting that cake and gorging on the hand made chocolates
2010, when I baked him his first cake - I was excited because this was my first time baking and to be doubly certain, I bought the Betty Crocker Cake mix. It was the easiest thing to do, but I still messed it up. I burnt the cake at the bottom. I was very, very disappointed. To salvage my efforts, I slathered the burnt mass with some ready to eat Nestle’s Strawberry cream or something like that. Mimi who was all of 10 months licked the (so-called) frosting off the cake and made a face at the burnt cake. But he was happy to blow candles off it, cut a piece and savour it like it was the best thing he had ever tasted in his life.
2011, when I messed up his cake again - I had a year of baking experience behind me when I embarked on making a black and white torte for his birthday. I was confident about getting it right. It didn’t seem that complicated when I read the recipe. We had some friends for dinner – an informal party of sorts. The torte was a disaster. But again he was a good sport about it, appreciated my efforts and enjoyed his slice. Sigh!
2012, when I finally got the birthday cake right against all odds - With friends expected in the evening and much, much cooking to do, the best chocolate cake ever wasn’t getting the attention it deserved. I struggled with baking it due to lack of time and finally felt that I won’t be able to go ahead with the frosting at all. But with some help, I managed to assemble this gorgeous, satiny cake together. It was well received and polished off.
I got the recipe off one of my favourite blogs all time which needs no introduction at all – My baking addiction. Jaime’s best chocolate cake has become my best chocolate cake recipe that I am going to make again and again. The recipe is a keeper. The intense chocolate and coffee flavours are sprightly without being overwhelmingly so. The colour is to die for. If I were to define pure, chocolate indulgence, then this cake does it for me. I would highly recommend this recipe and if you have been looking for the perfect chocolate cake recipe then your search ends here. The chocolate butter cream frosting makes the cake more memorable and festive. The recipe for the chocolate butter cream frosting is here.