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Mint Chocolate Birthday Cake

Today was Mr. TheBoyandMe's birthday. 37. He's getting old now but refuses to admit that he is now in his late 30s.

I digress.

We decided to make him a birthday cake, and as The Boy has an obsession with chocolate cake (thanks Peppa Pig) and that Mr. TBaM's favourite flavour is mint chocolate, I decided to have a go at making a mint chocolate cake.

I used the basic Mrs. Beeton's Victoria Sandwich recipe of 5oz butter/self-raising flour/caster sugar and 3 eggs, and added two sachets of mint flavoured drinking chocolate to the mix. I also added a teaspoon of baking powder as my sponge cakes don't tend to rise very much. (It still didn't, but I'm now beginning to wonder if that's more about my oven than anything else.

We made the cake yesterday and then wrapped it in tin foil once cooled.

Then this morning while hubby was sleeping soundly (because I am a good wife and Mr. TBaM never seems to get lie-ins anymore, so I let him), The Boy and I did the filling and topping. We made a form of buttercream using unsalted butter, icing sugar and chocolate philadelphia (which is yummy). However, in hindsight I needed to add more icing sugar because it was a little too fluid.

Once that was spread on and the cake had been put in the fridge for it to set a little, I melted down chocolate to put on the top. We smoothed this around roughly and then sprinkled over a variety of toppings, including; crushed mint Aero, chocolate flake and white chocolate stars.

The finished cake was incredibly yummy, although very difficult to cut due to rock solid chocolate on the top and slippy buttercream filling! But Mr. TheBoyandMe was happy!

Most Annoying Children’s T.V. Programmes

KateTakes5 has come up with a very interesting topic this week. I was quite anal for the first year and didn't let The Boy watch any television, with the exception of the very occasional '3rd and Bird' episode. The box may have been on in the background with my daily fix of Phil and Holly, but no children's programmes. I know, cruel hey? I also didn't let him have any sugar, salt or processed food until 1yr old either. How times have changed…

I am rather controlling in what I let him watch. My fantastic mum looks after him while I'm working and I was getting a bit fed up of coming home, turning on the television and finding certain channels on. No I don't mean dodgy ones, I'm talking the American channels (I know that seems Xenophobic but it is not. My child is British, I want him to grow up with a British accent not one learnt from the Disney Channel). In my head is that advert from a few years ago: The Wombles with an American accent. Therefore having asked her not to have Cartoonito or the Disney channel on a million times, but still finding them in use I blocked them on sky+. Yes, I used the parental controls on my mother!

Basically this list is easy for me, anything that's not on CBeebies or BabyTV is pretty much a no-no. There are some decent programmes on Nick Jnr as well. Snob I know, but I may as well get my money's worth from my licence fee. However I can identify these programmes as irritating the hell out of me, and yes some of them are on my beloved CBeebies.

1) Barney. He is a big purple dinosaur. He looks nothing like a dinosaur and they weren't purple. I don't care that he teaches the children about being kind and sharing, he's a purple dinosaur! The child actors on it are sickly sweet and schmaltzy and they do my head in. No! Not in this household.

2)  LazyTown. The rubber masks are slightly alarming aren't they? They look like the Dead Presidents about to rob a bank. And it's not very realistic: Stephanie is actually about 22 and The Boy would have no concept that Robbie Rotten is naughty so why subject him to it?

3) Gigglebiz. Justin Fletcher may well have an MBE and it is well deserved. I think that every mother should be given a voucher to use that entitles them to 3hrs of childcare courtesy of Mr. Tumble to be redeemed in person in extreme cases of tiredness. The man is a genius and 'Something Special' is a firm favourite in this house with all of us. However 'Gigglebiz' is not funny: as I see it, it's a cross between 'Little Britain' and 'Benny Hill', both of which leave me reaching for the remote control. I think he's tried to indulge his love of slapstick and enforced it on children. No thank you.

4) Teletubbies. I actually like the programme and so does The Boy, but he gets really upset and cries when they disappear over the hills. I can't allow my child to develop separation anxiety for a red creature with a flipping circle on its head and a television in its stomach! So it stays off for the moment.

5) Spongebob Squarepants. I don't get it. That's all I have to say on the matter.


While I'm at it, remember this advert?

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