Words as Gift

I have been having this conversation with one of the teenagers – words. Words are really important. We use them to express emotion, ask for information, seek permission, say sorry, to share our stories and to offer thanks. The thank you is such an important part of being human. I remember after the birth of my first child being totally overwhelmed by how many friends, family members and strangers helped and supported us in the transition to parenthood. I was so grateful, so thankful.

Today I am thankful for this man. My man as he celebrates a special day.  He is a man of words. He uses language well, to express his mind and heart. And I love that about him. I guess that is a gift we give to one another each day.

Words as a gift.

Celebration Cake – Chocolate and Guinness

The celebration cake you have all been waiting for….Chocolate Guinness Cake from Nigella Lawson’s Feast. You can find the full recipe and comments here. We were all pleasantly surprised that it was so so good. Not too rich but incredibly moist and robust enough to stack two cakes on top of each other. The cream cheese frosting makes it look like a really creamy pot of Guinness and it works well with the chocolate. This picture is the second cake that we ate with more family the day after the day itself. With 7 mouths 2 feed in our home you can never have enough cake or candle action!


  250ml Guinness
  1 cup butter
  75g cocoa
  400g caster sugar
  140ml sour cream
  2 eggs
  1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  275g plain flour
  2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  300g cream cheese
  150g icing sugar
  125ml heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/355F, and grease and line a 9 inch springform tin.

2. Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan, and add the sliced butter. Heat until the butter is melted, and remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla, then pour into the saucepan. Finally, beat in the flour and baking soda.

3. Pour the batter into the greased and lined tin, and bake for 45 mins to an hour. Leave to completely cool in the tin – it is quite a damp cake.

4. For the icing, beat the icing sugar and cream cheese together. Add the cream, and beat again until it’s a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake until it resembles the frothy top of a pint of Guinness.