Celebrating 60 years (of life & Arsenal fandom!)

May & June are busy birthday months in our family. My little brother Tim & nephew Paul, followed by my hubby Nick then Keith, then Mama & finally Mabel’s Great Grandad Albert. It’s also Father’s Day.

I couldn’t bake for them all but Mum, Tim & Keith came over a few weekends ago for a celebratory get together, so I dusted off the Kitchenaid to whip something up.

This year was special because the lovely Keith turned 60!!

To mark the occasion I decided to bake something in a football theme. Sounds generic but for Keith & my family it’s poignant as we are all Gooners (Gunners, or Arsenal fans to the uninitiated). I would not pass up the chance to combine two of my great loves – baking & Arsenal.

I managed to buy a season ticket just before I learnt my little girl was on the way. Luckily we had front row seats in the middle tier. The seats were under cover and I was sitting next to my brother and the Fast Track rail service meant I could be home within the hour. So I visited the Emirates right up until I was 7 months pregnant. With me, Mabel celebrated Thierry Henry’s awesome FA Cup comeback from retirement and Robin Van Persie’s 100th goal for the Arsenal.

I loved it. So did Mabel judging by the kicks I felt when the applause went up!

Football is a theme re-visited as I also baked a football/Arsenal cake for my nephew Tom’s 18th birthday 3 years ago (I am lucky enough to have 4 nephews and don’t see them enough these days). Here’s that cake, made with a lot of help and advice from the lovely ladies at Jane Asher’s cake shop in Kensington – which is an amazing cake shop btw.

Hart's Bakery 008

I digress.

Once again Peggy Porschen provided the best chocolate sponge cake recipe I have come across so far (and I’ve tried a few!). It involves mixing and melting chocolate, sugar & milk in a saucepan before adding it to the dry ingredients which makes for a moist, dense sponge. I can’t find the recipe online but it’s in her book “Cake Chic” which I have referenced in previous posts..

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I added some green frosting (again Peggy’s recipe, referenced here) & cute football sugar motifs from Lakeland.

Happy birthday Keith xxx

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