‘This is the best cake ever!’ said Cinnamon.

‘I want this next year for my birthday’ said Sage.

‘I want this in the form of cupcakes’ said Saffron, whose birthday is coming up this summer.

‘I want this every year for my birthday’ continued Sage.

The cake was a recipe I developed for my older daughter’s 6th birthday whilst in Germany in the summer of 2012. I called it Rustic Ricotta Cake and the notes I wrote in my recipe notebook were ‘most awesome’. This time I added a topping which the children called more of a glaze than frosting. Both they and I do not like frosting and I almost never frost my cakes. Today was an exception. I was struggling with it today and had to remake it with another container of mascarpone but the addition of lemon zest and lemon juice made a great difference the second time around.

We rushed through my son’s 9th birthday celebration but enjoyed the limited time we had tonight. First he opened his presents. He guessed the soft package wrapped in green tissue paper was some type of clothing. It was a black shirt depicting six drawings of the sinking of the Titanic. My son is fascinated with the Titanic and still has a wooden model to build from Christmas.

He also read the title of the book through the cream-coloured tissue paper. ‘A Black Hole is Not a Hole’. The next two presents he did not guess but was pleasantly surprised when he opened them. A 3-D puzzle of Big Ben to add to his London collection and the one thing he really wanted but did not know came in Lego form. A ship in a bottle. He wanted to open it right away but we were pressed for time and still had the cake to eat.

I was happy to be able to spend this time with my children.