Monday music: the Birthday Kit

passionfruit birthday cakeIt’s that time of year. The annual birthday blitz, nine months after the Christmas holidays.

Are you struggling to think of original greetings for all the Facebook birthday notifications flashing up in front of you? Or just trying to budget for the mountain of gifts? Fear not, the Birthday Kit is here. Simply select and share the most appropriate birthday song video.

BONUS! Cake recipes!

Double BONUS! Other gift suggestions!

What more could you possibly need?

For small children

For the politically progressive

For people who need/like to chill

For the young at heart

For people who like dancing

For those with delusions of grandeur

If you have your own birthday favourites, please feel free to enhance the Birthday Kit by sharing them in the comments below.



For (almost) everyone: Passionfruit cake

(Except the person I made it for: Treasure, who either didn’t like it or was too full of roast lamb to eat it.) The recipe I used for Treasure’s birthday cake — from an ABC Delicious cookbook — is not available online and I don’t want to breach copyright, so instead of a recipe I’m linking to search results for passionfruit cakes. Experiment at your own risk. However the recipe I used had loads more passionfruit than any of the others I found and was very easy because you melted the butter instead of creaming it with the sugar. It had a butter cream icing flavoured with passionfruit and was sensational served with raspberries and double cream.

For people who eat gluten-free: Dark chocolate and prune cake

Obviously the 1st cake on my list is not really for everyone as it takes no account of dietary intolerances — but this one does. Although I’m mainly posting it because it is delish.  I haven’t yet made it myself but I have tasted it at a party and I discovered it via a friend’s recommendation.

For sticky date tragics: The Lumberjack cake

Apple and date cake with a caramalised coconut crust. What’s not to like? It’s the same recipe as the one I use, only this one comes with a Jelly Roll Morton soundtrack.

For grownups: Schwartzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cake)

I got this recipe from a German boyfriend’s mother a very long time ago. They were from the Black Forest in Germany, so it doesn’t get much more genuine than this.

  • 125g butter
  • 125g flour
  • 125g grated cooking (dark) chocolate
  • 125g sugar
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 6 eggs
  • 5 drops vanilla
  • 12 Tbs kirsch (cherry brandy)
  • 2 tsp baking power


  • Cherry jam
  • Whole cherries (canned black cherries are good if you don’t have fresh)
  • More kirsch
  • 2-4 250ml cartons of cream (depending on how decadent you are feeling)
  • Grated chocolate for decoration

Blend butter and sugar until smooth, add egg yolks, chocolate baking powder, vanilla, flour, almonds, kirsch and stiff egg whites last. Bake at a medium heat 40-50 minutes.

Cut in three layers.  Sprinkle each layer with Kirsch and then spread with cherry jam, cherries and whipped cream.

Cover in whipped cream and decorate with chocolate curls and cherries. You need a fair bit of filling, especially the kirsch, or it may be too dry.


Gift suggestions

For the lover of independent music: A selection of downloads from Australia’s answer to i-tunes

For the person who has everything: A goat. From Oxfam Unwrapped

For the politically aware: A fairtrade bathrobe, boxers, books, or maybe a briefcase

For the chocoholic: Gourmet fairtrade chocolate

For the foodies: The Sustainable Seafood Guide

Well that’s it for the Birthday Kit. You can now face August through to October without fear. And for next week’s Monday Music I will try and get a bit more serious 😉



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