When we first found out we were pregnant, Mr J and I both agreed that our preference is to find out the sex of the baby. I must admit: I have serious control issues, so being in control of what colour and style of clothes to buy, what to expect, even down to knowing what to call the baby (he or she) – gave me relief and comfort.
Every ultrasound appointment made me so excited… and extremely anxious. I was always thinking, did the baby grow? I wonder how big it is? Is there a heartbeat? The 12 week Nuchal Translucency scan made me the most anxious, especially when finding out about the risk of different chromosomal abnormalities and pre-eclampsia. Plus it’s been 5 weeks since we last saw the baby, and it was still the size of a blueberry then. And then there was the morphology scan: how do the different organs look, does the baby have 4 heart chambers, 2 hands and 2 feet, nasal bones, and again, does it have a strong heartbeat? I would always arrive at the radiology centre anxious, and leave extremely beaming with happiness and relief. Regardless of the outcome of the scans, we knew we would love this baby with all our hearts – but hearing how the progress has been going so well (and laughing at how active this little one is that the technician had to chase it around my tummy to look for its aorta) just filled my heart with so much gratitude for this little blessing.
And then we asked if it’s a boy or girl.
The technician smiled and said she’ll try and look. She placed the transducer on my tummy, and started looking for its legs. The little rascal had other plans though – it kept moving around, kicking its legs like it was swimming and confusing the technician. At first she said, “Oh I can see it!” and then a second later said “Oh wait, I’m not so sure”. I was beyond excited… and then she took a still image and said “There it is!”. I had NO IDEA what I was looking at. Mr J, on the other hand, exclaimed “I can see two balls!”.
And that’s how we found out that you, my dear little one, is a healthy, bouncing, Jiminy Cricket of a little boy.
That weekend, we invited both our families over for a little lunch. We also planned to announce the sex of the baby – and since I love baking, I thought it would be a fun way to surprise them by making a gender reveal cake. I didn’t want anything fancy, or to make a fuss, however I wanted to do something a little bit special since this little one is the first grandchild for both our parents. They’ve also never been to a gender reveal party, much more didn’t even know the concept of a gender reveal! 🙂
It was a treat to have my mum, both sisters, cousin, and my dad who surprised us by flying all the way from Manila to Sydney, and my parents-in-law and sis-in-law at our place. It was a day filled with so much laughter, love, hopes and dreams for our little boy. Having them all at our home comforted me and gave me peace, because I knew then that this boy’s life will be filled to the brim with all the love in the world.
Berry Vanilla Cake with Mascarpone and Cream Cheese Frosting
150g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups self raising flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Food colouring of your choice
Blueberry jam* (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C. Line your baking pan with baking paper.
- In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Slowly add the flour and milk intermittently.
- Add the food colouring of your choice.
- Pour in the prepared pan, and bake for approximately 40 – 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
- See Assembly instructions below.
*I used the St Dalfour blueberry spread, but you can use any berry jam or spread to your liking
Mascarpone and Cream Cheese Frosting
Frosting recipe from Life, Love and Sugar
You will need quite a lot of frosting for this cake, as it is a 3 layer cake with lots of frosting for the layers. You will also need to apply a crumbing coat first, and top it up with more frosting.
900ml thickened cream (look for one perfect for whipping – I used one 600ml and 300ml bottles of cream)
250g mascarpone cheese, chilled
250g cream cheese, chilled
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Whip on high the cream, vanilla and sugar together until you reach soft peaks.
- Add both cheeses and mix slowly.
- Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set and harden before frosting the cake.
- Put one cake layer on the cake board. Pipe the cream cheese frosting on the edges, and place the blueberry spread in the middle.
- Add a layer of frosting, and place another layer of cake on top.
- Repeat this process until the third cake layer is on.
- Apply a crumb coat first. Place in the fridge to set the crumb coat.
- Apply the rest of the frosting, and place in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
- Take a slice and enjoy as everyone gets the gender reveal surprise!
In the middle of all the craziness after our gender reveal, I forgot to take photos of the inside of the cake. So please bear with me as I use some grainy, super filtered mobile phone photos to mark the occasion (which explains why the blue cake turned out green – sorry, my sister loves phone filters). 🙂