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Today is the day that I count birthday candles. Although I must say counting the candles isn’t quite what it used to be…

I prefer to count my blessings. I have a beautiful family, some truly amazing friends, my blog and all of you!

While every year presents both its challenges and its opportunities, I’m always secure in the knowledge that there’s a lot of love and strength and laughter around me. Where would we be without the humour in life?!

And luckily, thankfully, blessedly, there’s always lots of baking.

Mamma Cream Puff made me an early birthday present this year with this lovely Chestnut Spice Cake with Mascarpone Cream from Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchenby Gina De Palma. She used chestnut flour that we bought while we were in Italy this past summer. And while the mascarpone cream is not pictured here, I can assure you I will be coated in it at some point later tonight.

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I can’t have a piece yet because the cake is for after my birthday dinner (I’m having cannelloni!!!), but until then, thanks to everyone I love for making this a good year!

Ciao!