Rich, gooey, melty, oozing, smooth, handsome, delicious chocolate.
Give me a fruit crumble with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream any day.
No! Don’t switch pages! Not just yet… I mean, just because I’m not a devout chocoholic doesn’t mean I don’t like the occasional nibble or two. Sometimes even three! It’s just… chocolate is so… overwhelming.
And I am easily overwhelmed.
I wasn’t always this way.
Once upon a time I was a go-getter. A make-it-happen girl. The kind that would take a task and tear it apart using just her teeth and a sheer will to demolish whatever stood in her way. No prisoners, no regrets.
Set me a challenge? I’ll double your measurables.
Tell me I can’t do something? I’ll do it and more.
An old retail manager of mine would automatically give me the prize for highest sales each week and established an alternative prize for whoever came second place so as not to have the rest of the team give up entirely. I only worked there three days a week.
If being number one was a game, I would do anything to walk away the winner.
And then something shifted.
It was almost imperceptible at first.
Nudging a colleague towards a browsing shopper instead of hightailing it over myself. Stopping mid-way through an unnecessary argument. Going to sleep instead of rewriting the last sentence of an assignment for the umpteenth time.
Little fissures gave way to larger cracks and, as an unstable wall is wont to do in such circumstances, the structure fell apart.
As an ex-perfectionist, it was tricky to find a balance between “not-the-best-but-still-actually-kinda-great” and “not-the-best-and-the-world-is-caving-in“.
And as an ex-perfectionist, it still can be.
Which is why, sometimes, I love a fruity dessert. Rough and ready. Chopped up chunks cobbled together with fall-apart pastry and melting, imperfect ice-cream. The kind of dessert that you can toss in an oven with almost no thought at all, but still impress your guests with.
Chocolate makes me quiver.
There’s an air of perfection associated with it that I still haven’t managed to establish an immunity to.
The decadence. The smooth, glossy finish. The velvety texture.
I had a single, mind-stopping mouthful of this cake last night.
Perfectly bittersweet. Gaspingly rich.
It melted between my teeth as I bit down and coated my tongue with a thick blanket of chocolate.
I couldn’t sleep for the next two hours from the caffeine and the sugar.
I don’t recommend you try it before bed.
I do recommend you try the recipe though. Particularly if you’re a chocolate fan. Even if you aren’t.
chocolate espresso mousse cake
(adapted, barely, from Valli Little’s recipe as printed in Delicious)
you will need:
500g chocolate (as dark as you can manage – I used 70%)
1tbsp golden syrup
2 shots of espresso
1tbsp brown sugar
1tbsp plain flour
how to do it:
1. Break up the chocolate. Put the butter, golden syrup and espresso in a saucepan. Top with the chocolate (the layering is done so the chocolate won’t burn). Heat the saucepan over a very low heat. Start stirring as soon as half the butter is melted and keep stirring until all of the chocolate is melted into the mix and you have a lovely shiny gloss. Take the mix off the heat and let it cool.
2. Beat the eggs with the sugar until they are pale and fluffy. Add the cooled chocolate mixture a bit at a time, mixing well between each addition. Then add the flour and mix well.
3. Line a springform tin with paper on the bottom and also a paper cuff around the side. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake in a 220C oven for 12 minutes. You should have a crust on the top (but if you poke it, it will ooze mixture). Let the tin cool in the fridge for an hour so that the mousse re-sets. Serve at room temperature.
This post was written as part of the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop. To join, check out Christina’s post here.
And speaking of chocolate! I received this gorgeous gift box from Ferrero in celebration of the up-coming Chinese New Year.
It retails for $49.00 and is filled with all sorts of goodies in special Chinese New Year dragon embossed wrapping. I’m fairly excited to be eating my way through it… chocolate aversion or not