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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Chocoholic Mother's Day Spectacular!

With Mothering Sunday fast approaching, I thought it would be nice to spend a few moments thinking about some ways to treat my dearest Mamma. Now, anyone who's anyone knows that my mother is rather partial to a little bit of chocolate. And, when I say "a bit partial" I mean borderline addict. And when I say "borderline" ... well, you catch my drift.
That's my Mamma there ------->
So, what better way to celebrate all things Mummerific (I just made that up ... let's get it trending!) than to dive into the glorious world of chocolate, Wonka-style, and see what's out there to treat your best beloved Ma.

Talking Wonka, if it's chocolate factories that get your heart racing (I know they do mine ...) then what about a trip to Cadbury World? (I kid you not!) In Bourneville, near Birmingham, in the village built by the good folks at Cadbury back in the day to house their workers, lies what may be the ultimate chocolate experience. We're talking 14 different chocolate-themed zones filled with more choc-tasticness than you can imagine. If I were you, I'd leave my "adult" at the door and go back to my childhood for this particular excursion.

If you're looking for something a little more up-market and are London-bound for the big M-Day (or there about!), then I have it on very good authority that Niko B's Chocolate Lab is seriously worth a visit. This is a chocolate shop and canteen offering you hand-made, seasonally flavoured chocolates, nougats and caramels as well as desserts, hot chocolates and cakes. They've got an onsite chocolatier making goodies in their chocolate kitchen, too, so you can truly watch a master at work!

If you can't be with your dear old Ma come Sunday (I sadly won't be with mine, but shall spend the day with my delightful bundle-of-fun daughter) then there's still time to treat her to some choccy goodies courtesy of Hotel Chocolat. Be it a box of her favourite flavour, a welcome assortment or even a gift card to let her choose her own, Hotel Chocolat's last order call is 4pm Friday ... so go on, treat her to something splendid!

Planning on staying in this Mother's Day? (I am!) If you want to make something indulgent and delicious, without too much faffing (we've all got more than enough faff in our lives already, I'm sure you'll agree!), then my fail-safe cheat's "orange" chocolate mousse is a winner every time!

You'll need:
  • 175g orange Aero
  • 30g butter
  • 3 eggs (separated)
  • 50g sugar
  • 120ml double cream
  • Zest of a satsuma
Make it!
  • Set up a bain-marie on your stove (a saucepan of water with a heat-proof bowl sat on top). Crumble the Aero into the bowl and add the butter. Melt slowly without letting anything get too hot too quickly or you'll scald the chocolate.
  • Once melted, take off the heat and add the three egg yolks and blend nice and vigorously. In fact, sod it, beat them in! Then pop into the fridge.
  • Take half the sugar and add to the egg whites. Whisk until you've got soft peaks. We're not making meringue here, so there's no need to over-do it; whisk until peaky but not dry.
  • Beat the cream together with the rest of the sugar. Again, you want soft peaks but not afternoon tea-style cream. Not too firm, just nice and full bodied.
  • Take the chocolate out of the fridge and add a spoonful or two of the egg whites and mix to soften the mixture.
  • Then, fold in the rest of the egg whites, nice and gently to keep lots of air in the mix.
  • Following this, add the cream to the mix, again blending gently.
  • Spoon into little ramekins or cups and pop them back into the fridge for a couple of hours to set.
  • Grate some zest over the tops of your mousses and they're ready to serve. Voila!


  1. I think I must've out-slutted you lot. All your recipes sound like far too much faff. Set up a bain marie?? Wha?? Who's got time for that? Open tub of vanilla ice-cream, pour espresso over, add alcohol and cantucci biscuits. Affogato. And it's goooooooooood!

    1. You don't have time to boil water? There's an affogato recipe on the site already, Anon!

  2. I can boil water for tea, but putting bowls in pans and what not seems a little high maintenance. Also - separating eggs? What's that about? Glad you've paid hommage to the affogato already but I'm really not convinced you're all that slutterly. I was hoping for hints on how to cover up the fact I can't be arsed to clean, as opposed give me recipes that are going to create more washing up! :)

    1. Well it's chocolate mousse - you're going to have to separate the eggs! We cover all sorts on the site, Anon - have a proper read and maybe you'll find something you like. We rarely cover cleaning because well... it's really really boring. We'd rather write about nice things.

      One bowl, in one pan really isn't that hard work is it? If so, we might as well recommend Cadbury chocolate mousse and be done with it. You can microwave the chocolate, but most of the time it burns if you do that. We can't please everyone all the time but we do try and cater for a wide range of women. Our food and drink section is our most popular, somehow I dn't think a cleaning section would have the same appeal!

      Here's a housework post for you:

    2. I love this! Thanks! I am now reassured that I'm not alone in my sluttery. In fact I'm going to pop my own cheat on there in just a tick.

      It does seem my interest in baking anything ranks way below the average. One bowl in a pan does render me with a sense of inertia and overwhelming disinterest. My rule - why spend time/effort baking something that Waitrose does a perfectly good job of baking for me? :)

    3. Oh, don't be fooled - we bloody love Waitrose (their lemon meringue pie at £2.99 is a STEAL). Our recipes tend to follow a kind of 'I had that nice thing in that restaurant once and I'm sure I could whip up my own version' style to them. Most of the time, they're so much easier than people expect - take a look at our Baking for Beginners series, you'll find lots of really simple recipes to start off with.

  3. Waitrose is indeed a magical place, where one can pick up birthday pressies in the food aisle, such is the loveliness of their everyday produce. Really can't get excited about baking though. Much more likely to think 'I had that nice thing in a restaurant once, I wonder where one might buy one'. Still, I hear some people actually enjoy it and suspect I'm in a minority with my overwhelming disinterest. I might pass my husband one of your recipes, however. He's a bit more dynamic in the kitchen than me :)


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