If you click on the little button above that says 'AFTERNOON TEA', you'll notice a common theme.
Yes, all bar one of my recipes feature chocolate. To me, a pudding is not a pudding unless it has that gorgeously creamy sweetness as one of its main ingredients. Sweet tooth? Sweet mouth!
So, this special recipe, featuring a whole host of goodies from The Co-operative home baking range, is once again for you chocolate addicts out there. I'm consistent if nothing else, right?
When thinking about where to start with an Easter recipe, I had in mind that my little dudes would be sat at the dining table for quite some time before reaching the pudding stage. Easter rivals Christmas in our house for a family feast and it can seem like it lasts forever when you're two and four. So I wanted to make something that not only tastes good but also seems really fun and a little bit magical from a child's point of view. And also something that's super easy to prepare when you have your mind on the million other things that are happening in your kitchen on that day.
Here's my recipe for an egg-tra special cheat's chocolate mousse.
Starting with the mousse, this is not your really rich, full of raw egg, mousse. This is a more child-friendly version. A little lighter and not as chocolatey.
You will need (serves four hungry adults):
200g milk chocolate (I can recommend The Co-operative Fair-trade Peruvian creamy milk chocolate - feel free to swap for dark chocolate if you do like a richer taste, though)
100ml whole milk
300ml double cream
And here's what you do:
1. Break the chocolate up in to pieces, place in a bowl and then heat gently over a pan of simmering water until it all melts. Take the bowl off the heat.
2. Heat the milk until almost boiling (you can do this in a pan or in a microwave but either way, keep a very close eye on it) and then slowly whisk in to the chocolate. Place this bowl to one side to cool down.
3. Pour the cream in to a second bowl and then whip until at the soft peak stage (if you don't fancy building up your arm muscles, yes, you can do this with an electric whisk).
4. If the chocolate/milk mixture has cooled down sufficiently (it's important that it's not still warm or the cream will curdle), pour in to the bowl with the cream and mix until fully absorbed.
5. Spoon the mixture in to tea cups (they don't have to match) or espresso cups for younger diners.
6. Place in the fridge for half an hour to set. You can leave them in for longer but take them out a few minutes before you want to serve them.
The egg-tra special bit is a selection of toppings served in an egg box. The box can be passed around the table for everyone to pick and choose some extra little tasty bits to add some bite or crunch to their mousse. My little dudes love a quirky element like this. Their fingers can't get at the treats quick enough. You can choose whether to follow my topping suggestions or pick your own family favourites instead. The essential bit is an egg box. Please don't use one that has contained real eggs as it won't be clean enough. Instead, I suggest using one that has contained chocolate eggs.
Here are my favourite toppings:
Strawberry bon bons
Hundreds and thousands
Digestive biscuits (smashed up)
Popping candy is another great option, as are walnuts.
All you need to do is remove the chocolate eggs from the box (I'm sure you can find a use for these at a later date) and pour in the toppings instead.
It's a simple but effective pudding. Even if your little ones have ventured away from the dining table, I can guarantee that this will bring them back. It's a bit of fun with something for everyone.
Huge thanks go to The Co-operative for sending me vouchers to cover the cost of the ingredients for this recipe! We had a lot of fun putting it together.