There’s an interesting balance in a partnership.

Somebody has to hold the toys.

There are some days when one person will feel like dropping theirs out from the pram. It might not be about anything big- it’s just the way some days go. Maybe someone sent you a meeting invite about a certain project titled ‘DEATH MATCH’. New York humour can be hard to get.

It’s then the job of the other party to step in and hold both sets of toys for a while.

Luckily most toys are small and soft. Usually I’m carrying the emotional equivalent of Sylvanian Families.

It’s only when the Tonka trucks roll in that things get a little harder to handle.

After nearly eight years together The Hungry One and I have developed a neat little dance of passing our toys back and forth, depending on the circumstances.


When it gets tricky is on the days when both of you feel like chucking everything. That’s when comfort food comes into its own.

You see, holding the toys takes energy.

For The Hungry One comfort is all about chocolate. The darker the better. He’s never met a chocolate mousse he couldn’t conquer. That’s why a version that can be made in seven minutes before quietly biding its time in the  fridge until it’s called into service is perfect. It then gives him plenty more time to mutter over a vexing computer screen, or hit the gym.

It’s a good thing that a solid meal consists of main and dessert.

Because on the days when I need a jolly along, just a bowl of mousse would be cold comfort indeed.

Needless to say, The Hungry One disagrees. 

Toy drop chocolate mousse

(Via Gordon Ramsay, who must be familiar with the need for it)

Serves 4. Or one Hungry One and a little for his wife.


Shopping/ foraging

100 grams of  good quality dark chocolate
(I used 50 grams of milk Valhrona and 50 grams of 70% cocoa solids Green and Blacks)
300 ml of double (or heavy) cream
1 egg white
30 grams of caster sugar
Raspberries for the top, if you like. 

Equipment

Saucepan, electric whisk, ice or an icepack, three mixing bowls (one for eggwhites, one for chocolate cream and one to contain the ice or ice pack and put under the chocolate cream to cool it).

Here’s how we roll

1. Break the chocolate into small pieces. 

2. Bring half of the cream to the boil in the pan.

3. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is incorporated into the cream.

4. Set up a mixing bowl with ice and water, or an oven tray with an ice pack on it. Pour the chocolate cream into a mixing bowl and put it over the ice bowl or tray.

5. Add the rest of the cream to the chocolate mixture. Using a hand beater whisk the chocolate cream until it forms soft peaks. Remove it from the iced base.

6. Whisk the eggwhite in a clean bowl until it gets to stiff peaks. Add the sugar a tablespoon or so at a time and keep whisking until it’s glossy.

7. Fold the eggwhites through the chocolate. Spoon it into serving glasses.

8. Top with fresh berries, candied nuts or grated chocolate. It will improve in the fridge for a couple of hours. You can keep it in the fridge for up to two days.



What’s comfort food look like to you…?