All mouth and no trousers, that’s me. I’m forever saying or blogging that when The Boyfriend is back, I simply must cook him whatever delicious meal I’ve discovered while he’s away, or whip up a tasty dessert for a Friday night meal. And yet it never quite turns out like that. Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking and I LOVE cooking for the two of us, but spending hours in the kitchen when I could actually be spending time with him seems pointless when we spend so much time apart. It’s not as if our current kitchen is suitable for relaxing in or cooking as a team (oh, but it will be, mark my words, it will be), what with it being small, run down and designed to suit those of a pensionable age, so the cook tends to be alone at the far end of the house. There are few things in life I enjoy more than getting my iPod out and pottering about for hours in the kitchen making bread, cakes, pasta sauces, casseroles or biscuits, but only when I’m alone and can be selfish.
The irony then of this selfish hobby is that the food I have time to cook when he’s away is also the food that is perfect to share with him. I’m not going to make a chocolate soufflé just for me (unlike cake you can’t take soufflé into work the next day to share) but I would deeply resent spending two hours of a Friday night in the kitchen making a soufflé when I could be binging on Breaking Bad and eating Malteser’s with The Boyfriend. This is what led me to make the simplest recipe from a hugely neglected cookbook for a Friday night dessert – chocolate mint bombs from Green & Blacks Ultimate Chocolate Cookbook. Expressing surprise at how a cookbook about chocolate came to be so abandoned? Me too, and I can’t for the life of me explain how I’ve had this book for nearly two years and not cooked from it once. A disgraceful oversight on my part. Especially as I’m head over heels in love with Green & Blacks chocolate, in particular the butterscotch flavour. Oh my god, just writing that has made me desperate for some. Do they deliver? The recipes in it all look scrumptious, you’ve got salted caramel chocolate torte, brownies, white chocolate millefuille, ice creams, soufflés, hot chocolates, truffles and so much more. It’s a chocoholics paradise. Whilst I really, really wanted to cook the chocolate soufflé, the workload for it put me off so I went for possibly the least labour intensive recipe in the book. The other half’s a huge fan of mint chocolate so it seemed like a no brainer. In essence, the ‘bomb’ is in actual fact just a cake mix wodged into a ramekin and baked in the oven. Easy to make ahead, yet there were very few clues as to what this dessert should turn out like. Was it supposed to have a runny centre, be turned out of the ramekin onto a plate? Who knew. Because of this, I’m not sure whether I overcooked it or not, as while tasting perfectly fine (although not as minty as I’d hoped) it was pretty unspectacular and had the texture of dry, heavy cake. Even if it was supposed to have a gooey centre, the cake surrounding it would still be lacklustre. I made the mistake of sacrificing flavour for time. As well as tasting unspectacular, it didn’t look much, so I tried to jazz it up by attempting to dust a teaspoon shape onto it with icing sugar. This failed miserably, and my pride forbids me to put photographic evidence out there.
This dull attempt at dessert then makes me think that maybe once in a while, dedicating some time in the kitchen to get a stunning dessert on the table might not be so bad after all if it tastes amazing. Just don’t expect me to be all that happy about it.