So I finally made the chocolatey-chilli puddingy thing after various setbacks. My kitchen scales croaked and then on my way into the city to buy new scales I fell down the bus stairs and I began to wonder whether God was trying to tell me something. Like ‘No chocolate pudding, Laurie. You don’t need it. Nobody needs it.’

But I made it anyway. All cooking is chemistry but some recipes seem more like alchemy and this is one of them. Because the liquid, which is rum and hot water, starts out on the top and ends up on the bottom, and the chocolate-chilli glop that starts at the bottom rises to the top and makes a delicate cakey crust. Man, oh man. Vanilla ice cream worked. Creme fraiche would be even better. If you’d like the recipe I’ll happily email it to you.

Every so often I go through one of these cooking jags till Mr F breaks down and begs for a plain old chicken cutlet. I’ve almost finished scratching the current itch. Tomorrow, a slow roasted belly of pork and a plums-baked-with-dark-brown-sugar thinggy. Then I’m done. Till Christmas.

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