Although life may be tough at times, there is always, always chocolate.
When I was a child, my love of the good stuff was well known throughout the family. You could guarantee that if we went out for a meal and there was a chocolate based dessert on the menu that my little piggy eye would immediately alight upon it; the creamier, the sicklier the better for my young taste buds. My mother claims to still remember the expression on my face the first time that she gave me a chocolate button - the utter wondering delight that such a thing existed.
As I have got older my sweet tooth has receded to the extent that if you really, really pushed me, I'd probably opt for a starter over a pudding (always assuming that both wasn't an option). But my predilection for cocoa based confections remains in tact such that if D sees chocolate mentioned on a dessert menu, he pretty much knows that all bets are off.
While I never met a chocolate pudding that I didn't like, I do think that a classic chocolate pot is possibly the ultimate. It's unapologetic in its rich intensity, a true celebration of the cocoa bean. And when I saw this recipe online, I thought that it must be too good to be true - as simple a thing as you ever did see. Reader, it is not. The only, only thing to watch out for is to make sure you add the water gradually - apply the merest modicum of patience, and chocolate pudding heaven is yours.
You could use flavoured chocolate. You could add other flavourings yourself. Or, you could sit back and let the star of the show shine through. My most recent version made excellent use of the remains of a Prestat Easter Egg. It turns out that the only thing that can make a Prestat Easter Egg better is the ability to eat it with a spoon.
Ingredients - per person
30g chocolate - I advocate going as dark as you dare
1 tbsp (which is 15g) boiling water
1.5 tbsp double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Boil the kettle.
Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a microwave proof bowl. Stick it in said microwave and, er, turn it on. Every ten to fifteen seconds or so, remove the bowl, swirl it around and see where you are. The chocolate will continue melting in the residual heat once you have removed it from the microwave and you don't want to overdo it. Once you've mastered it, I promise you, this is by far the easiest way to melt chocolate.
When the chocolate is melted, first, stir through the vanilla.
Now, you are going to add the water. I would recommend weighing it out direct from the kettle. Start with just a small amount, and stir briskly. Initially, it will look as if the chocolate is going to seize into a great big mess. Keep going. When the water is incorporated, add another splash and repeat until all the water is incorporated. Remember to stir it until glossy between each addition.
Finish by stirring through the cream. You should have a mixture which is roughly the consistency of a thin creme custard.
Pour into little espresso cups and chill in the fridge for at least an hour to allow the mix to set.
Enjoy, preferably on your own in a darkened room. Maybe light a candle, play some soft jazz. Have some quality time with it. Remember, whatever life throws at you, there will always be chocolate.