Failure can be a good thing. Take London for example. The first time I took a solo trip to London it was a disaster.
In 1999 I was a fresher at Liverpool University, studying for a degree in English Language & Literature. One day I bought a copy of Vogue. Now given I was a chunky size 14 this was ill advised. However this copy did feature a writing competition. Which I of course, being full of arrogant youthfulness, entered.
Months later I received a very proper looking embossed letter telling me I hadn’t won, but I was a runner up. How exciting! Imagine! A girl from Leicester, via Liverpool, being invited to London! All the L’s and all the exclamations. At this point I should have been happy in my triumph, left it there and declined. But I didn’t.
I bought a pashmina. Because that’s what I imagined women in London who were invited to Vogue House might wear. It was beige. I also bought a pair of pedal pushers in a kind of gold colour. They fit badly and made my already reasonable sized backside look gargantuan. I also wore a white loose fitting peasant style T shirt. And heels. A pair of heels that barely fit, were again beige, and hurt considerably. Oh and a beige handbag that didn’t fit much in. Not an umbrella for instance.
But wait! The horror wasn’t complete! I decided, the night before I caught the train to London, from my teenage bedroom in Leicester, to fake tan my whole body.
Reader, I don’t think I need to tell you how bad I looked. A beige monstrosity, streaked in orange. It rained in London, as it often does, and I, being a girl from up North, had no idea that carrying an umbrella in the heat of the capital’s summer might be a good idea. I arrived; wet, streaked, stressed and beige.
I managed to sit through the lunch, in a panelled board room, with Alexandra Shulman (Editor), Miranda Sawyer (Journo) and Nick Hornby (Author), the latter whose work I bought days before to swot up on.
Shulman and I didn’t speak. I imagine she was concerned the beige horror might be a contagious disease. Sawyer chatted kindly, though clearly not engaged in anything a 19 year old student might have to say. (I don’t blame her). Nick was lovely. So interested in everyone. A real gent.
I took the Midland Mainline back to Leicester on the to pick up my Fiat Panda, feeling London was so very unattainable to me. I had embarrassed myself and done a disservice to every girl from the Midlands trying desperately to reinvent herself.
Just 3 years later I moved to London, again, solo. And it was anything but a disaster. I loved it. And I never wore a beige pashmina again. Or gold pedal pushers. (The same can’t be said for my love affair with ‘Holiday Skin’ fake tan).
I made a lovely video with the Scoff folks to show how to make these very easy white chocolate mousse eggs. You can see the vid on my YouTube channel and also the Scoff one. You can watch it below too.
Lots of great recipes like this in my book, Recipes from a Normal Mum, out now… on Amazon, The Works, at Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets.
One year ago: Florentine quiche and Flourless chocolate cake and Cadbury Creme Mini Egg chocolate flapjackand School fair rocky road
Two year ago: White chocolate & cranberry hot cross buns and Cadbury creme egg mess and Banoffee pecan mini pavs
Three years ago: Easter Apostles scone loaf and Carrot cake in a cup for Mother’s Day and Cranberry oaty biscuits
Four years ago: Mini chocolate birds nests and Puff pastry and Walnut bread
White chocolate mousse eggs with lemon curd yolks
Makes about 9 though depends on the size of your chocolate eggs
For the curd:
- 35g butter
- 70g castor sugar
- 1 lemon
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
For the mousse:
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 125g white chocolate
- 9 hollow milk chocolate eggs (though how many you fill will depend on the size of your eggs of course)
- Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, allow to cool a little. Locate something to stand the finished eggs in – an empty egg box would be perfect.
- Make the curd by placing a pan of simmering water over a medium heat and placing a heat proof bowl over the top, being careful that the water doesn’t touch the bowl. Place the butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice into the bowl and whisk. Stir until completely dissolved.
- Then add the eggs and whisk intermittently for 10 minutes until the curd has thickened. Chill in the fridge.
- To make the mousse, whisk the egg yolks until pale and creamy then add in the melted chocolate and whisk well.
- In a very clean bowl whisk the egg whites until you have stiff peaks then add 1 tbsp into the mousse to loosen it a little – simply beat it in with a wooden spoon.
- Then add in the rest of the whisked egg whites and fold into the mousse with a metal spoon using a slicing action. Place the mousse in the fridge.
- Take the hollow chocolate eggs and gently saw off the top of the egg with a sharp knife, just to reveal the inside enough to spoon mousse into. (Don’t worry if some of the chocolate falls into the chocolate egg).
- Spoon white chocolate mousse into the hollow eggs and place in the egg box. Spoon a tiny bit of cooled lemon curd into the middle of the mousse before serving.
NB: These hollow eggs must be kept in the fridge until serving. It is advised not to serve raw eggs to young children, pregnant women or the elderly.