I know that I did nothing but complain about my new housing situation last week- you know, the one where I am once again at the mercy of my mother since moving back 'under her roof'.
Now I've discovered that there actually are advantages to moving back in with one's mother. There is something about the new living situation that has brought back all the great things that I remember fondly about my teenage years. Things - like eating cereal for every meal and sulking - that I had kind of forgotten, since becoming some approximation of an adult.
When Herself went away for the weekend, something was niggling at me for a day or so, like I had forgotten to do something. And then it came to me in a blinding flash of inspiration. Of course - free gaff. So I rallied the Bitchherd for an intense, wine-fuelled, soul-baring session of teenage proportions.
Being back at the scene of our many adolescent free gaffs put us in giddy form. We shelved our usual tipple topics - wedding planning, politics, careers going nowhere, bastard boyfriends - and just steadily and determinedly cleared out Herself's drinks cabinet. Stolen booze will always taste better then booze that is rightfully yours.
We annihilated the Marques de Riscal Reserva and a couple of nice-looking pinot noirs. Then, we hit up some of the more exotic (read disgusting) flavours on offer. An apple-flavoured vodka did not mix well with some peach schnapps. And luckily, sometime after the Sheridan's liqueur was produced, we called it a night before anyone could burst into tears and claim that they were always left out of everything, or worse, get sick.
The next day, I was presented with a harsh reality that firmly snapped me back to the present - Yer Man. Himself was off for yet another round of golf and no amount of pleading or cajoling would convince the baby to go back to sleep.
The following two hours were probably some of my lowest to date. With intense Sheridan's remorse, I proceeded to have one of those really depressing showers where you sit in the shower tray and contemplate the folly of playing the 1985 edition of Trivial Pursuit at 3am with white chocolate, whiskey and coffee-liqueur shots as forfeits. We are all really, really bad at Trivial Pursuit.
After the pathetic shower, I availed of a recently acquired baby-cage given to me by my mother. There is a more PC term for it, but let's just call a spade a spade. I put Yer Man into the secure padded pen and tried not to feel too jealous of him. Obviously, he wasn't going to tolerate being in there forever, but the little respite it gave me allowed me to gather my thoughts and marshal my reserves.
I knew that to survive the day I'd need to replenish my vital fluids, find a good energy source and numb the pain. Another shot of the Sheridan's would provide all three but I refrained, out of some vague sense of decency. Instead, I came up with this novel, infinitely more civilised way of administering the hair-of-the-dog without being a total deadbeat mum.
Sheridan's liqueur-Inspired Chocolate Shots
You will need:
600ml (20fl oz) cream
400g (14oz) good dark-chocolate pieces
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 tablespoon whiskey, or coffee liqueur
For the topping, you will need:
120g (4oz) white chocolate
4 tablespoons, plus 220ml (7½fl oz)cream
Pour the 600ml (20fl oz) cream into a saucepan and heat gently until it is just bubbling. Remove the saucepan from the heat, carefully add in the dark-chocolate pieces and then whisk together to melt the chocolate and thoroughly combine it with the cream. Then whisk in the instant coffee and the whiskey or coffee liqueur, whichever you're using.
At this point, have a little taste to make sure the booze levels are to your satisfaction. Then, once this chocolate mixture has cooled to room temperature, whisk in the two eggs. Pour this mixture into little glasses. I used quite generous shot glasses but small tumblers or espresso cups work also.
Place on a tray, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least six hours to set.
You can prepare the topping in advance and add it to the chocolate glasses just before serving. Put the white chocolate and the four tablespoons of cream in a pot and stir over a low heat until melted and combined. Leave to stand for 10-20 minutes until it has cooled to room temperature.
Whip the remaining 220ml (7½fl oz)of cream into soft peaks, then add in the white-chocolate-and-cream mixture and whisk together thoroughly. Spoon the white chocolate cream over the chocolate mixture in the glasses. Serve.