Alice Letts

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Family birthdays

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It was the weekend of family birthdays. Birthdays and special occasions like this are always a wonderful excuse for a party. And a brilliant opportunity to organise a family reunion!

Before we left home I quickly put a lemon cake into the oven. It turned out to be more of a lemon sponge than anything else. Very light and fluffy. It was a change from chocolate cake. I packed the lemon drizzle cake into the car and we took it down with us for the birthday cake.

It had been almost four years since I had last seen my cousin. During this time she had acquired a new member of the family and was now a grandmother! Hard to believe as she is so young looking and puts me to shame! She is always looking very beautiful and elegant. It was the first time for me to see my cousin’s grandson. I felt as if I was the great aunt. Fancy that, me a great aunt!? My great nephew was very cute indeed. He is about a year and a half. Even at his young age, he has a car. No less than a Ferrari ! Nothing but the best 😉

We all met up together in town for dinner. I enjoyed my steak and chips! A treat for me! Then we went back to the house to watch some old family slides. It was great fun!

The weekend came and went. We went on some walks. I enjoyed the country air and scenery. It was good to spend time with Goldie too. He is a Lhasa Apso and has the cutest personality!

I even had a baking lesson. We made a chocolate mousse. But this was no ordinary mousse. Oh no! This mousse contained no less than Remy Martin Cognac and NZ Whittaker’s dark chocolate! Very expensive ingredients, but nothing but the best for our birthday girl. Oh I thoroughly enjoyed that mousse! It absolutely was the number one, best chocolate mousse I have ever eaten in my entire life!

I was completely spoilt as I was given some Cognac to take home with me so I can make the mousse myself. I also jotted down the recipe. And here it is …

_______________________________
Chocolate Mousse

Power High
Cooking time 3 mins
Dish 18cm 7″ souffle dish
Serves 4

150g plain chocolate broken into pieces
3 x 15 ml or 3 tbsp strong black coffee
1 x 15 ml or 1 tbsp brandy
4 eggs separated

1. Put the chocolate coffee & brandy into a basin and heat on high for 1.5 – 2.5 mins, stirring occasionally until melted.
2. Blend in the egg yolks. Cool slightly.
3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the chocolate mixture.
4. Pour into a souffle dish and chill for at least 3 hrs.
5. Decorate with whipped cream and chocolate buttons.

Note can make instead with white chocolate and cointreau or amaretto.
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Before we left, we returned the favour, and also gave a cooking lesson, this time on how to make a lasagne, the Italian way. We didn’t have a large dish so we used some small ones. And the result? A very tasty lunch! Plus, we even had left overs for everyone to heat up for dinner later.

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