• Sweet

    Raspberry tiramisu and a very pheasant ménage à trois

    Raspberry tiramisu

    I had to make the same journey every morning for a couple of weeks recently, and part of my route went through pheasant-rich countryside. Nearly every day I saw the same pheasant couple, and with each passing day, the boy pheasant looked increasingly bemused, broken even. He just stood by watching the female while she scuttled and screeched like a hyperactive basket case running on crack cocaine. After about 10 days of this daily hysteria, the couple disappeared for a few days, and then the male reappeared with what seemed to be a new mate; another male. After the hyperactive addict he obviously wasn’t taking any chances!

    I don’t have much jewellery, but the pieces I do have are in a terrible state of disrepair, for various reasons. I was recently motivated to take everything to the jeweller to be sorted out, because I crushed my wedding ring between two terracotta flower pots. Actually in hindsight, I realise my wedding ring saved me a visit to Accident and Emergency. As the jewellers was closer and the wait less long and tedious, all was well. The jeweller, seeing all my damaged pieces, exclaimed ‘what on earth do you do to them?’. His expression was as bemused as the male pheasant when I detailed the various jewellery-related accidents, involving horses’ hooves, plant pots, walls and car doors.

    I have been meaning to post this recipe for a while, but every time I make these tiramisu, they disappear before I’m able to take a photo!

    Recipe for raspberry tiramisu (serves 4)

    • 3 egg yolks
    • Cane sugar, 70g
    • Crème fraiche, 150g
    • Marscapone, 250g
    • Vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon cardamon
    • 12 sponge fingers
    • Raspberries, 125g
    • Strong black coffee
    • Amaretto, 50ml
    • Very strong coffee, 50ml
    • Dark chocolate, 70g, grated

    Place the egg yolks and sugar in a ‘bain marie’ over simmering water and whisk until the mixture is creamy and doubled in volume. Remove from the heat and whisk for another minute until cooled. In another bowl beat the cream, mascarpone and vanilla until thick and creamy. Gently combine with the egg mixture and set aside. Break the sponge finger with the back of a spoon and arrange in the bottom of the serving glasses, then distribute the raspberries on top of the sponge. Combine the black coffee and amaretto and pour over the raspberries and sponge fingers. Spoon or pour the cream/egg mixture into the glasses and finally top with the grated dark chocolate. Chill for at least four hours before serving.

  • Nutritional information,  Sweet

    Lemon posset and happy new year 2024!

    Lemon posset

    First of all, I would like to wish everyone a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2024! 🥳🥂

    Léo and I went to London for Christmas. We were escorted in by storm Pia, and back home again by storm Gerrit. Welcoming Pia left us circling over the airport waiting for a gust-free moment to land, and the turbulence caused my nose to start flamboyantly gushing with blood. By the time we finally arrived at the gate, I was lavishly splattered, with tissues plugging my nostrils (I’m really selling myself here, aren’t I?). The car hire desk had long-since closed for the evening, and we had to traipse around the airport at 3am looking for a hotel room. I wondered afterwards if the first three hotels had been genuinely full, or whether they had just been just intimidated by my scary, red and white halloween face.

    Night and day delivery modes

    I am amused by the contrasting approaches to Amazon deliveries in London and rural France. London couriers have perfected a mark and fling approach; some have such an impressive aim, they don’t even have to leave their vehicles. In stark contrast, here we receive a text message saying: ‘Your courier will be with you in five minutes. Please be sure to lock up ALL of your animals and turn on a light if it’s dark’.

    A dog with zero recall, often several horses on the loose, and an untold number of deer hanging out with the other horses on the peripheries, means this can be quite a challenge. (I haven’t dared to ask any of our neighbours if they receive the same message, because I fear we’re particularly targeted!) Unable to meet the criteria for delivery, we quite often end up driving to the main road to pick up our package.

    The London Eye at night, from Northumberland Avenue
    Delivery deterrents
    Four muddy horses
    Jazz in the sunset

    I made these lemon possets for New Year’s Day, as a foil for the rather rich starter of scallops and tagliatelle in Pernod, followed by Beef Wellington and Broccoli.

    Lemons, and in particular, lemon peel have numerous health benefits. It is packed full of bioactive compounds, such as D-limonene, which helps to reduce the oxidative stress associated with tissue damage and accelerated aging. It also has anti-inflammatory, blood sugar modulating, and anti-stress and anti-anxiety properties. D-limonene may also protect against stomach ulcers by neutralising stomach acid and increasing gastric mucus production to promote gut healing.

    Recipe for lemon posset (serves 4)

    • 600ml double cream
    • 175g golden caster sugar
    • 3 lemons, juiced and zested (approx 75ml juice)
    • 20 almonds, chopped

    Pour the cream into a medium saucepan, stir in the sugar and two-thirds of the lemon zest. Bring to the boil, turn down to a gentle simmer and whisk for a couple of minutes until the sugar has melted. Divide the mixture between four individual serving dishes. Leave to cool at room temperature, then chill in the fridge for at least six hours, or preferably overnight. Scatter over the remaining lemon zest and some chopped almonds, and serve!

  • Sweet

    Almond, rum and raisin dark chocolates, to bee continued, and a nerve-wracking coat

    Almond, rum and raisin dark chocolates

    Léo mentioned our beehive issue to fellow students in Bordeaux, where he is studying. It turns out that the ‘Bordelais’ refer to the Landes, which is just to the South of Bordeaux, and where we live, as the ‘Wild West’. As such, beehivegate resulted in philosophical shrugs and ‘c’est normal pour les Landes’ comments. This seemed pretty accurate a few days later when, at the notary’s office on other business, we mentioned the problem. We explained that we had rogue beehives on our land, and that we were looking for compensation in honey. We fully expected him to refer us to page 1043 of the Beekeeper’s Code of Conduct, or some such. Instead, his advice was to make absolutely sure they gave us proper heather honey, and not ‘that disgusting sunflower crap’!

    Jazz, the horse we acquired recently to accompany Bijou, another of our horses, has not dealt well with the recent rain fall. Arab horses have particularly sensitive skin and seemingly, Jazz is no exception. Despite three shelters, he got very wet on Friday, and this very nearly catapulted him into a nervous breakdown. Outwardly, he showed the signs of a horse with colic: rolling, pawing the ground, looking despairingly at his abdomen… What didn’t make sense was that he kept alternately jumping up in the air as if on springs, and then sitting on the ground like a dog. When I noticed that rubbing him with a towel seemed to bring comfort, I realised it wasn’t colic; it was a full-blown damp-coat hissy fit. As soon as I got inside, I ordered him a raincoat, thinking, trust us to end up with a horse with severe weather neurosis.

    Jazz and his beautiful, but sensitive coat

    Recipe for rum raisin and almond chocolates

    • 50g raisins
    • 2 tablespoons of rum
    • 50g almonds
    • 200g good quality dark chocolate (I use this one, which is excellent for cooking)

    Soak the raisins in the rum for at least four hours, overnight if possible. Toast the nuts in the oven until lightly browned and fragrant, let cool, then chop coarsely.

    You can just gently melt the chocolate in a bain-marie, stir in the rum-soaked raisins and almonds and then fill the silicone moulds (I use these) with the mixture and leave them to set in the fridge. Or for a really shiny, flawless finish, you will need to temper the chocolate (see below).

    To temper dark chocolate

    Untempered chocolate is less controlled and uneven, resulting in a duller appearance. Untempered chocolate is also more sensitive to heat and humidity, and melts more easily.

    Finely chop the chocolate and place two thirds in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Place a digital thermometer in the chocolate, which you should stir frequently with a rubber spatula. The temperature of the chocolate should never exceed 48°C. Once the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl from the heat. Stir in the remaining third of chocolate little by little, letting it melt before adding more. Leave the chocolate to cool to about 28°C, then immediately place it over the simmering water again. Reheat to 31-32°C and remove the bowl again once you have reached the temperature. The chocolate should now be ‘in temper’ and must be used quickly before it cools and sets. If it does cool and solidify before you have finished using it, it should be re-tempered (i.e. reheated to 32°C).

  • French,  Sweet

    Mirabelle plum tart and I take on a photo booth

    Mirabelle plum tart

    My iPhone reminded me of my appointment at the mairie to renew my identity card, I grabbed everything, or so I thought, and ran. Unfortunately though, I fell at the first hurdle; I’d forgotten my photos. I was dismissed, and given another appointment for the next day when I was told to ‘make absolutely sure I had everything with me’.

    I found an extremely bossy photo booth and even managed, after a bit of haggling, to find the right change. Once the booth had taken my money though, it became even more obnoxious. It ordered me to sit still and remove my glasses, which I did, because its tone made me not inclined to argue. It then told me to read the small print. WTF? How on earth was I supposed to read the small print sans glasses? I bluffed my way through the tyrannical instructions, being extra careful to remove my all my earrings and especially NOT TO SMILE. There was little risk of me smiling; by this time, I was beginning to feel I would never smile again.

    Luc was quite unsympathetic, saying that I turn every little thing, even the most mundane, into a Major Diplomatic Incident. At the mairie the next day, my application for a new ID card was declined, as my photos didn’t fit the bill: my hair was flying out of the frame, one of my ears wasn’t on show, and I was smirking, presumably from rapidly impending hysteria. So I now have to repeat the whole process. I actually prefer my chances of explaining my way out of an expired ID card, than taking on that photo booth again…

    We have a mirabelle plum tree in our garden, and this is the first year it has borne fruit since it was planted 15 years ago. I often find plums very acidic, but ripe mirabelle plums contain hardly any acid and are very sweet, making them easy on sensitive stomachs.

    Recipe for mirabelle plum tart (serves 4-6)

    Puff pastry:

    • 100g flour
    • 50g butter, diced
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • Pinch of salt


    • 18 (roughly) mirabelle plums, cut in half, stone removed
    • 30g sugar
    • 40g ground almonds
    • 100ml cream
    • 4 tablespoons fruit alcohol (I used calvados)

    To make the puff pastry:

    Mix the ingredients together in a mixer, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or even overnight. Roll the pastry out (remember to sprinkle flour on your work surface), and fold and roll several times, remember to turn the pastry 90° each time. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate again. To use the pastry, just roll out again according to the shape of your pastry case.

    To make the filling:

    Arrange the plums in the pastry case, then mix the other ingredients together and pour over the fruit. Bake in a very hot, preheated oven (220°C) for 30 minutes. May be served hot, lukewarm, or cold.

  • Nutritional information,  Sweet

    Chocolate coconut slices, the great collapse, and chatting with birds

    Chocolate coconut slices

    On the evening of the fifth anniversary of my father’s death in mid-June, Luc and I wandered over to the bench which bears a memorial plaque for him. I, naturally, was feeling mournful, but it was a beautiful evening and we decided to sit down for a bit. As we sat down, in perfect unison, the bench groaned and creaked, before squeaking and crying out in pain and finally disintegrating beneath us. All in slow motion. We ended up on our backs, feet in the air with looks of vague alarm on our faces. The alarm morphed quickly into hysterical laughter, and I felt as though my father and his legendary sense of humour had reappeared and were laughing with us; he would have absolutely loved it and, although unplanned and random, it was a wonderful way to remember him!

    The bench that was

    Yesterday I found a little bird perched on a bookcase upstairs; I showed him the open window, but he returned resolutely to his adoptive bookcase. When he was still there several hours later, no doubt ensconced in a gripping page-turner, I slid a baking tray under him and took him downstairs. He still seemed to lack the resolve to fly away, so I offered him a cup of coffee (in reality it was water before anyone reports me to the RSPB), and I we had a little chat, which obviously bored him enough to inspire him to take wing. It was another very sweet moment.

    The little bird that stayed for coffee

    These coconut slices make ideal energy bar, without being too sweet. They’re very transportable so I use them when I know I might be in a situation when I need to eat a little something on the move. The almonds and coconut are good sources of protein, and also calcium, copper, iron, potassium, sodium, manganese, B vitamins, zinc, copper, and iron.

    Recipe for chocolate coconut slices (makes 20)

    • 2 eggs
    • 75g cane sugar
    • 125g coconut oil, melted
    • Chopped almonds
    • 100g raisins
    • 125g flour (I used spelt flour)
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 50g dessicated coconut
    • 2 tablespoons rum (optional)
    • Vanilla essence

    Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare a baking tray by covering with greaseproof paper. Beat the eggs and sugar together until pale, and gradually add the coconut oil at the end. Combine the almonds, raisins, flour, salt, cocoa powder and coconut in a separate bowl and gradually add to the egg/sugar/oil mixture to obtain a thick paste. Finally stir in the rum and vanilla essence. Spread over the greaseproof paper on the baking tray and bake for 30 minutes. Cut into squares while still warm. Keeps in an airtight tin for several weeks, or may be frozen.

  • Sweet

    Cranachan and the Stone of Scone


    The Stone of Scone, or the Stone of Destiny, is a 152kg block of red sandstone that would have been placed under the 700-year-old coronation chair yesterday. Historically it was used during the coronations of Scottish monarchs, and then the coronations of the monarchs of England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom.

    My great uncle’s garage

    The stone is well travelled — Westminster Abbey, Scone Abbey, Arbroath Abbey, and more recently, Edinburgh Castle. And in 1950, it travelled to my great uncle’s garage in Glasgow, having been stolen from Westminster Abbey by four Scottish students, who wanted to make a statement about Scottish nationalism. As my great uncle was a renown (and from memory, very vocal) member of the Scottish Covenant Association, who were campaigning for a Scottish Parliament, they passed the stone to him, which is how it ended up skulking in his garage.

    As a child, I used to love visiting my relatives and their garages in Scotland in June, during the raspberry harvest. Raspberries were — and still are — one of my favourite fruits. Cranachan is the Scottish version of Eton mess, originally made to celebrate the harvest. The word cranachan means ‘churn’ in Gaelic. The almonds and chocolate are my addition, and not part of the original recipe. Apparently going rogue runs in the family!

    Recipe for Cranachan (serves 4)

    • 2 tablespoons oats
    • 1 tablespoon almonds, chopped
    • 300g raspberries, crushed
    • 350ml double cream
    • 2 tablespoons honey (heather honey if possible)
    • 2 tablespoons whiskey
    • 2 squares dark chocolate (minimum 70%), grated

    Toast the oatmeal and almonds until rich and nutty and then leave to cool. Whisk the cream until just set, and then stir in the honey and whisky. Stir in the oatmeal and whisk lightly until the mixture is just firm. Alternate layers of the cream with the raspberries and purée in 4 serving dishes. Allow to chill slightly before eating.

  • Sweet

    Linzer torte and Clint Eastwood for coffee

    Linzer torte

    I had booked tickets to London for the very day that Luc’s tractor succumbed to multiple injuries. I loathe packing, and departures in general, so as Luc had said we should leave for the airport at 3pm, I had planned to pack my bag at 2.45pm. Unfortunately, what I hadn’t factored into the equation was a struck-down tractor and its extremely labile and distraught owner. In view of these circumstances, Luc decided that we should delay our departure, to check that his beloved was picked up and properly towed to the ‘tractor hospital’. To hell with me and my flight! When the transportation arrived two hours early, our departure abruptly changed again to give us time to stop by the ‘hospital’ to confirm the treatment plan with the mechanics. And presumably discuss DNR etc. I suggested gifts – perhaps flowers and grapes, but my suggestion didn’t go down well. To cut a long and emotionally-charged story short, I ended up arriving at the airport late, sweating profusely, smelling of engine oil, and wheeling a suitcase full of season-inappropriate mismatch.

    Coercing Clint

    We have a hunter friend who often stops by for coffee, and who has a Clint Eastwood-style gum chewing habit. Luc finds this intensely irritating, but, until now, all attempts to get him to spit out his gum upon arrival chez nous, had failed. We recently offered Clint and his well-toned jaw muscles a slice of this Linzer torte. He and his gum parted company with a vibrant ping on the edge of the bin, and he even asked for a second slice. Manipulation by torte!

    Linzer torte is a traditional Austrian pastry, similar in texture to shortbread and topped with tangy fruit jam. It originated in the city of Linz in Austria.

    Recipe for Linzer torte (serves 8)

    • I egg
    • 150g cane sugar
    • 150g soft butter
    • 250g flour
    • 150g ground hazelnuts
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 3 soup spoons cocoa powder
    • 1 jar of raspberry jam (you could use blackcurrant or apricot)

    Combine the egg, sugar, butter, flour, ground hazelnuts, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder to form a ball. Then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Next roll out the two thirds of the pastry, using a rolling pin and use to line a well-greased tart tin. Fill with jam and then roll out the remaining pastry, cut into strips to form a criss-cross pattern over the jam. Bake for 25 minutes.

  • Nutritional information,  Sweet

    Courgette and cardamon cake and not letting sleeping boars lie

    Courgette and cardamon cake

    The hit squad

    Below is a photo of Java on the naughty step of the car, having prodded, awoken and generally harassed a sleeping wild boar four times her size. I would tell you what I yelled at her, but the asterisk key on my computer is stuck, probably from overuse. Also, I dislocated my shoulder trying to haul her out of the boar’s ‘bedroom’, so I’m typing painfully and economically. We are currently fighting a losing battle with an ever-expanding population of boar; there are fewer and fewer hunters, and those that do turn up, have to contend with our neighbour, a graduate of the Donald Trump School of Diplomacy, and his ridiculously childish hissy fits. But no worries: Java and her German Shepard boyfriend are tackling the problem (the boar, and the neighbour) efficiently and elegantly. They’re quite the team; she marks and provokes, and he rounds up and corners. Job done.

    And a horse with discerning taste

    Following my horse’s asthma attack, I am giving him a dose of plant-based medicine every day. I think it must be working, because he is finding lots of energy to express some very strong opinions about the clothes I wear. He’s taken particular exception to some of my scarves: I’ve discovered he has a preference for neutral tones. He’s not at all keen on pink, and if I really want to piss him off I put on a garish multi-coloured number, which makes him turn on his haunches and retreat at speed to a safe distance from the offending object. Never let it be said that our animals leave room for complacency!

    Java on the naughty step
    Wild boar botherers


    A horse with strong sartorial opinions

    Cardamon’s multitude of health benefits

    Cardamom is great for curing and preventing digestive issues. The cooling effects of cardamom can help relieve acidity and treat gastrointestinal issues like indigestion, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and spasms. There has even been research on its ability to heal ulcers.

    Cardamom is rich in compounds that may fight inflammation, and also helpful for anxiety and depression.

    Finally, something that is useful to know for cold and flu season, cardamon has a powerful expectorant action, and helps blood circulation in the lungs by its thinning action. Compounds in cardamom may help increase airflow to your lungs and improve breathing. Another way that cardamom may improve breathing and oxygen levels is by relaxing the airways, which may be particularly helpful for treating asthma.

    Recipe for courgette and cardamon cake (serves 8)

    • 2 eggs
    • 125g coconut oil
    • 100g cane sugar
    • 350g courgettes, grated
    • vanilla extract
    • 140g dried raisins, soaked in rum
    • 85g walnuts, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons ground cardamon
    • Ginger
    • Bicarb, baking powder
    • 200g chickpea flour
    • 50g ground almonds

    Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare and grease a loaf tin. Beat the eggs, coconut oil and eggs together until homogeneous, then add the grated courgettes, vanilla extract, raisins, walnuts, cardamon and ginger, mixing well. Lastly gradually add the flour, ground almonds, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and continue mixing until you obtain an even mixture. Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean.

  • French,  Sweet

    French pear and almond tart and lost in the forest

    French pear and almond tart

    A neighbour and I set out on a walk with the dogs early last Saturday afternoon. It was beautifully sunny and, as the sun sets around 5.30 in November, we had plenty of time. Or so I thought. We stumbled upon an area that I hadn’t been to for some time, but the landscape had changed completely as trees had been cut and new ones planted. About an hour and a half into our walk I suddenly realised that I had absolutely no idea where we were! I have ‘getting lost’ form, and a few years ago Luc spray painted a few key trees in the area as a guide. But the trees had been cut down; my landmarks had turned to sawdust!

    Landes pine forest

    Deeper and deeper into the forest

    I called Luc, but he was in the middle of a football match — the urgency with he told me this made me wonder whether he’d been called in to replace the centre forward — and said I’d have to wait until half time. This gave us ample opportunity to cast ourselves even further adrift. We appealed to the dogs for their take on the quickest way home (I’ve often abandoned the reins on horseback as horses have built-in GPSs and are excellent at finding their way back to the stable). Alas, the dogs were having so much fun I suspect they led us astray further to keep the party going.

    Cranes flying home for the night

    Cranes, helicopters and cannibalism

    With the sun setting at an alarming rate, and the wintering cranes returning to their digs at a nearby lake, my thoughts started turning to rescue helicopters, hungry wild boar, and cannibalism. By the time it was actually dark, to our relief, we hit a tarmac path, although we had no idea where it led. Sometime later we spotted flashing car lights in the distance, tapping out what looked like a message in flashlight morse code, possibly ‘French team replacement saves damsels in distress during half time’? We were haphazardly bundled into the back seat of the car as he had ‘a match to get back to’.

    A very manic ‘help I’m lost and it’s getting dark’ grimace

    Get lost app

    I’ve since installed an app on my ‘phone, which shows me how to retrace my steps if I get lost. I’m already wondering how long I’m going to be amused by its bizarre and random bilingual bossiness. Every so often it springs to life and says: ‘You ‘ave marché quatre kilomètres in fifty-deux minutes’, ‘Allo, ‘Allo-style. I’m not sure that getting lost wasn’t preferable. One thing’s for sure: The dogs were ecstatic about their prolonged outing; we heard Java’s friend throwing himself at the door at 6am the next morning for a replay.

    Recipe for pear and almond tart (serves 4-6)

    Puff pastry:

    • 100g flour
    • 50g butter, diced
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • Pinch of salt


    • 1 tin of pears
    • 40g sugar
    • 50g ground almonds
    • 100ml cream
    • 4 tablespoons fruit alcohol (I used calvados)

    To make the puff pastry:

    Mix the ingredients together in a mixer, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or even overnight. Roll the pastry out (remember to sprinkle flour on your work surface), and fold and roll several times, remember to turn the pastry 90° each time. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate again. To use the pastry, just roll out again according to the shape of your pastry case.

    To make the filling:

    Arrange the pears in the pastry case, then mix the other ingredients together and pour over the pears. Bake in a very hot, preheated oven (220°C) for 30 minutes. May be served hot, lukewarm, or cold.

  • Gluten-free,  Nutritional information,  Sweet

    Chocolate and almond mousse cake and badgered by badgers

    Chocolate and almond mousse cake (gf)

    I’m not going to gloat about the results of the French election, because that would be neither kind, nor fair for supporters of Putin’s ‘putain‘ (Putin’s tart). The trouble is though, apparently the moment you get rid of one pest, you gain another: We’re currently being persecuted by a badger.

    Strange husbands and lethal umbrellas

    Badgers are reputed to be fearless, thick skinned, resourceful and unwavering, and the one that comes to visit us every night ticks all the boxes. It started by digging up the lawn farthest from the house, and has gradually made its way closer. At midnight last night, Luc decided enough was enough, and took off to hunt it down on his bicycle, dressed in underpants, armed with an umbrella, with a torch strapped to his head. He looked quite alarming, but in an insane way, not a badger-scaring way.

    He circled the house several times, shouting menacingly and brandishing his umbrella like the lethal weapon it wasn’t, before coming back in to reassure me that, although he hadn’t seen the offending creature, he thought we would be left in peace from now on (I love mens’ egos; they’re a constant source of amusement to me). This morning we woke up to a larger-than-ever patch of dug up lawn right in front of the bedroom window. This badger is not only spunky and tenacious, he also has a wicked sense of humour. And the dogs just snoozed on…

    Chocolate cake and chocolate mousse are my absolute favourites, and this combines the best of both; it’s not too sweet and the taste and texture, somewhere between the two, are just perfect.

    Potential copper deficiency

    Many people have been supplementing zinc to aid immunity to Covid and other viruses. High intake of zinc for extended periods of time may result in copper deficiency. Copper is essential in the formation of collagen, and also helps the body use its stored iron — a deficiency can result in anemia. Dark chocolate and almonds are both excellent sources of copper, so this cake is a good choice if you’ve been taking zinc for over the past few years. Other good sources of copper are shellfish, organ meats, legumes, whole grains and peas.

    Recipe for chocolate and almond mousse cake (serves 6-8)

    • 150g dark chocolate (min 70%)
    • 120g coconut oil
    • 5 eggs, separated
    • 150g cane sugar
    • 70g ground almond
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cardamon powder
    • Tablespoon rum

    Preheat the oven to 140°C. Melt the chocolate and the coconut oil in a bain marie, while whisking the egg whites in a bowl until stiff. In another bowl, blend the egg yolks and sugar, then add the ground almonds, seasoning, rum and chocolate and coconut oil, mixing well. Finally fold in the egg whites until the mixture is homogenous. Pour the mixture into a greased tin (I used a loaf tin) and bake for 45 minutes.