Saturday morning was stressful. Nothing serious of course, just the normal chaos you get when you have young children. Toddler tantrums over clothes and colour of breakfast bowls are becoming the norm for me now but for some reason Saturday pushed me a little too far. CM and I ended up in a rut where we just spent the whole morning rubbing each other up the wrong way. I needed something to break the cycle and help me de-stress. I had to bake. I've never really thought about it before but there is something about cooking, in particular baking, which I find therapeutic. I think most people have something that helps them release the tension of the day and gives them time and space to clear their head. A fried mentioned this week that cleaning is her therapy, I think that's probably quite a common one. A more unusual one I heard recently was from someone who had bought a connect-the-dots book from an art gallery which allows you to recreate famous paintings. She said it helped her claer the muddle of thoughts in her head. I think this latest fad of colouring books for grown ups is along this same line. N's therapy is playing the drums (or playing really pointless computer games on his iPad)! So what is it about baking? For me it's the mindfulness of following a recipe and the precision involved with weighing and measuring. It reminds me of my A Level Chemistry, although I'm not sure I found that particularly therapeutic at the time! I also love that you can create something so beautiful and delicious from just basic raw ingredients. It gives me a real sense if achievement. But I don't have time to bake I hear you say. Me neither, which is why I cheated and bought a ready made pastry case! But that's not baking then I hear you say. Who cares is my response to that. I got to a chance to organise my thoughts and eat a delicious desert. It's a win win! And to call a truce with CM I let her decorate it!
Cheat's Chocolate Tart
(Prep time 20 mins | setting time 2 hours)
300 ml double cream
2 tsp caster sugar
A pinch of fine sea salt
50 g unsalted butter - cubed
200 g plain chocolate (50% cocoa) - broken into small pieces
50 ml milk
Waitrose sweet pastry case
- Put the cream, sugar and salt in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove as soon as the mixture starts to boils up.
- Once off the heat, add the butter and chocolate and stir well until it is blended - Wait a few movements and then stir in the milk until it is shiny
- Pour into the tart shell and leave at room temperature for 1 hour to set and then in the fridge for a further hour - Top with fresh raspberries, chocolate sprinkles or anything that takes your fancy