During my college years, my friends maintained what they called a “Desp Calendar” in their hostel room. They were 6 people crammed into a single room – a big, hot and dirty room according to my friend smi. A single sad/desp(erate)/irritated person (again borrowing smi’s words) rubbed everyone the wrong way, effectively resulting in a lot of grumpy ladies cramped together. (I think we mastered the art of snapping right there, in that room.) This could have become a serious issue because at least one person had reason to be down every day – with bad hostel food, exams that happened too often, occasional bouts of home sickness, alarmingly large piles of pending laundry etc.
So someone came up with this ingenious idea of writing down every one’s names against each day of the calendar, and marking a “desp” person with a happy smiley. Once a week or so, the others were to treat the desp person(s) at the restaurant or juice shop. Though I am unsure how many of these treats actually happened (people always seemed to be short of money – another dampener), the prospect of getting a treat brought instant cheer to the gloomy person :). This tradition was discontinued once I joined them; I can only imagine that the “desp” calendar became obsolete because they found it impossible to be sad around witty, vivacious, charming ME!!!
If you are hoping to lift a close one’s mood with food, nothing can assist you better than a chocolate pot. The name itself makes me happy, imagine a pot full of the smooth, silky, luscious chocolate. Mmmm…
- Chop the milk chocolate into small pieces.
- Heat some water in a saucepan till it boils. Reduce heat so that the water is just simmering. Choose a bowl that fits well into the saucepan, but does not come into direct contact with the water.
- Add the chocolate along with orange rind into the bowl. Once the chocolate has melted, remove from heat and add butter.
- Combine milk and cream in a saucepan. Stir in cornflour so that there are no lumps. Heat over a low flame stirring continuously. When the mixture is warm, add the cocoa powder. Take off fire as soon as it starts boiling. Add vanilla essence.
- Blend together the melted chocolate, milk and cream mixture, orange juice and egg in a food processor or blender.
- Pour into serving bowls, and refrigerate for 4-5 hours till set, or overnight.
Tips: You will notice that the inside of the cup (in the first pic) does not look very neat. My fridge was rather full yesterday and as I moved things around so that everything fit in snugly, the rice pot banged into chocolate pot. I tried cleaning the chocolate that almost spilled out, but could not do a very good job. So you need to hold your cups steady once you have poured in the chocolate and avoid moving it around till it has set.
I found that the chocolate tasted nicer a few minutes after it was taken out of the refrigerator.
Try out other flavours by substituting orange with cinnamon, nutmeg, nuts etc
You have probably heard that eating chocolate induces the same feelings as being in love. Three years of marriage and I disagree wholeheartedly. Chocolate is far superior. Enjoy!