I’m pretty sure it must be just me, otherwise brands wouldn’t insist on doing it, but I really, truly, deeply do NOT get the whole baby/toddler/puppy thing to advertise stuff.
I quite like babies, don’t get me wrong. I’m scared of holding and dropping them, but I like ’em well enough. And I’m deeply dilly about animals of any kind. For the life of me though, I just cannot fathom why they should move me to buy toilet paper, paint or cars. (OK the grinning boxer flashing a set of human teeth George Clooney would take pride in is funny, but I don’t actually need a 4 x 4 Toyota Hilux bakkie, nor do I intend to buy one when I win the Lotto.)
Instead of inspiring me to rush out and purchase, these ads often have the opposite effect. An industry low was probably the rabble of babies (I assume that’s the collective noun) that advertised a financial services company. Quite how the sight of a bunch of one-year-olds in nappies wearing glasses and clutching clipboards inspires investment confidence, I am not sure.
But as I said, it’s probably just me. Until last Saturday evening that is, when, channel hopping like a pro (as I do), I happened upon the first ever baby ad that actually made me laugh – a hip, singing trio seriously happy that their mom is eating Cadbury’s dairy milk chocolate. (Check it out here.)
The next day I did the unthinkable… I went out and, for the first time ever, consciously bought a product because of an ad. Naturally I couldn’t just scoff the slab. I had to do something interesting with it. So I made a little chocolate mousse. Chocolate mousse is one of those awesome dishes that’s stupid easy to make, yet for some reason, always impresses. I’m not going to lie, if I make chocolate mousse for guests, I always go the 70% cocoa solids route. You just can’t beat it. But you need two bars and, when you do the math, you’re sitting at R70 before you’ve bought the eggs and cream. That puts it out of reach as an ordinary family treat. Enter Cadbury’s dairy milk chocolate. Being low in cocoa solids, it doesn’t pack the same punch as the ‘larney’ stuff, so I tarted it up a bit with some extra flavour.
All you need is…
375ml fresh cream
4 eggs yolks
2 x 80g slabs of Cadbury dairy milk chocolate
2 egg whites
3 tbs cocoa powder
6 tbs sugar
2 tsp good-quality brandy (see tips lower down for some alcohol-free alternatives)
3 tbs strong espresso coffee (you can use a good-quality instant coffee like Jacobs, mixed with 3 tbs water)
Break the chocolate into blocks and melt. The easiest, quickest way of doing this, is to blitz it in the micro on full power, for 20 seconds at a time. (I mean it, only 20!) Remove it after each 20-second burst and briefly stir it, even if it does still look solid. Then back in it goes. Keep on doing this until it’s melted.
Place 175ml of the cream in a heat-proof bowl, along with the sugar, cocoa and egg yolks. Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water, taking care that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Gently heat the mixture while constantly whisking. (This takes a while so, unless you have biceps like Popeye or want them, I suggest you use an electric whisk.) Keep on whisking over the boiling water until the egg yolks have cooked and turned the mixture velvety-smooth and thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the coffee, brandy and melted chocolate.
Allow the mixture to cool. You can do this in just a few minutes by placing the bowl into another bowl filled with cold water and loads of ice. Stir the mixture continuously and pretty soon it will be cold. Alternatively, allow it to come to room temperature and then place it in the fridge for an hour.
Whip the remaining cream until stiff. (Tip: Taste the cooled chocolate mix before you whip the cream and see if it’s sweet enough for your liking. If not, you can add castor sugar, to taste, to the remaining cream when you whip it.) Also whip the egg whites a separate super clean bowl until they reach stiff-peak stage. Fold a third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mix and fold through to loosen the mixture. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream and the egg whites, taking care to retain as much air as possible.
Spoon the mixture into individual bowls and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to firm up. You can make this recipe up to two days ahead of time and simply cover with cling film and keep in the fridge. Sift over some cocoa powder just before you serve it. There are loads of other interesting things you can do with this recipe as a base. See TIPS, TRICKS AND TRIVIA below for some more ideas!