Ok, so remember how if all the advice you’ve been given to cope with heartbreak fails, there’s always chocolate?
Here’s something to get you started:
Traditional French chocolate mousse (makes enough for 6)
- 6 eggs
- 200 g of dark chocolate
- 1 pinch of salt
The secret to this mousse is to use the best chocolate you can find, and by best, I don’t mean most expensive, or with a sky-high cocoa content, but one which contains only cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar and lecithin. I generally use Nestlé dessert or Meunier cooking choc, which you can find in most UK supermarkets.
You might also want to use really fresh eggs to avoid making Mousse à la Campylobacter/Salmonella. Unless of course, you are cooking for people you deeply dislike, your ex for example… Just saying.
Preparation time: 10 minutes + a couple of hours in the fridge
How to make it:
- Break the chocolate into chunks, add a bit of water and melt. I normally just blast it in the microwave on a medium heat for a couple of minutes, but you can also use a saucepan on the hob. Just make sure it’s well melted, and looks smooth.
- Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Add a pinch of salt to the whites and whip them into stiff peaks.
- When the chocolate is cool enough to not burn your finger (of course, you will be fastidiously checking that approximately every 17 seconds because you are such a methodical cook… Just remember to leave enough chocolate to not just have egg mousse), add the yolks and stir well.
- Fold the whites into the chocolate mix, which basically means: Add a bit of white, cover it with chocolate and gently mix, then repeat until you have an entirely brown mixture.
- Refrigerate for a couple of hours at least.
- Invite people around and stuff your faces.
Note that because the eggs are raw, the mousse doesn’t keep for more than 24h, unless you are serving it to people you deeply dislike (see above). In my experience though, the mousse rarely survives its first serving.
There. Really easy, and when you feel comfortable with the basic recipe, you can start experimenting, adding candied citrus peels, Bailey’s, or nuts. Let me know how it turns out!
Right, once you’ve downed the whole bowl of mousse, you may also want to reflect on life, and the universe. Seriously, all the people who got over heartbreak fast have one thing in common: They took a long, honest look at themselves
Long, honest look at oneself (makes enough for one)
- courage, about 300 kg of it, because let me tell you, taking a long, hard and honest look at oneself isn’t terribly pleasant at times. Guess why most of us had been avoiding it up until now?…
- friends and /or family for support, tissues, sharing breakthroughs and frustrations
- some external catalyst such as a counsellor, therapist, group, self-help books, coach whatever works for you. For some people, this ingredient is optional, hats off to them because they manage to challenge themselves enough to really make some progress, and I couldn’t do that for toffee. If anything is an unpleasant truth, I usually manage to studiously ignore it, and pretend it’s eventually going to blow away.
- A journal, or record of your moods of some description
Preparation time: Anything from weeks to years. Yes, I know, how remarkably unhelpful isn’t it? Don’t thank me.
How to make it:
- Find whichever catalyst is going to work for you. I recommend just giving every option a go, and going with your instinct.
- Stick to it because you will feel like you are beyond help, going round in circles, or going backwards at times, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
- Stir, cook, and stir some more until your head is a big messy ball of confusion.
- Chart your progress by keeping track of how often you feel rubbish (let me guess, approximately 26 million times a day now?), and anything that makes you smile.
- Gradually picture what you need to be happy, and want from life in general
- Move on to relationships and what you may want to do differently next time. I know, I know, you’re probably telling anyone who’ll listen, and probably anyone who won’t too, that you will remain celibate for the rest of your life. Allow me to just have a little snigger here (huhuhuhu)…
- When feeling dreadful, stuck, like you’re not getting anywhere, and what’s the point anyway because we’re all gonna diiiie…, check your record to measure how far you have come. You can also whinge about it at length on the internet, which is what I did.
- While taking your long, honest look at your navel, remember that you are allowed to keep on living (I know, phew). In fact, I would highly recommend that you keep doing things that bring a smile to your face.
Things that bring a smile to your face (makes enough for a bus-full of people, a double-decker, if you’re feeling generous)
Preparation time: Five minutes each day to plan + a few seconds, minutes, hours to enjoy the results
- One table-spoon a day of forcing yourself to do it when you feel like nothing
- A jumbo-sized pack of pats (a pack of pats, oooh, I like that)
- A calendar
- Something to make lists on (if you’re as organised like me, you can also go for sticky notes, notebook, i-phone reminders, and never find anything)
How to do it:
- Make a list of things which may bring a smile to your face (to try). Ask people for suggestions, follow all the useless advice you are given…
- Keep a list of things that work (which may be non-existent when you first start)
- Plan one little thing each day to look forward to and chart on your calendar. It may be something very small. I used to buy myself flowers, plan to call someone whom I knew made me feel better, have a bath, borrow comedy DVDs from the library…
- Apply pat to your back for actually doing it.
- Something which really worked was to give to others. So I would for example help someone, give a bit of change to a beggar, cook my children’s favourite meal, get little presents for my friends, pick up some litter at the park, tiny things, which probably make me sound like a slightly demented wannabe Mother Teresa, but really, totally selfishly helped me feel better.
- Enjoy, and give me your own tricks, tips and feedback!
PS. If you are scaring yourself, or feeling like topping yourself off a lot, then firstly don’t do it, it’s totally last season. Secondly, seek professional help. Not kidding. A lot of us know just how despite being invisible, the pain of heartbreak can be absolutely unbearable. Don’t try to bear it alone. Pretty please.
Right, I don’t know what you are doing tonight, but I’ve got both my smurfs back under one roof (mine), a fridge full of left-overs, and a big week of work ahead after a fairly up and down weekend. I am listening to Rover.
Rover – Tonight: