Serves 4

It is important to use the best chocolate you can afford. At work we use two different chocolates – one known as Valrhona and the other Amedei – both 70 per cent cocoa and considered to be the best cooking chocolate in the world. Valrhona is the more readily available of the two, but if both are difficult to find look for a chocolate that contains the highest per cent of cocoa possible.

You will only be able to drink this in the smallest possible quantities as it is almost thick enough to stand a spoon up in. It is a drink worthy for a celebration. In Angelina's Tea Room in Paris they serve it in a little teapot from which you pour the thick chocolate slowly into a cup and spoon over the cream just before drinking.

200g/7oz dark chocolate
400ml/14fl oz whole milk
150ml/1/4pt double cream, room temperature
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chop the chocolate into small rough pieces and place in a steel or ceramic bowl along with the milk. Set over a saucepan of simmering water – making sure that the base of the bowl sits above the water – you are in fact steaming the chocolate.

Allow the chocolate to melt into the milk without stirring, this will take 5 minutes or so. Once it has almost completely melted, stir gently to combine, ensuring there are no lumps. Turn off the heat and allow to sit while you whip the cream.

Place the cream in a bowl along with the sugar and vanilla and whisk until thick and soft – be sure not to overwhisk as it will ruin the texture. Pour the chocolate into four pretty glasses and spoon over the billowing cream. Serve at once before it cools and becomes impossibly thick.