Serves 6

My mother cut out this recipe from a newspaper in the early Sixties and wrote it out for me. I still use her handwritten recipe. It's at least 40 years old but I do believe the epithet still fits very well. It's the best chocolate mousse I've ever had and my best creamy, fattening dinner-party pudding - always a great success. It's not complicated and I love making it. There's something therapeutic about whipping cream. And folding, and separating egg yolks, tipping them from hand to hand. It's relaxing to do. Make it several hours beforehand or the night before.

I keep Bournville or Sainsbury's dark chocolate in the freezer for it but have used Green & Black's Maya Gold as an interesting alternative. The butter must be unsalted. I make it in a big bowl then people can have as much or as little as they like. You don't need very much. It's just delicious - a force majeure.

125g Bournville or other dark chocolate
75g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter
4 large fresh eggs
200g double cream

Melt the chocolate slowly in a bowl over a saucepan of water, then stir in the icing sugar. Remove from heat, and mix in the butter then, vigorously, the egg yolks. Allow to cool. When quite cold, fold in freshly prepared crème Chantilly, made by whisking the cream with a little icing sugar. Pour into a serving bowl and chill for several hours. Freeze to make delicious ice cream.

Isabel Wolff's latest novel 'Behaving Badly' (HarperCollins, £6.99) has been shortlisted for the Parker Pen Romantic Novel of the Year award

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