CHOCOLATE CLOUD CAKE On days when I want the warmth of the hearth rather than the hurly burly of the city streets I stay in and read cookery books, and this recipe comes from just the sort of book that gives most succour, Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax.
DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE Forget the name, this cake is heavenly. The crumb is tender, the filling and frosting luscious. When I made it one friday, I expected my children, resident food critics much in the mould of the Grim eater, to find it too dark, too rich, not sweet enough: you get the gist. Instead, I came down on Saturday morning to find nothing but an empty, chocolate-smeared cake stand and a trail of crumbs.
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE SUNDAE This is the ultimate ice cream sundae. Obviously, if you're not a peanut-eater, it won't be for you, but for everyone else it is the stuff of dreams. Last time I made this sauce, I nearly had to make another batch, I'd eaten so much before even getting the ice creams out of the freezer.
FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE LIME CAKE WITH MARGARITA CREAM There is something about a flourless chocolate cake that makes it so damn easy to eat. This is one of my fallback favourites for pudding when I have friends over for supper.
PECAN-PLUS PIEThis is somewhat of an Anglo-American enterprise. I have taken a pecan pie, and added other nuts, simply because for me, the English festive season means bowls of mixed nuts and the memory of my grandfather being able to crack them, pressing two against each other, in his bare hands.