Psychologists will have you believe that the quickest way to evoke the past is to play the music you listened to between the ages of fourteen and twenty, otherwise known as ‘music of your life’. The Rolling Stones, Robert Palmer, Bruce Springsteen — possibly Engelbert Humperdinck if that was your thing — will all evoke memories of what you were doing at a precise moment in your teens. But psychologists are missing a trick. They should be feeding us the boiled sweets of our teenage years. ‘Confectionery of your life’ is made up of the sherbet lemons after football practice, tri-coloured lollipops called ‘traffic lights’ sucked at the bus stop, kitsch pink candy shrimps in party bags, pear drops on a wintry Sunday morning and, best of all, the glory known as the chocolate lime.
It was in memory of the lividly green and slightly powdery chocolate lime that I whipped up this pudding. It’s infinitely healthier than its boiled sweet cousin, although it has to be said that it’s a lot more trouble to prepare. But close your eyes, think of getting ready for that first teenage disco with a chocolate lime in one cheek and high expectations in your heart. And then smile smugly to think that unlike the enamel-eroding boiled sweet, this pudding is good for you.
Frozen Mango Glasses and Lime Ice-Cream, With Bitter Chocolate Truffles on the Side
For the glasses
400g ripe alphonso mangos
For the ice cream
3 limes — the juice of three of them and the zest of two
Half cup vanilla sugar
2 cups double cream
For the truffles
Half cup double cream
3 tablespoons golden syrup
90g dark chocolate
90g milk chocolate
Quarter cup milled flaxseed, cocoa and berries, plus more for rolling
These quantities make too much by far, but the slightly nutty truffle mixture is a delicious filling for a cake
Sprigs of mint to decorate
Puree the mangoes in a blender and pour into cup-making moulds for at least 6 hours. I bought these moulds in a kitchen supply shop and although they’re rather daft, sometimes a flashy trick is what you’re after.
Make the ice cream by warming the lime juice and stirring in the sugar. Stir until dissolved and add the fine zest and the cream. Cool in the fridge and then tip into your ice cream maker and follow the instructions. Again, it makes too much for this particular recipe but it keeps well.
The truffles are easy to make, although truculent and uncooperative on a hot day. Add the cream and golden syrup to a pan and heat until the mixture starts to bubble gently. Melt the chocolate into the mixture and once it’s smooth, add the flaxseed and cocoa. Freeze in a bowl for a couple of hours and then scoop out balls of the mixture with a teaspoon and roll them in more flaxseed. Return the truffles to the freezer while you wrestle with the mango glasses.
Turn the glasses out of their moulds, fill with lime ice cream and arrange the truffles on the side. Decorate with sprigs of mint. I poked a lovage straw in to suck up the mango as it melted, but I’m rather obsessed with lovage at the moment, so you don’t need to follow my lead on this one.