As a child, one of my greatest passions was eating disproportionately sugary food -- the holy grail of which has to be Pick 'n' Mix sweets. Within this paper bag riddled with E-numbers and neon food colourings, my most beloved sweet had to be the "chocolate" white mice.
In a recent bout of nostalgia, I decided to revisit my youth and indulge in my old faves. However, when I eagerly tucked in to my sugar-laden morsels, they were nowhere near as delicious as my memories had suggested. In fact, they tasted a bit ... piggy. Biting into those deceptively cute sweets was just like biting into solid white lard. Greatly saddened, I solemnly vowed never to revisit the confections of my past again.
Until one day, I stumbled across these rather wonderful chocolate moulds. It was love at first sight, and I immediately decided it was time to make amends with (and hopefully, improve) white mice. If you also fancy giving it a try, here's what you do.
1. Break up a 200g bar of good-quality white chocolate into a bowl. You could argue here that all white chocolate is a bit rubbish, since it contains no actual cocoa solids, but you can overlook this fact as you'll soon be eating posh chocolate mice.
2. Now it's time to melt it down, and you can do it the orthodox way (bain-marie) or the easy way (microwave!) - just make sure the chocolate doesn't burn, no one likes that. Now is your chance to add a bit of panache to your white mice. I personally opted for two packets of popping candy (mine was charmingly named "Fizz Wizz"), which adds an element of surprise AND a slight strawberry flavour. An all round winner, I think.
However, if that's not your cup of tea, you could always add darker chocolate chips to make dalmation mice, à la The Royal Tenembaums.
3. A further opportunity to make your mice that little bit more pimped out is with the addition of food colouring. I used a teaspoon of pink, but I reckon blue, green or purple would look just as charming. Mix furiously until you have a uniform bowl full of pastel coloured gloop, and try and resist eating it just yet.
4. Spoon it evenly into your chocolate moulds, and don't worry if you have worrying unstable hands like mine and dribble it all over, because these bits you can snack on once it's set!
5. Last but not least, cut some strawberry laces into roughly 3 inch long pieces, and lovingly place them in the mice's rear ends. These will act as their tails, and a convenient way to grasp your mouse as you chew off it's delicious, chocolatey head.
6. Pop them in the fridge for about an hour an a half to set -- an agonizing wait, I know, but it will be worth it. Once they've hardened, simply peel them out of the mould and feel free to squeal with joy, marvel over how cute they are, and ultimately, devour them.
Present them to your loved ones with the next cup of tea or coffee you make them -- it's probably the only time that the sight of mice in a kitchen is met with joy!