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Heirloom recipes 2: Chocolate Splurge

Lewes-based baker and stylist Emily Wade of Rosehip Sussex makes her living creating beautiful vintage-inspired events, tea parties and celebration cakes. Here Emily shares her Mum’s recipe for Chocolate Splurge: ‘not a high quality dessert,’ she says, but a childhood favourite that is perhaps partly responsible for her enduring enthusiasm for sweet treats and nostalgia.

Chocolate Splurge Inventor: Emily’s Mum

My mum was a good cook, keen because she had to be, but she worked hard as well so in some ways it was just another thing for her to do. We always ate homemade meals and we always had pud. In our house there were no meals out of packets, although we did enjoy the occasional TV dinner.

The food memories from my youth are not all good – stews made from unidentifiable perma-frozen meat from the bottom of the deep freezer are probably the worst – but there are some stand-out good ones. The attractively named Chocolate Splurge pudding was a family favourite that made an appearance at every special occasion. This was my mum’s creation: a sort of chocolate trifle made from chocolate sponge, chocolate Angel Delight, cream and tinned mandarins, topped with crumbled Cadbury’s Flake. A recipe straight from the 1970s.

Mum would serve the Chocolate Splurge in a large cut-glass trifle bowl. She was an economical cook and Chocolate Splurge is a good way to use up stale cake. At Christmas it would be soaked in sherry and on lesser occasions, the juice from the tinned mandarins. If you think Chocolate Splurge is a bit ‘low brow’, my granny used to make a fabulous and very elegant hazelnut dessert which at the time I thought was ice cream but I now recognise as semifreddo. My brother and I were designated as canapé waiters at the sherry parties she hosted for the village, and we would enjoy sneaking out to the kitchen to sample her classy and unusual ice cream.

Chocolate Splurge, made in 2014

Chocolate Splurge

Homemade or shop-bought chocolate sponge cake, enough to fill your chosen serving bowl by 1 third
Angel Delight, prepared according to packet instructions
Whipped cream
300g tin mandarins, preserve juice for soaking cake
1 x Cadbury’s Chocolate Flake

Cut the chocolate sponge into 2-3 inch pieces and place in the centre of a large trifle bowl or a selection of individual serving dishes. Pour over the juice from the tinned mandarins and leave to steep in the fridge until ready to serve. Just before serving, whip up the Angel Delight as per the packet instructions (a thick chocolate custard would make a posher alternative) and layer this over the cake pieces with whipped cream and a scattering of mandarin segments. Keep layering until the bowl is generously filled, finishing with cream and a crumbled Cadbury’s Flake aka ‘The Crumbliest Milk Chocolate in the World’.

Easter Iced Biscuit Workshop


Rosehip Sussex are hosting an Easter Iced Biscuit Workshop on Saturday 5th April from 10.45-3.30pm at The Seamstress, downstairs at the Needlemakers, Lewes, BN7 2NZ.

Participants will enjoy plenty of tea, coffee and homemade cake while learning a variety of easy-to-advanced techniques to create beautiful iced biscuits for any occasion. The workshop price of £55 includes all materials, refreshments and a take-home box of iced creations to give away or enjoy over the Easter break. To book contact Emily and Wendy



Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post.
For details about my Heirloom Recipes series and how to submit your contributions, please see here

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About Chloe King

I'm a freelance writer, designer and webby type. I live with my husband and daughter in the south of England. I like to cook and can throw a good party.

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