These words make me feel like a total fucking whore. And not the good kind. I never thought I would *gasp* cook something from a mix, but Williams-Sonoma had a box of chocolate truffle bread mix (with real Valrhona chocolate!) on the clearance rack, and since I had already been planning on having some people over, I just shrugged my shoulders and bent over.

It was actually pretty decent (much better straight from the oven, with insides still squidgy), and only called for some water, eggs and a stick of butter. Not unlike a Betty Crocker cake mix, actually. My brownie recipe is pretty close, which reinforced the feeling that I was selling out, but the chocolate was good. I baked it in a souffle dish instead of a loaf, and whipped together a blissfully simple topping of cream, blood orange zest, sugar, a splash of my homemade bourbon vanilla and a pinch of my homemade “six-spice” – mace, nutmeg (both plucked from the jungle floor on our Fijian honeymoon), cinnamon, cardamom, star anise and clove. Whip until thick (but not butter).

A sprinkle of cocoa and crushed praline and the (voodoo)lily has been gilt. Serve with strong coffee or a nice glass of shiraz.