Eyes bigger than our bellies

Tasha and Kate tuck in

Two minutes to eleven and the atmosphere in the office was heavy with the smell of chocolate and expectation. The cake slice was already the hand of Kate I-never-met-a-kilo-of-chocolate-I-couldn’t-eat Daley, she would make the first cut and declare National Chocolate Cake Day well and truly open at elevensies o’clock precisely.

Ten people, three cakes, a dozen buns and a pot of thick cream, some had been busy baking, others were doing their personal preparations for the belly-busting chocolate overload that was to follow. The task seemed almost impossible, especially as one of those cakes was my ‘Bet You Can’t Eat Two Slices’ or ‘Death by Chocolate Overdose’ cake. Many have seen and admired, but none have eaten two slices, certainly not within 24 hours. No, wait, there was that one time, but it resulted in frantic calls to NHS Direct, an ambulance dash, administration of a chocolate overdose antidote (pureed sprouts, cauliflower greens and anchovies) and several weeks in rehab, but we’ll skip over that, shall we? Least said, soonest mended and all that.

Lined up next to mine was Claire’s Sophie Dahl’s Flourless Chocolate Cake, oozing with cream and healthy fruit, Helen’s Delicious Traditional Chocolate Cake and Tasha’s Boobie Buns – they were buns, they looked like boobs, what else could she call them?

And so the eating began, all around the office elastic waistbands stretched, poppas popped open and belts were let out a notch. The sudden sugar rush of activity was followed by a grand lethargy and quiet groaning as all confessed, we’d eaten too much, though actually none of us cared and would have done the same again if we could have managed it.

As for the two-slice challenge, yet again there were no takers, which will be a great relief for our hard-pressed NHS. As for Kate, the last I saw her, she was looking rather green around the gills, but heading for a spin class, gym work-out and ten-mile hike. Then, but only then, would be able to eat the Curly Wurly she’d saved for later.

Further research has revealed we can look forward to National Chocolate Mint Day on February 19 followed by Cherry Pie Day on the 20th. And with Noel’s birthday on the 16th, what better way to celebrate National Do A Grouch a Favour Day? All brought to you by Holiday Insights.

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