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Grenouille has been making a confection called ‘chocolate bark’, anent the forthcoming gift-giving season.  It’s two parts dark chocolate, to one part milk chocolate, to one part white chocolate. Each kind of chocolate gets melted in a separate bowl, then blobbed out randomly but contiguously onto a sheet of greaseproof paper. Next, G swirls the blobs into each other with a skewer to give the ‘bark’ effect, and dots a few cranberries, pistachios and chopped dried apricots over the surface, before cutting the resolidified sheet into triangles.

G’s Papa has become mildly addicted to the finished product.

“G, may I have some more of your chocolate rind, please?”

“Bark.”

“Woof!”

“Dad! It’s chocolate bark!”

“Sorry. Please G, may I have some more of your chocolate woof!

G gave him a look that channelled pure Victorian grandparent, at a pH of about 0.01.

“You won’t be getting anything at all unless you say the proper words.”