Being a chef, my opinions are often sought about the potential benefits of certain types of food and beverages.
A common poser is the issue of red wine being good for your heart, to which my usual retort is "but white wine is better for your joints!"
Then there is the question of aphrodisiacs. To this I always plead ignorance...
How food and drink affects your mood is fraught with contradictions to a layman like myself.
Low fat diets can leave you feeling depressed, yet low fat meats like chicken and turkey contain the mood-enhancing tryptophan, an essential amino acid.
Caffeine increases alertness, but too much can cause anxiety, depression and nervousness.
Chocolate contains a substance that enhances endorphin levels. This can increase libido, which explains the link between chocolate and romance.
But hey, I'm a chef, not a doctor, so I will stick to my own principles - all things in moderation.
A strong cup of coffee can make you feel more lively, a chicken sandwich for lunch can sustain you in a healthy way, but make yourself a wicked chocolate soufflé for dinner, and you will feel very good indeed!
So, to finish positively, I have revisited my first book, Friends, which includes my favourite: a simple chocolate soufflé recipe.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
* 25g cornflour * 275ml milk
* 75g caster sugar
* 110g plain chocolate
* 3 egg yolks
* 5 egg whites
* pinch of salt
Method 1) Dilute the cornflour with a little of the milk.
2) Bring the remainder of the milk to the boil, together with half the sugar.
3) Introduce the cornflour gradually and reboil, whisking continuously.
4) Add the chocolate, cut into even sized pieces, and stir until completely melted.
5) Remove from the heat and beat in the yolks, one at a time.
6) Prepare a soufflé dish by greasing lightly and sugaring the inside.
7) Whisk the whites with a pinch of salt until they form soft peaks.
8) Add the remaining sugar and whisk until firm peaks are formed.
9) Mix in a quarter of the whites, and then fold in the remainder.
10) Pour the mixture into the soufflé dish and bake in a hot oven, Gas mark 5/190ºC, for about 45 minutes.