I am dismayed to find that my own ‘secret’ Paris bistro, enjoyed more than a decade ago, has gone viral on TikTok. My memory of a vast tureen of chocolate mousse tucked into the crook of the waiter’s arm and dolloped out with a ladle (and rumours that if you charmed the staff the bowl was left on the table for you to help yourself) was somehow sweeter when I thought it was a locals-only find! So, I’ll just have to console myself with Donna Hay’s chocolate mousse, one of the ‘basics’ in her latest book. In the Basics to Brilliance concept Donna presents a basic recipe then a set of clever variations and simple flavour swerves so one recipe becomes many. So my chocolate mousse, once mastered, can become a gooey, delectable layer cake or an elegant tart with the thinnest ribbon of salted caramel lining the shell. Some chapters, such as a lemon soufflé, stick tightly to the plot: learn the technique then try a chocolate, passionfruit or raspberry version. Others range with more creativity such as a homemade za’atar giving rise to a nutty tahini- baked cauliflower, a crunchy filo-topped greens and ricotta pie or lamb skewers with whipped feta. All beautifully styled and photographed, there’s not a single thing here that I wouldn’t eat and nothing looks so hard that I’m scared to even start. Some recipes have videos alongside, so the whole package comes with bags of ideas whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook who could use a refresh to drag you out of your culinary rut. I hope I’m still thinking about Donna’s chocolate mousse a decade on. TRACY WHITMEY