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We have come far from the days when dinner was roasted over an open fire or boiled in a pot of water hanging over a fire or baked in an oven that was heated with fire. Today, we have devices that take care of everything for us – we even have dedicated machines that toast bread, make coffee, or juice fruit.
Yet, no matter how minuscule, certain appliances are simply mandatory. A cooker, for example: if there’s no cooker, then it’s not a kitchen. A kitchen appliance for storing food, even if it’s only the fridge freezer, is also mandatory: there’s no escaping the fact that there must be food storage capacity.
If the kitchen is spacious with ample storage room, it’s easy enough to have a machine for every task. If, however, the area is small then it becomes practical to have the basic appliances needed for everyday use hence, it is also important to store the kitchen tools properly. It consumes time in digging them out that it completely negates any value in having them.
The following recipe uses the cooker, the fridge, and a single pot to create a rich chocolate dessert with a spicy twist suitable for entertaining. The recipe serves eight, but is easily halved if space does not permit.
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp crushed dried chili (or to taste)
1-1/2 tsp grated orange zest
pinch tsp salt
3 c whole milk
4 lg egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
In a medium saucepan, combine first three ingredients. Add 2/3 cup milk and orange zest, stirring to form a smooth paste. Whisk in egg yolks and remaining milk.
Cook mixture over medium-low, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula until thickened. 12 to 15 minutes (do not allow to boil). Remove from heat.
Add vanilla and chocolate, stirring until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour into eight 4-ounce ramekins, glasses, or similar vessels. Lay cling film over surface and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and whole raspberries.