Excitement in the Physics department. Christine has acquired an automatic stapler. Put the papers near it and it staples. Hands free.Â â€œItâ€™s literally the Most Amazing Thing I Ever Saw,â€ said Jon, a man who spent the last couple of weeks looking at cosmic rays in the Chilean pampas.
â€œAnd it wasnâ€™t just me. All day physicists were coming up with excuses to staple things.â€
That a fairly run of the mill office supply could cause so much excitement and happiness should come as no great surprise: we’ve all felt the thrill of using the automatic pencilÂ sharpener, or the industrial hole punch. And so we should – there are pleasures to be had in the everyday, especially when the everyday is elevated. And we should look to take our pleasures where we can find them.
On a culinary level, delicious sweet Vin Santo makes my list. It’s as easy to buy a bottle of dessert wine as it is to buy a bottle of regular wine, but the treat-yness of it, the special-occasion-ness Â it confers is disproportionate.Â And any night that ends with a small square of dark rich chocolate cake is a better night because of it.
Chocolate Cranberry Cake
This cake is perfect with after dinner coffee â€“ I serve it in small cubes because itâ€™s very rich.200g good quality dark chocolate Small pot cream â€“ about 145ml 50g butter 100g roasted salted pecans 75g dried cranberries 2 brioche rolls (about the size of a hamburger roll) Â
- Melt the chocolate, butter and cream over a pan of boiling water until blended
- Chop the pecans and add to the chocolate mixture along with the cranberries
- Blitz the rolls in a processor, then pour in the fine crumbs and mix
- Pour the mixture into a buttered loaf tin and chill overnight
- Dip the tin in hot water to loosen the cake, tip it upside down and tap sharply to release.
If You Can Make That you Can Make This
- Swap out the pecans for dry roasted peanuts, and the cranberries for raisins
- Try cashews and a mixture of coconut and chopped dried papaya or mango
- Use white chocolate instead of milk chocolate and add chopped pistachios and apricots
- Or try this rocky road cake