The working class cooking hero watches The Food Network and salivates, but he also sees something not quite right. Everything inside this 25-inch screen seems so easy and happens so fast. However, the working class cooking hero doesn’t own an intelligent oven and a super egg beater. He also feels puzzled because he can’t find dried salted cod fish or truffle oil at the local stores.

Yes, the ordinary home cook doesn’t have it that easy. But he can still make a pot of Cajun-flavored potato curry for a few euros or a few more dollars and makes “Ten Dollar Dinners” look like a scam.

The working class cook tries to make flan de dulce de leche and (partially) fails—the adjustable baking tray leaks, the oven cooks too strongly. He still enjoys the resulting dessert but knows he’s far from TV perfection.

One day, the oven breaks.

He tries every trick, but it just won’t work. It seems dead, but he prays it’s just a coma.

And so our cook goes through a few days of purgatory while waiting for the repair guy. During that time, he concentrates all his savory efforts on the stovetop grill. As for the uncontainable sweet tooth, he dedicates his time to perfect the recipe for the easiest and best no-bake cake (ever?).

The resulting recipe is super easy and fast to make, very inexpensive and flavorful.

First, you’ll need to make a chocolate pudding. Mix four tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder with three teaspoons of sugar, one tablespoon of cornstarch and a cup of milk until smooth. Add more milk and stir slowly in a pan over low flame. Keep stirring and adding milk as it thickens until you have a nice consistent amount.

While you let this cool, whip a box of whole fat cream until thick. Towards the end, add a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Now you’ll just need a package of the most basic and plain cookies, the type that get soft in a nanosecond when dipped into tea or coffee.

Choose a container for your cake. It can be a big plastic or glass bowl, but anything will do (remember: no baking – at all!). Crack some cookies (but not too many) and make a first thick layer as a base. Pour in some of the chocolate pudding, top with another layer of cookies and repeat this process two more times. After the last layer of cookies, top with the thick whipped cream and even it out smoothly. Sprinkle a freakin’ lot of cinnamon powder. Cover and let sit for a few hours – in the fridge for a mousse texture, in the freezer for a more ice cream like experience.

Believe me, this recipe really gets the job done, and it can fool any guest into thinking you’ve prepared something fancy. The cookies will get soft and spongy, the bitter cocoa will make the flavor sophisticated. As time passes and as the cinnamon soaks in, it only gets better.

No sweaty foreheads, no eyes staring at the oven light for an answer—Is it baked yet? Will it rise well? When should I take it out?


Our hero has saved the day. The doctor comes to see the oven and performs a miraculous surgery. When the oven’s signs are back to stable, the in-house chef celebrates by making a huge loaf of five-flour bread, the fluffy, rich, indulgent flavor of success. But that’s another story…

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