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Cooking aid stirring up a French kitchen revolution

When invited for a meal with friends recently, we were having aperitifs, when suddenly there was a noise from the kitchen, which sounded a little as if a small helicopter was coming into land. It was the programmed auto-cooker, which was cooking, blending and heating the soup for our meal while our hosts were entertaining us in the room next door.

This new-age, multi-device gadget which gets on with some of the cooking whilst you entertain or do other jobs can make bread, steam vegetables, chop, blend, mix, grate, whisk, knead, prepare sauces, make purées, yoghurt and jam. In fact, it ...

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