Bread

I used to have a breadmaker ….. in the cupboard!  It produced beautiful loaves of bread, but it was massive and I have a tiny kitchen where bench space is at a premium, so I kept it in the cupboard.  And everytime I thought about how nice it would be to have a beautiful loaf of bread freshly made, I thought about how long it would take me to get the beast out and set it up – and invariably I went to the supermarket around the corner and bought a loaf.

Seeing as the thermomix has a permanent place on my bench I thought I would try out some bread.  Actually the scenario was more like both the kids were napping (very unusual!), I had no bread for lunch and I came across a recipe with a name of  “plain white rolls – no fuss”  and I thought it was a sign (maybe from the god of thermomix??).

Here are the beautiful breadsticks shaped and starting their second rise.  I made mine with wholewheat which is why they look darker.

Yep, they were easy, no fuss breadsticks.  They were gobbled up by Mr 2 and Mr 5 as soon as they were out of the oven and I was a smug mum thinking how wonderful it was that I had just made bread for the kids lunch!

I’d like to say I will be baking my bread from now on but I know it’s not going to happen.  But I do hope that on weekends when I have a bit more time, I might just whip up a couple of these loaves for a Sunday lunch!

Oh yeah – the recipe is here for those who want it http://www.forumthermomix.com/index.php?topic=4253.0

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Party Time!

It was Mr 5  (previously known as Mr 4) birthday last week.  With the boys birthday’s so close together and right before Christmas, it’s always a hectic time in our house.  This year even more so because Hubby had his appendix removed 3 days before the party as well.  Add work into the mix and …. well …. it was just plain crazy!

I was dreaming of making a whole bunch of healthy homemade food for the party – ham and cheese scrolls, sausage rolls, chicken nuggets – and the kids were going to lovingly eat it all and tell me how delicious it was!  I did say it was a dream!  Anyway, reality was quite different but I still put the thermomix to work to get some party food ready seeing as I had next to no time to prepare.

Thermomix Chocolate Crackles

I don’t like the copha chocolate crackles so I thought I would experiment with rice bubble marshmallow slice and see if I could firstly make it chocolate and secondly if it would set in patty pans rather than as a slice.  Just a little piece of advice – don’t experiment when you are short on time and don’t know the appliance you are using very well! 

I based my recipe on the one from here http://www.forumthermomix.com/index.php?topic=528.0 (Post #13) and added 1 tablespoon of cocoa in with the butter and marshmallows.

I think they turned out great, no copha taste and plenty of chocolate flavour.  They set well in the patty pans.  Next time, when I have more time, I would finish them off with a drizzle of melted white chocolate to enhance their appearance!

Honey Joys

Alas, I have no photos of the honey joys but they turned out really well.  I had my doubts as I thought the thermomix would crush all the cornflakes – but I’m happy to admit I was wrong.

I will definitely be doing these again, they were super easy and quick and made from ingredients that I normally always have on hand – 90g butter, 125g sugar, 3 tbs honey and 120g of cornflakes.

ILB Chocolate Cake

I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my cakes but seeing as the thermie was out and I was desperately short of time and energy I thought I would try out this one http://www.forumthermomix.com/index.php?topic=1097.0.  It has 22 pages of people singing its praises so it had to be OK – right?????

Better than right – this cake was fantastic, light, crumbly and moist!  You have got to try it.  And it makes a wonderful pirate cake!!!!!!!!

Boiled Orange and Almond Cake

I had some oranges in the fridge to use up and I thought I would try out the Boiled Orange and Almond Cake in the Thermomix Australia Everyday Cooking book.

First of all, it is labelled “Fat Free” – but it has eggs and almonds.  Now, I’m no dietician but last time I checked eggs and almonds both had fat in them???  Maybe they mean there is no fats (ie butter or oil) used in the recipe but, sadly, it is definitely not fat free. 

Completely off topic but I do think there is a need for a decadent fat free (and if they can manage calorie free) cake – then we can all have our cake and eat it too!

I had made one of these cakes pre thermomix which called for the oranges to be boiled for 2 hours but this one only said to boil for 45 mins which I think might be one of the issues.  I found the cake had a bitter aftertaste which may be from the oranges not being cooked enough.

This is a very dense, moist cake.   I cooked it in a square pan as instructed but I found that the the edges were browned but the middle part of the cake was still a little under done and gooey.  If I was to cook it again I would probably do it in a ring pan to avoid the undercooking.

Despite the addition of baking powder, the cake doesn’t rise too much.  It looks like a pretty sad cake when it’s whole and is best presented sliced up in little squares.

Overall, it’s not my favourite cake – I prefer light, crumbly cakes like red velvet but I took it in to work and some people liked it (or maybe they were just being polite).  I will probably give it another try eventually but I would boil the oranges longer to remove all bitterness and I would use a ring pan.

Has anyone else made this cake and know the secret to making it taste delicious?

When life gives you lemons …….

make lemon butter and lemon cordial of course!

My gorgeous cousin was married in Melbourne over the weekend I had a very quick trip down there to help her celebrate.  My aunty has a huge lemon tree in her backyard which was just brimming with fruit – so of course, as a favour, I offered to help her and bring some of those lemons back to Sydney.  Yes, my suitcase was actually half full with lemons – the advantage of a quick trip, I had hardly any clothes!

So day 2 of owning a thermomix and I had to use up these lemons – first up, lemon butter.

I used Tenina’s Citrus Curd recipe (although I only used lemons) – http://tenina.com/2010/10/citrus-curd/

First taste is pretty good – I’m looking forward to trying some with pancakes this weekend.  And maybe filling some small tart shells and putting a bit of meringue on top (I’ve got two left over egg whites from the curd which will use these up perfectly).

You can see I need to actually purchase some jars to start storing my jams/butters etc.  These were all I had available tonight!

Next up is lemon cordial.  I found recipes in the Everyday Cookbook (EDC for those in know ..)  for lemonade but it is for drinking fresh that day.  Stephanie Alexander has a fabulous recipe in her Cooks Companion book (if you don’t own this book you should – no excuses!) which keeps in the fridge for months, and when diluted with soda water makes the most fabulous and refreshing summer drink.  And it goes so well with vodka and soda!

So once again I thought I would give the thermomix conversion a try.  Stephanie’s (yes, we are on first name terms) recipe calls for 2kg of sugar and 1 litre of water.  After putting 1 kg of sugar into the thermomix, it became quite clear that doing the full recipe was going to end in overflow!  So I’ve halved it and it made about 1.5 litres of cordial.

Stephanie Alexander’s Lemon Cordial in the Thermomix

Ingredients:

  • 1kg castor sugar;
  • 500ml of water;
  • 15g of citric acid;
  • 15g of tartaric acid (don’t confuse with Cream of Tartar);
  • juice of 3 large lemons;
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon.

Method:

Scrub your lemons well, place zest into the TMX bowl, put dial in closed lid position and turbo a couple of times until you have finely grated lemon zest.

Add castor sugar and water to the TMX bowl and cook for 7 mins / 90C / speed 2.  Make sure the sugar has dissolved.

Add the citric and tartaric acids and cook for 2 mins / 90C / speed 2

Stir in the lemon juice.

Decant into bottles and store in the fridge.

Pesto Pasta

Well there was a little Pesto Pasta left over from last night which became the boys dinner tonight.  I managed to capture a photo before the boys tucked into it.

It was a rough combination of a bunch of basil, 2-3 cloves of garlic, however many pinenuts we had left, parmesan cheese and olive oil.

And it tasted delicious!

Hummus – Greg Malouf Style

I love Hummus but everytime I made it with the tinned chickpeas in the food processor it came out all gritty and earthy.  Nothing like the deliciously smooth and nutty hummus that I bought at the local lebanese restaurant.

And then one day I came across Greg Malouf’s book Moorish which unlocked the secret of fabulous hummus and dear reader I’m going to pass this secret onto you – I promise it will make your homemade hummus taste like the most divine hummus ever. 

It’s so simple I can’t believe it never occurred to me – the chickpeas need to be cooked!  Simmering on the stove for approximately two hours according to Malouf, until you get a porridge like consistency.  And then you blend.

I was a bit ambitious and thought it should be easy enough to convert into thermomix language.  So hear we go:

I use dried chickpeas that soak overnight (umm maybe just most of the day).  I normally cook more but this is all I had left.

The handy weighing scales of the Thermomix tells me this was 110g of chickpeas.  Put into the mixing bowl, add plenty of water and cook at 100C /1 hour / Reverse + Stir speed.

And this is what I call porridge consistency.

Now to add some garlic, lemon juice, tahini and salt (I use himalyan pink salt for everything).  Also used about 2 tsp of olive oil and some water to get the right consistency.

I did a couple of turbo pulses.  Because this wasn’t a great amount of hummus, it ended up all over the sides and the lid, so I had to scrape down with the spatula a couple of times and pulse again.

And Voila – perfect lebanese restaurant hummus!

Welcome to The Mixing Sessions

I’ve just received my brand new Thermomix (wwww.thermomix.com.au) and I’m putting it through it’s paces.

He is affectionately known as “the Mix” in the house – here he is now!

I’ve taken inspiration from so many thermomix blogs of ordinary people and collated lots of recipes I want to try.  So this is my return gesture – a journal of what I’m doing with my mix.

So what was the very first thing I made in the thermomix?  Easy Peasy Butter!  Quickly followed by a Pesto sauce and some pasta for dinner and a chocolate custard for dessert.  And it was eaten all so quickly that there are NO photos!!??!

But fear not dear readers because I am cooking up a storm again today and I promise photos of these exploits – after all, what’s a cooking blog without photos???  

So stay tuned to this station blog ……….