Sunday, October 30, 2011

Steamed Teriyaki Toothfish with Broccoli & Rice

A one "pot" wonder when you want something simple, quick and tasty.  When I was throwing this together for dinner I wasn't intending to blog it but it turned out so well I wanted to keep a record of it so that I could add it to our regular dinner schedule!
Ingredients
4 thin toothfish steaks (approx 150-180g each)
45g light soy sauce
45g mirin
15g sake or chinese rice wine
1 tsp sugar
uncooked rice (up to 2 cups)
250g broccoli
1 spring onion or a couple of garlic chives
Method
1. Place fish in shallow bowl / casserole dish. 
2. Place soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar in TM bowl.  Mix for 20 seconds on speed 2.  Pour over fish to marinate (at least 10 minutes).  No need to rinse the TM bowl.
3. Whilst the fish is marinating, wash rice and place in steamer basket; wash broccoli, chop into florets and place in Varoma bowl.
4. Put a sheet of baking paper onto the Varoma tray.
5. Place fish in one layer onto the baking paper.  Reserve marinade.
6. Place rice in steamer basket in TM bowl. Add 900g water.
7. Put TM lid in place. Place Varoma bowl, Varoma tray and Varoma lid on top of TM.  Steam at Varoma temperature for 16 minutes, speed 4.
8. Remove rice. 
9. Check whether fish is cooked (will be cooked when the flesh is opaque and a butter knife slides easily into it), otherwise cook for a few more minutes (this is not an exact science as cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the steak and how cold it was before you started cooking it).
10. At the same time check whether broccoli is cooked to your liking, otherwise cook for longer until cooked to your liking.  Again, not an exact science. Depends on how big you cut the florets and how crisp / tender you like it.
11. When vegetables and fish are cooked, set aside. Add reserved marinade to the bowl with 50mls water and chopped spring onions or garlic chives. Mix at 100C for 4 minutes on speed 2.  Pour over fish.
12. Serve fish, rice and broccoli together. Enjoy!


Variations:  Try it with salmon steaks or fillets.  Swap the broccoli for spinach, cabbage or beans or any combination of them.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Scrolls

Pumpkins are plentiful and so I am baking with them again!

Here is a healthier version of my Cinnamon Buns because not only does it have pumpkin in it (as a substitute for a lot of the butter and sugar) but also uses some wholemeal flour! Thank you LivLife for the recipe.

Ingredients

120g pumpkin, peeled and chopped roughly into 3cm chunks
185g milk
40g butter
15g honey
2 tsp dry yeast
280g bakers flour
150g wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2-3tbsp extra butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method
1. Place pumpkin in TM bowl. Chop for 10 seconds on speed 5. Cook at Varoma temperature for 10 minutes on speed 3. Puree for 10 seconds on speed 8.
2. Add milk, butter and honey. Mix for 10 seconds on speed 3.
3. Make sure temperature of TM bowl is not more than 50C then add yeast, flours, salt and nutmeg. Mix for 10 seconds on speed 7. Knead for 3 minutes on interval speed.
4. Remove dough from TM bowl and place in a large bowl. Cover and leave for at least 1 hour or until double in size.
5. Roll out dough to about 1cm thick. Spread melted butter over it and then sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar evenly over it. 
6. From the long edge roll the dough like a swiss roll then cut into 2-3cm rolls. (Have a look at my Cinnamon Bun post for scroll making pics). Place into a greased or lined baking dish with space between them to allow them to grow in size. Leave for at least half an hour or until doubled in size.
7. Preheat oven to 200C.
8. Bake for 18-20 minutes until nicely brown.
9. Devour whilst warm!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chocolate Chip Brownie

Brownie Mission #2

Okay so I've been a bit AWOL since declaring my first Brownie Mission but I am back with a goodie! Saw this one on a Foodbuzz Top 9 and just had to try it - particularly because they were declared to be "the best brownies in the world". Not quite akin to my Betty Crocker goal (as per my Brownie Mission statement) but really quite close.

Here is my Thermotalk version:

Ingredients

150g milk chocolate easter egg (or choc chips)
120g dark chocolate
200g unsalted butter
4 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
150g raw sugar
75g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
100g walnut pieces (optional)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 170C. Line a 20cm x 30cm cake tin with baking paper.
2. If using leftover easter eggs, chop milk chocolate on speed 7 for 3 to 5 seconds until it resembles choc chips. Set aside.
3. Place dark chocolate in TM bowl and grate for 5 seconds on speed 8.
4. Add butter. Melt for 3 minutes at 50C on speed 3-4.
5. Add eggs, vanilla and raw sugar and mix for 10 seconds on speed 4.
6. Add flour, salt, choc chips and walnuts (if using) and mix for 20 seconds on reverse speed 3.
7. Pour into cake tin and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
8. Can be left to become completely cool in the tin and dust with icing sugar, or remove and eat warm with icecream or double cream if you can't wait!

Variations: For a darker richer brownie use dark choc chips instead of milk choc chips. For a thicker brownie, use a 20cm x 20cm cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chocolate Prune Muffins


Yes I know this might sound like an odd and unattractive combination, but I was looking to add some fibre to my toddler's diet.

The prunes make the mixture look nice and chocolatey and you can't really taste them. The original recipe is actually a cake but I wanted a quick baking / easy to freeze snack and so made them in muffins tin.

The toddler only got plain un-iced ones, but I fancied them up a bit for my older kids (including hiding a little surprise in the middle!)

Here's my Thermotalk version:
Ingredients
150g pitted prunes
65ml boiling water
140g oil
200g raw sugar
20g cocoa powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
250g buttermilk
375g plain flour (I used 200g wholemeal, 175g white)
2 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
2 tsp baking powder
12 small easter eggs, wrapping removed (optional)

Method
1. Soak prunes in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease muffin tins. (I used 1 x large muffin tin and 2 x mini muffin tin).
3. Place sugar in TM bowl, grind for 3 seconds on speed 9. Set aside.
4. Place prunes and buttermilk in TM bowl. Blend for 10 seconds on speed 7.
5. Add oil, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, eggs and vanilla. Mix for 5 seconds on speed 5.
6. Add flour, baking soda and baking powder. Mix for 15 seconds on speed 4 with the aid of the spatula.
7. Spoon mixture into muffin tins.  For the larger muffins, if you want to add the easter egg in - spoon a heaped tablespoonful of the mixture into the muffin tin. Place the easter egg in the middle and top with another heaped tablespoonful of mixture.
8. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes for mini muffins and 18-20 minutes for larger muffins, so that when you push it gently in the middle the muffin springs back.

Icing: Dust with icing sugar or make a chocolate ganache (100g chocolate, grated 10 seconds speed 8, add 30g cream, melt together 2 minutes 50C speed 4) and spread over the top.
Variations: Add chocolate chips - white, milk or dark to add extra chocolatieness to it!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin is such a versatile vegetable. Not only is it great for soups and roasts and baby's first food, it is great in baking. And it's perfect for the Thermomix because most recipes require the pumpkin to be cooked and pureed first.

Here's a traditional use for pumpkin in baking - a staple of the Australian country kitchen (and my freezer!) It's also healthier than the common white scone as the moistness of the pumpkin means less butter/fat is used. (Less fat = eat more!)

Ingredients
300g pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and chopped into rough 3cm chunks
100g raw sugar
60g butter
1 egg
420g self-raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
milk, for glazing

Method
1. Preheat oven to 230C.
2. Place pumpkin in TM bowl. Chop for 5 seconds on speed 6. Cook for 10 minutes at 100C on speed 2. 
3. While pumpkin is cooking prepare cake tins. I used 2 x 20cm round tins - lightly greased.
4. Once pumpkin is cooked, puree for 30 seconds on speed 8. Set aside.
5. Place sugar into TM bowl. Grind for 3 seconds on speed 9.
6. Add butter. Mix for 30 seconds on speed 3-4. 
7. Keep TM on speed 3-4 and add egg.
8. Add cooked pumpkin and mix for 10 seconds on speed 4.
9. Add flour and salt. Mix for 10 seconds on speed 6. Knead on interval speed for 1 minute.
10. Mixture will be quite sticky. Turn out onto well floured board and flatten to about 2cm thick. Using a floured 5cm cookie cutter (or the TM measuring cup) cut out scones and place into tins, slightly touching each other.
11. Brush lightly with milk then place on second from top shelf in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until golden. You may want to rotate the tin after 8 minutes if your oven is a bit one sided (like mine!) to get even browning.

Enjoy plain or with a bit of butter (even better with MYO butter from the TM - see EDC p12).

Cutting tip: If you can't be bothered with the scone cutting and don't mind a more free-form shape - just take heaped tablespoonfuls of dough and place slightly apart from each other on a grease proof paper lined baking tray (this actually results in a slightly  moister scone because the extra flour is not used in the shaping).

Leftover tip: Can be frozen. Separate before freezing if you want to be able to snack on one (or two!) at a time. To defrost just leave on a benchtop to bring back to room temperature (or use the microwave defrost bread function).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chicken, Chorizo, Spinach, Mushroom & Broccoli Pasta Bake

This is my take on Mac & Cheese (with a few extra ingredients!)
A one dish dinner for the whole family - nutritious enough for the 14 month old toddler and tasty enough for the hubby. Even my fussiest eater (Miss 6) liked it (I suspect it was the bacon topping that did it!). 
Out of all my Thermomix creations this is by far my family's favourite (if measured by how quickly it was demolished) and it even has half a kilo of vegetables in it! The added bonus (and to the relief of hubby) is that there is hardly any washing up. 

Ingredients - Topping
3 slices wholemeal bread
100g bacon
1/2 tsp paprika
15g olive oil

Ingredients - Filling
200g cheddar or mozzarella cheese
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 onion, peeled and halved
20g olive oil
150g mushrooms
1/2 tstp freshly ground black pepper
400g milk
400g stock or 400g water + 1 tbsp of vegetable stock concentrate (EDC page 17)
200g dry pasta (spirals, elbows, macaroni or penne)
200g broccoli, cut into small florets
250g chicken thigh or breast, sliced thinly
1 chorizo sausage (approx 100g), cut in half lengthwise and sliced thinly
100g spinach, roughly chopped

Method
If using the oven for the final step, preheat oven to 200C.
1. If your cheese isn't grated, chop it into 2-3cm cubes, place in TM bowl and grate for 7 seconds on speed 8. Set aside.
2. Place all topping ingredients in TM bowl and chop for 4 seconds on speed 6. Set aside.
3. Place garlic and onion in TM bowl. Chop for 3 seconds on speed 7. Scrape down sides. 
4. Add olive oil and saute for 3 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 1.
5. Add mushrooms. Chop for 4 seconds on speed 4.
6. Add pepper, milk and stock. Cook for 8 minutes at 100C on reverse speed soft.
7. Add pasta and broccoli. Cook for 6 minutes at 100C on reverse speed soft.
8. Add chicken, chorizo and spinach. Cook for 3 minutes at 100C on reverse speed soft. Use spatula at the start to help incorporate and stir the meat and spinach into the sauce.
9. Place mixture into oven proof baking dish. Spread the top evenly with grated cheese and then the bacon/breadcrumb topping.
10. Place into preheated oven for 20 minutes until topping is golden and crispy, or place under a hot grill for 4 minutes (but keep an eye on it as can get burnt quite quickly!)


Variations: 
1) Eat it as a pasta dish without the cheese and topping. If so, at step 8 cook for a further 2 minutes until pasta is tender. 
2) Eat it without the topping and just melt the cheese over the top. 
3) Already have leftover cooked or roast chicken and/or steamed veg? Just add them in at the last step for 1 minute to warm through before putting in the baking dish. 

Substitutes: Try using cauliflower or pumpkin instead of broccoli; or ham or salami (or more bacon!) for the chorizo. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chocolate Crumble Cheesecake

Here's a recipe that combines two things that I love - Chocolate and Cheesecake! Perfect for the Thermomix as all three components can be made in it and you only have to wash it once.

Thank you CaffeIna for the recipe. Here's my Thermotalk version:

Ingredients - crumble topping
75g raw sugar
75g butter, cubed
150g plain flour
15g cocoa powder

Ingredients - crust 
100g raw sugar  
150g butter, cubed
1 egg
250g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
15g cocoa powder
pinch of salt

Ingredients - filling
150g raw sugar
100g butter
5 eggs at room temperature
500g ricotta

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line the bottom of a 23cm springform pan.
2. Make the topping first. Place sugar in TM bowl. Grind for 3 seconds on speed 9. Add remaining ingredients and mix for 10 seconds on speed 6 so that the mixture resembles chocolate breadcrumbs. Set aside
3. Make the crust next. Place the sugar in TM bowl. Grind for 3 seconds on speed 9. Add the remaining ingredients and mix for 15 seconds on speed 6. Press into springfom pan, ensuring it comes all the way up the sides. Use a small glass to help give you an evenly pressed base and sides.
4. And finally, make the filling. Place sugar in TM bowl. Grind for 3 seconds on speed 9. Add butter and cream for 2 minutes on speed 4. With the TM on speed 4, add the eggs one at a time until all incorporated. Add the ricotta and beat for 5 seconds on speed 5 to obtain a smooth creamy mixture.
5. Pour the filling into the crust. Top with the crumble and bake for about an hour or until the middle of the cheesecake stops looking wobbly.
6. Leave in tin until completely cool before removing sides of springform pan. Enjoy!



Thursday, July 7, 2011

Baby & Toddler Meals

At its incarnation (some 30 years ago) the Thermomix was purely a baby food maker (the "Bimbi"), and what has made me love my Thermomix even more (if that is even possible) is how much I have enjoyed using it to cook for my baby.

So this post is dedicated to baby recipes (which with a bit of salt and a little less pulverising can actually be converted to yummy nutritious adult comfort food!).

Purees
  • for Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Carrot - place 300g of peeled and roughly chopped veg into TM bowl. Chop on speed 6 for 5 seconds. Cook for 10 minutes at 100C on speed 2. Then, if necessary, puree to desired consistency on speed 7.
  • for Potato - place 300g of peeled and roughly chopped potato into TM bowl with 100g water or milk. Cook for 10-15 minutes at 100C on speed 1. Then, if necessary, mash to desired consistency on speed 3-4 (no higher than this otherwise it will become gluey).
  • for Broccoli, Cauliflower - place 300g of washed florets into TM bowl. Chop for 5 seconds on speed 5. Add 50g water. Cook for 7 minutes at 100C on speed 2. Then, if necessary, puree to desired consistency on speed 8. 
  • for Apple, Pear - place 300g of peeled or unpeeled, seeded and quartered fruit into TM bowl. Chop for 10 seconds on speed 5. Cook for 8 minutes at 90C on speed 4. Puree to desired consistency on speed 8.

Chicken and vegetable pasta
1. Place 1/2 onion and 1 garlic clove in TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 7.
2. Add 400g vegetables. If they are hard vegetables like carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, celery broccoli, cauliflower, turnip, parsnip put them in first and chop for 3 seconds on speed 7. Then add the soft vegetables (eg zucchini, mushroom, capsicum) and chop for 3 seconds on speed 5. Caution - only add small amounts of strong tasting vegetables like celery, turnip, parsnip and green capsicum.
4. Add 30g olive oil and saute for 7 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 1.
5. Add 200g chopped tomatoes, 600g water or chicken stock (see EDC p18), 100g full cream milk, 200g chicken fillet (cut into 4 pieces) and a handful of washed herbs (eg parsley, sage, thyme, basil).
6. Cook for 10 minutes at 100C on reverse speed slow with the MC inclined to prevent spitting.
7. Remove cooked chicken and set aside.
8. Add 200g pasta shells and cook for 15 minutes at 100C on reverse speed soft or until the pasta is sufficiently soft.
9. If you wish, add up to 100g quick cooking vegetables like spinach, corn kernels, peas, sliced beans in the last 7 minutes of cooking.
10. Blend on speed 4 to desired consistency with the aid of the spatula, then set aside into large bowl or Thermoserver.
11. Place cooked chicken pieces back into TM bowl and shred on reverse speed 4 for 5 seconds or until sufficiently well shredded. 
12. Combine shredded chicken with pasta with the aid of the spatula.
13. Serve and watch your baby/toddler gobble it up!
Variation for adults: Only cook pasta (see para 8 above) for 10 minutes and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Beef and vegetable risotto
1. Place 100g rump in TM bowl. Set dial to closed lid position, then press Turbo twice until beef is minced. Set aside
2. Place 1/2 onion and 1 garlic clove in TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 7.
3. Add 20g olive oil and saute for 2 minutes at Varoma temperature speed 1.
4. Add minced beef and saute for a further 3 minutes at Varoma temperature speed 1.
5. Insert butterfly in TM bowl and add 160g washed long or medium grain rice. Saute for 1 minute on reverse speed soft.
6. Add 650g water or chicken or beef stock (see EDC p18), 400g diced vegetables (eg  carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, mushrooms, zucchini, red capsicum) (the harder the vegetable, the smaller the dice)
7. Cook for 30 minutes at 100C on reverse speed soft or until rice and vegetables are sufficiently soft.
8. Remove butterfly and then blend to desired consistency on speed 4 with the aid of the spatula.
Flavour tip: Using leftover unsalted roast vegetables (eg carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, onion) will greatly enhance the flavour profile of this risotto.
Variation for adults: Only cook rice (see para 7 above) for 15-17 minutes until just tender and add salt, parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Leftover tip: Freeze individual portions for quick and easy feeds. When reheating add a little bit of extra water as the pasta/rice soaks up a lot of moisture when left to sit.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Slice

Brownie Mission #1

(Background) I was at a friend's place for a playdate and she brought out a plate of fabulous looking brownies, which tasted even better than they looked. Never one to be shy of asking for a recipe, I was surprised to learn that they were courtesy of Betty Crocker! Now Betty Crocker used to be my best friend in the pantry until I got married (yes even way before my TM acquisition). Hubby (who's mum is a fantastic baker) said cakes from scratch taste so much better than those from the packet. And I tended to agree, that is, until, I tried those Betty Crocker brownies! So now I am on a mission to replicate the fantastic fudgy goo-iness of them without having to buy the pre-mix.

If you have a great brownie recipe that you want to share, feel free to send it to me (whether in TM format or not) and I will happily (and lovingly) put it through my TM test kitchen (and tastebuds!)

In the meantime, I thought this Caramel Pecan one was a good way to start. I took my inspiration from recipes posted by Burn Me Not and Cook Like a Champion. I didn't have caramel but I did have caramel filled chocolates from my Cookbook Adventure #12 that I wanted to use up (rather than devour all by myself).

The chocolate / caramel component made this a bit too dense to call it a brownie, but it is a really delicious slice (albeit one that you slice vertically rather than horizontally)! The roasted pecans combined with the salty caramel make it very more-ish and very hard to stop at just one piece!

Here's my Thermotalk version:
Ingredients
80g pecans
180g dark / milk chocolate (yes, I am still using up Easter Egg Chocolate!)
100g unsalted butter
50g raw sugar
50g brown sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
90g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
100g caramel filled chocolates
50g pouring cream

Method 
1. Preheat oven to 180C and line a 20cm x 20cm tin with baking paper, leaving some overhang over two sides so that you can easily remove after cooking.
2. Place pecans in TM bowl and chop for 2 seconds on speed 5. Then roast for 5 minutes on Varoma reverse speed 1. Set aside.
3. Place chocolate in TM bowl and grate for 10 seconds on speed 8. Add butter and melt together for 2 minutes at 50C on speed 3.
4. Add sugars, vanilla and eggs and mix for 10 seconds on speed 4.
5. Add flour and salt and mix for 5 seconds on speed 5.
6. Pour mixture into baking tin.
7. Without washing TM, place caramel chocolates into TM bowl and grate for 5 seconds on speed 10. Add cream and melt together for 90 seconds at 50C on speed 3.
8. Add half of the pecans and mix for 10 seconds on speed 2.
9. Pour pecan caramel mixture onto cake batter and use spatula to swirl through cake batter.
10. Sprinkle remaining pecans on top and bake for 40 minutes (or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean).
11. Cool in tin, remove, slice and eat! Store in an airtight container for up to a week (if not consumed before then!)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chinese Ravioli (aka Wontons)

So I was shopping with child no.2 the other day and as we walked past the refrigerated section, she pointed at the packets of ravioli and said "can we have that Mum?"  B.T. (Before Thermomix) I probably would have just picked up the packet without a thought (and without even looking at the ingredient / preservative list!), but in my TM mindset I thought - how hard could it be to make that?

It wasn't hard (particularly with the TM making the mixture), but it was a bit time-consuming and fiddly, but the more I made the faster I got, so next time I reckon I could give Jamie Oliver a run for his money!


So how did I end up making Chinese style ravioli rather than the Italian type? Well my daughter actually wanted to eat it in a broth style soup rather than with a sauce, so I thought a wonton in the shape of ravioli would make sense, and also I had just seen a wonton wrapper recipe in the new A Taste of Asia TM cookbook so I was doubly inspired to give it a go. 

Using my pasta maker to roll out the wrappers made them fabulously thin - just remember to use a lot of flour to prevent it sticking.

I didn't have any pork in the freezer (which I understand is the traditional wonton filling) so used chicken thighs instead and took my inspiration from a recipe by Honey and Spice.

Here's my Thermotalk version:

Ingredients
450g chinese cabbage, roughly chopped
1tsp salt
7 dried shitake mushrooms
400g chicken thighs, chopped into 3cm cubes
2cm knob of ginger
3 cloves garlic
3 spring onions
couple of garlic chives (optional)
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp white pepper
Approx 100 wonton wrappers

Method
1. Place mushrooms in a bowl of  hot water.
2. Place cabbage and salt in TM bowl. Chop on speed 5 for approximately 5 seconds or until all cabbage is finely shredded. Use spatula to assist if necessary.
3. Place rice basket into a slightly larger bowl and place cabbage inside. Set aside to allow the water in the cabbage to leach out. 
4. If you are making your own wonton wrappers, give the TM bowl a quick rinse and then make wonton wrapper dough. Set aside.
5. Place chicken into TM bowl. Mince on speed 7 for 10 seconds. Set aside.
6. Place ginger, garlic, spring onions and garlic chives into TM bowl. Chop for 3 seconds on speed 7.
7. Squeeze water out of mushrooms and add to TM bowl. Chop for 3 seconds on speed 7.
8. Squeeze water out of cabbage and add to TM bowl, together with chicken, sesame oil, soy sauce and white pepper. Mix for 5 seconds on reverse speed 4.
9. Place mixture onto wonton wrappers and make any shape that you want. Check out this website for wonton folding techniques.
10. Cook in hot soup for 3 to 4 minutes or freeze for another day.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

German Apple & Pear Cake

Cookbook Adventure #13 - "Du jour"

Winter has finally arrived (judging by today's rain and brisk temperature!) and apples and pears are in their prime. Perfect for this cake (my second adventure from this cookbook - slightly more adventurous than my first).

Easy to make, healthy, rustic and ideal for afternoon tea or as a light dessert after a heavy winter meal.


Here's my Thermotalk version:

Ingredients
120g butter
120g raw sugar
2 eggs
150g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored
1 pear, peeled and cored
extra 50g raw sugar
1tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated lemon zest

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 22cm springform tin.
2. Place sugar in TM bowl. Grind on speed 8 for 3 seconds.
3. Add butter to TM bowl. Mix for 30 seconds on speed 4. 
4. Insert butterfly and mix for 90 seconds on speed 4. Scrape down sides and mix for another 90 seconds on speed 4.
5. Add eggs one at a time whilst on speed 4. Scrape down sides after all eggs added.
6. Add flour, baking powder and vanilla. Mix on speed 4 for 10 seconds.
7. Spread batter into base of tin.
8. Slice fruit thinly and combine with extra sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest. 
9. Arrange fruit on top of cake batter.
10. Bake for about 1 hour or until done when tested. Leave in tin for 5 minutes and then leave to cool on wire rack.
11. Serve with whipped cream (make it a bit fancy by adding 1tsp cinnamon!) or custard (see page 155 of EDC) or icecream (see page 150 of EDC) or just by itself.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Potato Crusted Silverbeet, Leek and Feta Quiche

My fruit & veg delivery this week (AKA my "Mystery Box" (for all you Masterchef fans)) contained this huge fresh and vibrant looking silverbeet and a very nice looking leek. Along with that came the usual kg of potatoes which we sometimes struggle to finish within the week. So when my googling found this recipe, I was very excited.

But I should have googled a bit further and figured out exactly what kind of potatoes I was dealing with. So my lesson learnt from today's cooking expedition is "Know Your Potato"! (More information can be found at the Cook and the Chef.)

The crust (apart from the top) didn't turn out quite as crusty as I hoped but the filling was silky and tasty and the potato did complement the leek (which I had used instead of red onion).
Here's my Thermotalk version:

Ingredients (Crust)
800g floury potatoes, scrubbed (floury is important!)
1 egg
1 clove of garlic
3 tbsp melted butter
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients (Filling)
25g parmesan cheese
250g silverbeet leaves
1 leek, roughly chopped (or red or brown onion)
1 tablespoon thyme (or rosemary - but I would use less as it is a stronger flavour)
1 clove of garlic
30g olive oil
250g sour cream
150g feta cheese
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
freshly ground black pepper
5 eggs
8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved

Method

By doing things in the following order, you will only have to wash the Thermomix once - at the end!
1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line base and sides of 24cm springform tin (I didn't line the sides and had a bit of trouble removing it - but then again this could be due to my inappropriate potatoes!)
2. Place parmesan cheese into TM bowl and grate for 3 seconds on speed 8. Set aside.
3. Place garlic clove into TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 7. Place into a large bowl.
4. Add 1 egg, melted butter and salt and pepper to large bowl and whisk lightly.
5. Grate potatoes (I left the skin on and didn't really notice it in the final product - so this definitely saved time from the original recipe which required them to be peeled).  
6. Squeeze the grated potatoes to remove excess water and add to the egg mix and combine well.
7. Press the mixture into the tin, bringing it up the sides.
8. Bake for 30 minutes, until crisp and golden (my potatoes took almost an hour because of their high water content).
9. Place the silverbeet in the TM bowl. Chop on speed 5 for 3 seconds.
10. Cook at 100C for 5 minutes on reverse + speed 1.
11. Remove silverbeet and place in steamer basket and press with the back of a spoon to drain excess water.
12. Place leek, thyme and garlic in TM bowl. Chop on speed 7 for 3 seconds.
13. Add oil to TM bowl and fry at Varoma temperature for 5 minutes on speed 1.
14. Leave to cool with TM lid off for about 5 minutes.
15. Add cooked silverbeet, sour cream, 100g feta, mustard, pepper and eggs into TM bowl. Mix for 10 seconds on speed 5.
16. Pour filling into cooked potato crust. Sprinkle 50g feta over the top followed by the parmesan cheese. Dot the tomatoes on top.
17. Bake for 35 minutes or until the filling is firm to touch. (If the top of the crust is starting to go too brown before the filling is set then cover the edges with foil to protect it).
18. As suggested by food4thought gourmet you might want to carefully remove the sides of the springform pan as soon as most of the filling is set, so that you brown the lower outside of the crust during the remaining cooking time.


Variation: You could use a standard blind baked short crust recipe for the crust (eg from page 119 of the EDC). Just skip steps 3 to 8 above.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lemon Vanilla Choo-Choo Train Cake

Party Cakes for KidsCookbook Adventure #12 - Party Cakes for kids

This is more a cookbook decoration adventure than a cookbook recipe adventure (since the recipe required "1 1/2 packets of cake mix".) But who needs cake mix when you've got a Thermomix?!

I was given the link to Thermomix Never Fail Cupcakes and converted it to a whole cake recipe with a few tweaks to the method and some additions.

Here is my Thermotalk version:

Ingredients 
250g raw sugar
rind of 1 lemon
340g butter
6 eggs
400g self raising flour
2tbs milk
2tsp vanilla extract

Method
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line cake tins. I used a 9cm x 22cm x 7cm loaf tin and a 20cm x 30cm x 5cm cake tin.
Place sugar and lemon rind into TM bowl. Grind on speed 8 for 3 seconds. Add butter and mix for 2 minutes on speed 4. Scrape down sides and mix for a further 1 minute on speed 4 until light and creamy.
Add eggs one at a time whilst the TM is on speed 4. Scrape down sides after adding 3 eggs and then continue adding remaining eggs one at a time.
Add flour, milk and vanilla essence.
Mix on speed 4 for 30 seconds.
Place into tins. Bake until golden on top and skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean - the loaf tin took about 25 minutes and the larger cake tin about 35 minutes.
Once baked leave for 5 minutes and then remove from tins and cool on racks before icing.
(This recipe can be halved.)


For the icing I used a Thermomix conversion of a copha-buttercream icing from Gastronomy. The icing was a bit stiff and hard to work with for a winter birthday but I would have no hesitation at using it in summer (when it's been 40C outside) and my previous attempts at a pure buttercream icing have been a melty mess!

Happy Birthday Sam!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Double chocolate muffins

Cookbook Adventure #11 - Sweet & Savoury Muffins

Hubby said he had a craving for chocolate muffins and given our excess of leftover Easter chocolate I was only too happy to oblige.

I've had this cute little recipe book for years. It was an often used one in my early baking days - muffins being one of the easiest and quickest treat for a hungry amateur cook.

I have to admit that I was slightly sceptical as to whether the Thermomix would achieve the right texture for a muffin - the trick to muffins (as some of you experienced bakers would know) being a very gentle short mix - otherwise overstirring = tough muffins.

But shame on me for my lack of faith! They were moist and soft and everything you could want in a chocolate muffin.





Here's my Thermotalk version:

Ingredients

200g milk chocolate chips (or easter eggs!)
150g butter
3 eggs
180g milk
270g plain flour
50g cocoa
3 tsp baking powder
130g brown sugar

Method

1. Preheat oven to 190C. Grease muffin tin or line with paper cases. Makes about 12-15 (depending on the size that you want).
2. If using easter eggs - place them in TM bowl and chop into choc chips for 1-2 seconds on speed 5. Set aside.
3. Place butter in TM bowl and melt for 3 minutes on speed 3 at 50C.
4. Add milk and eggs and mix for 10 seconds on speed 5.
5. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder, sugar and choc chips and mix for 5 seconds on speed 4 with the aid of the spatula. Check to see whether all ingredients are just combined, otherwise mix for another couple of seconds. Take care not to overmix!
6. Three-quarters fill each hole in the muffin tin.
7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when lightly touched.

Variation: Use white chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sausage Rolls

I was a reluctant attendee of school holiday care in my childhood, but I do have them to thank for sparking my early interest in cooking and this is when and where I started making sausage rolls. After that I would bulk  make them a couple of times a year with my Mum, and now they make a weekly appearance in my kids' lunch boxes, as well as at their birthday parties and byo plate events!

I didn't want to put the word "healthy" in the title, as if you have ever made (or seen the making of) puff pastry I think those words are mutually exclusive, but because they are chock full of vegies they are healthier than the ones that come in the refrigerated/freezer section at the shop. 

Talking about vegetables, one reason this makes it on to Thermolicious is because now that I have the Thermomix, the sausage rolls don't contain that tasty bit of grated knuckle anymore!

The other reason - I am always asked for the recipe for them (which there isn't a real written down one, being one of those foods that you can make from 'a little bit of this and a little bit of that') but anyway here goes:

Ingredients
100g breadcrumbs
300g carrot
200g onion
2 garlic cloves
100g zucchini
200g red capsicum
750g sausage mince (best sausage mince is from your local butcher)
750g lean beef or premium beef mince
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp tomato sauce
1 egg
salt and black pepper
approximately 10 sheets of 20cm x 20cm puff pastry (you can make your own, but even Jamie Oliver on his 30 minute meals show (episode 21) said he didn't think it was worth the effort for the home cook!)
extra egg for egg wash

Method
1. Preheat oven to 200C. Line baking trays with baking paper.
2. Take puff pastry out of freezer and leave on benchtop to thaw.
3. If you don't already have breadcrumbs, use fresh or frozen bread, place in TM bowl and chop for 15 seconds on speed 8. Set aside into a large bowl.
4. Place carrot, onion and garlic into TM bowl and chop for 3-5 seconds on speed 7 until finely chopped. Scrape down sides and chop for a few more seconds on speed 7 if necessary. Place into strainer basket (which should be placed over another slightly larger bowl or plate) so that excess juices can drip through.
5. Place zucchini and capsicum into TM bowl and chop for 3-5 seconds on speed 5 until finely chopped. Add to strainer basket. Use the back of a spoon to squeeze excess juice out of the vegetables (this is to prevent the juice leaching out during the baking process). 
6. If you are using lean beef, mince it by placing semi-frozen cubes of beef in TM bowl and chopping for 8-15 on speed 7.
7. Place all ingredients in the large bowl with the breadcrumbs and mix with your hands. (If you are making a half batch you could place all the ingredients in the TM bowl (once they are chopped/minced as per above) together with the condiments and the egg and mix for 30 seconds on speed 4 with the aid of the spatula, until well combined.)
adult size
8. To make sausage rolls cut pastry into half (adult size) or thirds (child size) or fourths (really mini!). 
child size
9. Place meat mixture lengthwise across the pastry slightly before the middle of each portion. Roll tightly to encase the meat.

10. Place on baking tray ensuring seam side is on the bottom. Repeat with remaining meat and pastry. 




11. Brush with egg wash, cut the rolls with a sharp knife (but you don't need to separate them) and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown (and delicious!).


Tip 1: Try adding other vegies in place of those listed above. Just remember to chop the hard vegies (eg carrot, onion, sweet potato, pumpkin, celery) separately to the soft vegies (eg mushrooms, zucchini, capsicum).
Tip 2: Not enough pastry but you've got leftover meat? Make meatballs!
Tip 2: Freeze sausage rolls for school lunches or byo plate days. Just take out of the freezer and reheat at 150C for 20 minutes.