Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cookies & Cream Cheesecake

 Cookbook Adventure #4 - "Cook"

Cook: How to Cook Absolutely Everything (

This book by the Australian Women's Weekly is the fattest (in more ways than one!) recipe book in my collection and claims to be a book about "how to cook absolutely everything"!  


I came across this cheesecake recipe (p614) and knew it was perfect for the Thermomix.  I set a new record for myself and used the Thermomix no less than 5 times for this adventure but never washed it until the very end!


You can find the original recipe reproduced on the following websites:

http://ironchefshellie.blogspot.com/2008/07/as-promised-recipe-for-crowd-favourite.html
http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipes.recipeListing/filter/dia/recipeID/2796/Recipe.cfm

And here it is in Thermotalk:


Ingredients

250g plain chocolate biscuits
150g butter (next time I would try reducing this to 120g)
2 teaspoons gelatine
60g hot water
360g packaged cream cheese
300g thickened cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
110g caster sugar (optional)
180g white chocolate
150g cream filled chocolate biscuits
50g dark eating chocolate

Method

Line base of 23cm springform tin with baking paper (or if you want individual cheesecakes,  insert muffin liners into a muffin pan - makes approximately 18).
Place plain chocolate biscuits into TM bowl. Crush for 3 seconds on speed 7. Add butter and mix for another 3 seconds on speed 7 or until mixture is combined and comes together.   Press biscuit mixture evenly over base and 3cm up side of tin (with the individual cheesecakes I just pressed the mixture into the base of the muffin liners). Place in fridge.
Place cream filled chocolate biscuits into TM bowl. Chop for 3 seconds on speed 5. Remove from bowl and set aside.
Place lid on TM. Put small bowl on top of lid and measure out the water. Sprinkle gelatine on top of hot water and stir to dissolve. Set aside.
Place white chocolate into TM bowl. Grate for 20 seconds on speed 8. Add 100g of the thickened cream. Cook for 2 minutes at 50C on speed 5. Use spatula to help scrape out mixture into a bowl. Set aside.
Place cream cheese, remaining thickened cream, vanilla essence, (caster sugar, if using) into TM bowl. Beat for 30 seconds on speed 5. Keep TM running on speed 5 and add the white chocolate mixture and also the gelatine mixture until all combined.
Add crushed cream filled biscuits and mix on reverse speed 1 with the aid of the spatula until combined.
Pour cheesecake mixture over biscuit mixture. Refrigerate for about 3 hours or until set.
Drizzle with dark chocolate* or sprinkle with shaved dark chocolate to serve.


*To melt dark chocolate, place chocolate in TM bowl. Grate for 20 seconds on speed 8. Cook for 1 minute at 50C on speed 5. Place the melted chocolate in a small plastic bag and snip off a corner, then squeeze to drizzle the chocolate evenly over the cheesecake.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mini Meringues

I am always looking for ways to use up egg whites (predominantly because I make the TM creamy traditional ice cream (EDC p150) ALOT! (and it only needs egg yolks)).  

Here is an easy recipe that the kids love to gobble down for a sweet treat! 





The original recipe is from Taste.Com: 
http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/12590/meringues

And here it is in Thermotalk:


Ingredients

2 egg whites
100g icing sugar (you can pre-make this using white sugar by grinding it for 10 seconds on speed 9)
1 tsp cornflour
1/2 tsp white vinegar
food colouring (if desired)
sprinkles (if desired)

Method

Preheat oven to 100C.  Line baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Make sure TM bowl is clean and dry*.
Insert butterfly and place egg whites into TM bowl. Beat without MC in place for 1-2 minutes at 50C on speed 4 until stiff peaks form. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add icing sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time through hole in lid with blades rotating on speed 2.  Take at least 2 minutes to incorporate the sugar. Add cornflour, white vinegar and food colouring with blades rotating on speed 2-3 for 4 seconds or until just combined.

Place mixture into a clean piping bag and pipe the meringues whatever size you like onto a tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with sprinkles if desired.
Bake in preheated oven for approximately 2 hours (will depend on the size of your meringues), until meringues are crisp and sound hollow.


*Cleaning tip 1: To have a really clean bowl before making the meringue - 
place 500g water and a splash of white vinegar into TM bowl and heat for 5 minutes at 100C on speed 4. Drain. Dry bowl for 2 minutes at 50C on speed 1. Cool slightly before using.

Cleaning tip 2:
 Don't use hot water to clean the TM bowl after the making the meringue mixture otherwise it will cook the egg white and make it harder to clean!

Storage tip: Store in a container in the fridge (doesn't necessarily have to be air tight). The dry air in the fridge will keep them crisp.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Roast beef & potato cake

Cookbook Adventure # 3 - "Jamie's kitchen"

Jamie's Kitchen

Jamie Oliver was my first kitchen crush and he still is a favourite of mine.  I have always found that if I follow them accurately his recipes actually work and turn out looking like the pictures in his books!  


This adventure is based on his "marinated and pot-roasted beef fillet with a brilliant potato and horseradish cake" (p233 or go to:  
http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/beef-recipes/marinated-pot-roasted-beef-fillet-wi).  In this case I used his recipe for inspiration rather than following it exactly as I only had a really nice piece of organic rump (rather than fillet) and didn't have any horseradish.

Marinated and pot-roasted beef fillet with a brilliant potato and horseradish cake
© David Loftus (from www.jamieoliver.com)
As there was not much need for the Thermomix apart from the gravy/jus (as to which see further below), I haven't set out the recipe in full, but here are my modifications to his recipe:

For the beef:

- I used a 1.2kg rump roast
- I didn't worry about tying it
- Oven was preheated to 200C
- Roast was in the oven for about 1hr 15mins (which is how long it took to reach an internal temp of 65C-70C = medium).  
- I basted it with the pan juices every 25-30 minutes but didn't worry about turning it over (because it was a rump rather than a nice even cylindrical fillet).

For the potato cake:

- I used half a cup of grated cheddar instead of the creamed horseradish.  This probably gave it a totally different texture and taste but I think it was more kid friendly and the kids enjoyed these potatoes more than the boulangere potatoes I made for Cookbook Adventure #1.

For the gravy/jus:

- I found adding the half bottle of red wine and the 170g butter (I only used 100g) combined with the roast juices, made heaps of very thin and oily "jus".  To reduce it down and thicken it a bit, I did the following in the TM:
Place pan juices, 1 tablespoon of plain flour, 1 teaspoon of TM vegetable stock concentrate (see p17 of EDC), salt and pepper to taste, in TM bowl. Cook for 12-15 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 2 until desired consistency is reached.



Leftover tip: The most FANTASTIC roast beef sandwiches (especially when eaten with garden fresh lettuce and wasabi lime mayo - see mayo recipe here: 
http://www.stephberg.com/?p=456)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Doughnut Muffins

I read about these yummalicious muffins on my daily Foodbuzz email (http://www.foodbuzz.com/top9) and I couldn't wait to make these. Just like Doughnut Holes but no deep frying involved!  Here's the website I got the recipe from  http://www.foodbuzz.com/blogs/3128726-doughnut-muffins and here it is in Thermotalk:

Ingredients

For the muffins:
140g unsalted butter (chopped into 2cm cubes)
200g sugar (I used 110g)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
190g milk 
30g buttermilk 
360g plain flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp bicarb soda

For the cinnamon-sugar coating:
200g sugar
1.5 Tbsp ground cinnamon
110 to 140g unsalted butter, melted

Method
Preheat the oven to 190C.  Grease 3 mini muffins tins (I just sprayed it with a Canola Oil spray).
Put butterfly into TM bowl.  Add butter and sugar.  Mix (cream) on speed 4 for 30 seconds or until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides if necessary during the "creaming" process. 
With TM on speed 4 add eggs one at a time until just combined.
Remove butterfly.
Add milk, buttermilk, flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and bicarb soda. Using spatula to assist, mix on speed 2 for 10 seconds or until just combined. Do not over mix- the batter will be heavy, it's ok.
Fill the prepared muffin tins about 3/4 full with batter.  
Bake until lightly golden and firm to the touch, 15-20 minutes.  Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes.  Remove the muffins from the tins and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

The "bare" muffins
To coat the muffins:  Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Roll each muffin in the melted butter, making sure to coat the entire surface. The place in the sugar/cinnamon bowl and roll around to coat well.  This can also be done in a resealable plastic bag.  
Little hands at work
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Leftover tip: If 36 muffins is too much to eat at one go, just freeze them uncoated. When needed, remove from freezer and leave them on the bench top to come back to room temperature and then coat in the butter and sugar/cinnamon mix.  Tastes just like freshly baked!