Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thermomix Christmas Salad

Well, yes, it is past Christmas, but I made this from a book that I received from Santa. The book is the latest from Armando Percuoco and David Dale called "Buon Ricordo, How to make your home a great restaurant." It is a great read with lots of new ideas and reworks of recipes from their previous book, "La Cucina Italiana". Armando has done a lot for Australian cuisine and some more information can be found here on Mietta's website.

It has lots of wonderful information, fantastic photos and great tips. The book is very much about sharing and getting back to the table as a community. As part of this there is also a chapter with recipes from other members of the restaurant and a recipe from Tetsuya Wakuda, who it is said "runs a pretty successful restaurant in Sydney." Tetsuya's recipe for Leatherjacket "Usuzukuri" was demonstrated at the Sydney Seafood School in November, and I can recommend it.

The recipe I have chosen is titled Insalata di Rinforzo and is based on a dish that the Percuoco family traditionally ate on Christmas eve.

The salad is like giardiniera or sotto aceti, with vegetables cooked in vinegar.

It is easily converted for the Thermomix by using the TM basket to hold the vegetables while cooking.

The vibrant colours are perfect for Christmas.

Insalata di rinforzo (Christmas Salad)


500g white vinegar
1000g ( plus extra) water
500g cauliflower, divided into florets
2 carrots, sliced into rounds
1 yellow capsicum, cut into 1 cm wide strips
1 red capsicum, cut into 1 cm wide strips
20 small cornichon gherkins, or sliced gherkins if larger
20 small pickled white onions
1 handful black olives, pitted
4 Tbsp extra virrgin olive oil
8 anchovies in oil, drained and roughly chopped


Place the vinegar and 1000g water into the TM bowl. Set for 10 minutes at 100°C on speed 1. Place the cauliflower into the TM basket. When the Thermomix has reached 100°C you can place the basket into the TM bowl and cook the florets for 15 minutes at 100°C on speed 1.

Remove the TM basket with the spatula and drain off the cauliflower, reatining the vinegar and water mixture. Place the cauliflower florets into a salad bowl and put in the fridge.

Place the carrot slices into the TM basket and cook them for 10 - 12 minutes (you want them to still have some crunch) at 100°C on speed 1. Drain and add to the cauliflower. You may need to top up the TM bowl with boiling water if the level is getting low.

Place the capsicums into the TM basket and cook them for 5 -8 minutes (again, you want them to still have some crunch) at 100°C on speed 1. Drain and add to the salad bowl and return it to the fridge for at least 10 minutes.

Add the whole gherkins (or slices, pickled onions and olives to the bowl. Season with salt to taste and drizzle with the EVOO. Sprinkle with the anchovies.

Leave the salad to marinate in the fridge for at least 12 hours before serving.

Buon appetito e boun natale.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thermomix Grape Bavarois

So for this week's theme it is soft. What is in the fridge? Grapes. OK. What recipes might use grapes? Start with Jane Grigson's Fruit Book. So, Cauliflower Salad with Grapes and Walnuts, not very soft. Grape jelly, soft and possible. Grape Bavarian Cream - that's the one.

So who is Jane Grigson? There is some information on wikipedia here and on the pages of the Joan Grigson Trust here. Guess you could say that she is an English version of our Margaret Fulton or Beverley Sutherland-Smith. She has many wonderful books to her name and lots of useful information along the lines of Stephanie's Cooks' Companion and Maggie Beer's Harvest, Maggies' Farm etc.

The books have recipes sourced from all over the world and most would stand up well in today's kitchens.

I love bavarois, especially a blue cheese one that i have tried to reproduce, with mixed success.

This is a simple dish, but one that works well in the Thermomix and produces a light, soft texture.

Being in a hurry and lazy, I didn't peel the grapes, but the dish still tasted superb.

Grape Bavarian Cream


500g black or white grapes
125g sugar
15g gelatine powder dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water (or 3 titanium leaves soaked in cold water plus 1/2 cup water to add to the mixture)
juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup sweet wine (optional)
300ml whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar


Peel, halve and pip a quarter of the grapes. Put the rest in TM bowl with the sugar. Cook for 10 minutes at 100°C on speed 2, until they soften and begin to burst. Blend for 20 seconds at speed 9.

Push the puree through a sieve, into a measuring jug. There should be about 220-250 ml.

Dissolve the gelatine powder in the hot water and add to the warm grape puree (or add the softened leaf gelatine and water). Stir in lemon juice and wine, if used. Add more sugar if the grapes were on the tart side. You should now have about 375 g - if not, add a little water. Leave in the refrigerator until thick, with an egg white consistency, but not set.

When the grape puree is ready, place the cream and sugar into the TM bowl with butterfly in place whisk for 30 – 40 seconds on speed 4 until thick and light. Fold it into the grape jelly.

Setting aside a few of the remaining grape halves for decoration, stir the rest carefully into the bavaroise.

Turn into an elegant dish, or into glasses or custard cups. Decorate with the remaining grapes when set.

Serve with almond biscuits or langues de chat.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thermomix Steamed Christmas Puddings - Cookbook Challenge

Well with the Cookbook Challenge in mind I decided to go through a few cookbooks and look at Christmas Pudding recipes.

The book that I found some most interesting information in was "Complete Book of Desserts", published by the International Culinary Society (Random House) in 1990 and edited by Barbara Croxford.

One of the interesting traditions that is part of Christmas is known as Stir-Up Sunday. This is something that I ahd not been aware of before reading this American book. It is the Sunday before Advent and all members of the family get to help stir the pudding. The Thermomix may help kill another tradition. Sorry. You can read more about Stir-Up Sunday here.

The book also gave explanations of how to make adjustments for making your pudding in the microwave. Because there is a high percentage of sugar, dried fruit, alcohol and sometimes fat (if using suet), then these attract microwave energy and high temperatures are quickly reached. I had noticed with reheating Christmas puds that they didn't take long to get hot and now I know why.

You need to reduce the amount of alcohol and increase the amount of moisture to compensate for the fact that it doesn't need to be cooked as long, but is prone to drying out.

There is also information on how best to reheat the puddings by cutting into individual portions and then reheating with a bowl of water in the centre of the microwave and a bowl over the whole to allow it to steam, then carefully push the slices back together into the pudding bowl or serving dish.

Individual slices can be reheated uncovered on a plate for a minute or so on high.

The following is actually an amalgam of a few recipes and converted to cook in the steamer attachment, Varoma, in individual moulds for ease of service.

I made something similar last year for the staff at Lake House restaurant for a treat on Christmas morning, and then had little individual puddings served to us for Christmas lunch.

There is a quick and easy version posted here: Cheats' Christmas Puddings

Thermomix Individual Steamed Christmas Puddings


90g Pedro Ximinez Sherry, orange juice or water (more if the fruit is very dry)
250g Dried mixed fruit
125g Raisins
125g Sultanas
125g Currants

100g fresh bread, in rough chunks

125g Prunes, pitted

100g Butter
100g Dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Powdered Cloves (optional)
1 tsp Bi carb soda

1 Egg
100g Plain flour


If the dried fruits are not moist and fresh, then place them in a ceramic, glass or plastic bowl and macerate with the sherry, orange juice or water overnight. Otherwise just an hour will be enough.

Place bread into TM bowl and grate into breadcrumbs for 20 seconds on speed 7. Remove and set aside.

Place the prunes into the TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 6. Add the macerated fruits, butter, sugar, molasses, spices and bicarb and cook for 25 minutes at 100°C on Reverse + speed 1.5

Allow it to cool in the bowl for half an hour or so. Then add the egg, flour and reserved breadcrumbs and mix for 2 minutes on Reverse + speed 4. You may need to use the spatula through the opening in the lid to help with mixing.

Place into greased dariole moulds and cover with some absorbent paper and then some foil.

Place dishes into the Varoma dish add 1000g water to TM bowl and cook for 50 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 1.

You should be able to get 10 puddings into the varoma tray - click on the photo for a link to how to do it.
Varoma 3

Allow the puddings to stand for 5 minutes before unmoulding carefully onto a serving plate and dress with cream or custard.

Thermomix Eggnog Syllabub - Cookbook Challenge

When I saw that the theme for this week's challenge was Christmas I immediately went for books devoted to Christmas. I am not sure how I came by "Nigella Christmas" by the kitchen goddess (and published in 2008 by Random House), but it does have some great recipes and ideas for Christmas entertaining.

Something that appealed was an eggnog syllabub on page 27. One problem was that there is raw egg in the recipe, which is a no-no for many people. The simple solution was to make a sabayon first and then to add cream to it and whip them together.

The Thermomix is wonderful for making sabayons and zabagliones - just set and forget.

Eggnog Syllabub from Nigella Christmas


60g sugar
2 eggs
50g bourbon
50g dark rum
50g brandy
600ml whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Good grating of nutmeg


Place the sugar in the TM bowl and grind for 30 seconds on speed 9.

Insert Butterfly over blades in Thermomix and add eggs. Cream eggs and sugar for 4 minutes on speed 4.

With the Butterfly still in place, add the bourbon, rum and brandy and cook for 6 minutes at 70°C on speed 4. Keep the Measuring cup out of the lid.

Allow the mixture to cool. Even put it in the fridge to really chill it before adding the cream.

With the Butterfly still in place, add the remaining ingredients and whip for 3 minutes (more or less – keep a check) on speed 3 until it holds soft peaks.

Place into bowls and grate over a little more nutmeg.

Thermomix Panettone Pudding - Cookbook Challenge

This is from a book titled "Chez Panisse Cooking" by Paul Bertolli with Alice Waters published in 1988 by Random House.

The Chez Panisse Restaurant was established in 1971 by Alice Waters and some friends. Some more of the history can be found on this Wiki page.

Alice Waters is also an International Vice-President of Slowfood International and has long supported the ideals of the Slowfood movement.

She has long been involved in promoting cooking based on the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients that are produced sustainably and locally. It is sobering to think that while kitchen gardens are being promoted for restaurants; and books like "Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion" and "Jamie at Home" encourage us to follow a similar mission at home, Alice Waters has been doing this for nearly forty years. There are some in Australia who have been doing the same for many years, such as George Biron at Sunnybrae Restaurant and Cooking School.

I wanted to make a panettone pudding in the style of a bread and butter pudding with leftover panettone from Christmas. I had been thinking that this was a modern interpretation of the classic dessert until I was browsing through "Chez Panisse Cooking", where I saw a recipe for panettone and then panettone bread pudding on page 309. The recipe was for 12 people. The Thermomix conversion is for 6 serves.

The recipe uses the steaming attachment - Varoma - to cook the pudding, so that you don't need to turn on the oven. But you can cook it in a bain-marie, especially if you double the recipe. I used a 1.5 litre bowl to fit into the Varoma.

Panettone Bread Pudding


500g panettone cut into thin slices
50 g butter
100 g sugar
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
Sugar to sprinkle over top (optional)


Place butter into TM bowl and warm for 4 minutes at 60°C on speed 1. Place in a bowl and keep aside.

Without cleaning the TM bowl, add the sugar and mill for 20 seconds on speed 8, scraping down the sides after 10 seconds.

Add the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract, milk and cream and cook for 8 minutes at 80°C on speed 3.

While the custard is cooking, spread the panettone with the melted butter and cut into triangles. Place bread in a buttered baking dish that will fit inside the Varoma tray.

Place the dish into the Varoma tray and pour the custard mixture carefully over the buttered bread and allow to settle for a minute or two.

Put 700ml water into the TM bowl and put lid on and position the Varoma. Set the TM to steam for 35 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 1. When ready the custard should be set and the pudding fluffy. You may need to cook it for a little longer.

If you wish you can sprinkle sugar over the top and place under a hot grill to give a crunchy top.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thermomix Wild Weed Pie - Cookbook Chanllenge

Well, when I first started this blog I had great intentions of making a recipe from each of the cookbooks that I own. My plans were to convert a recipe from each book to suit the Thermomix.

Unfortunately my plans went very much astray, mainly due to the complete lack of planning. So, when I saw that Rilsta had started a 52 week planned theme Cookbook Challenege I decided that it was time to get back into the kitchen library and start cooking.

By coincidence I had made a broad bean dish on the week that Rilsta's theme was beans, but only decided to commit this week. So, Greek.

Where to start? I have a few Greek cookbooks and mediterranean books with lots of Greek recipes. On the top shelf I spotted "Wogfood" by John Newton, a collection of stories and recipes from people of mediterranean origin, who have helped develop the food culture in Australia.

There were 3 Greeks and all mentioned wild weeds, horta. In fact, Peter Conistis (Cosmos, Eleni's, Omega and now Civic dining room) said "If I had to choose one ingredient, i;d say that wild greens are the essence of Greek food." So, I decided to make a wild weed pie.

"Wild Weed Pie" just happens to be the name of a cookbook that I have in my collection. It is by Janni Kyritsis, who worked at Stephanie's, Berowra Waters, Bennelong and MG Garage.

The recipe appears on page 47 of Wild Weed Pie, but was also included in Stepahnie Alexander's "A Shared Table" on page 194.

Basically the pie is made of filo pastry encasing a filling of ricotta and greens. It is easy enough to make and you could cheat and buy prepared filo, but it is not that difficult to make the pastry, especially if you have a pasta roller.

Due to computer problems the recipe will appear tomorrow

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thermomix Christmas Pudding

Well, a post from me has arrived before Christmas !!! It looked like Christmas might get here first.

There has been lots of activity on the Forum Thermomix site though and so I don't feel quite so bad about neglecting this blog.

This recipe appears on the Thermomix Monthly Mouthful Competition for December, but there were no pictures there, so some pictures here to show what it should be like. Sort of!

The idea came from a friend who is making it for Christmas for her family. She probably won't be making it in the Thermomix, even though her sister is a consultant.

Basically there is no cooking. You make a meringue, whip some cream, coat some glacé fruit in some chocolate, mix them together and freeze it. Vanessa's recipe also had slivered almonds, but I forgot! It is best to allow the mixture to freeze a bit before adding the fruit, but you can just tip it in and it should work OK.

Hope you have a great Christmas and New Year.

Thermomix Iced Chocolate Glacé Fruit Pudding


130 g sugar
4 eggs, separated
400 g cream (35%)
2 Tbsp liqueur of your choice (Grand Marnier, Kahlua, Frangelico, etc)
150 g mixed candied peel or glace fruit(cherries, apricots, pineapple, …)
90 g chocolate, dark. Milk or white (your choice), roughly chopped
Optional – 60 g honeycomb or a Violet Crumble bar, roughly chopped

You will need a 1.5 litre pudding basin


Place the sugar into a dry, clean TM bowl and grind for 30 seconds on speed 9. Set aside in a cup or bowl, and roughly wipe out with a dry spatula. You can leave some sugar in the bowl.

Next, place the egg whites into the TM bowl with the butterfly and whip for 3 minutes at 37°C on speed 4. Set the machine to 3 minutes at 37°C on speed 4, and add the sugar gradually through the hole in the lid. The result should be a firm meringue mixture. Remove this and place into a large mixing bowl. No need to clean the bowl.

Place the cream, egg yolks and liqueur into the TM bowl with the butterfly and whip for about 30 - 40 seconds on speed 4, until it is thickened. Add this to the meringue mixture and gently fold through. No need to clean the bowl.

Place the chocolate in the TM bowl and melt for 3 minutes at 50°C on speed 1.

Add the fruits to the TM bowl and mix for 20 seconds on Reverse + speed 2. Pour onto some silicon paper or a plate and allow to cool before adding to the cream and meringue mixture. If you want to add some honeycomb then do so now.

Pour mixture into the pudding basin. Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer.

To serve, dip the bowl briefly in hot water, then slide a knife around the edge. Turn upside down onto a serving plate.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thermomix Pizzoccheri Soup

Well, the first time that I remember seeing Pizzoccheri soup prepared was by Valerio Nucci, when he was at The Boulevard Restaurant in Studley Park road in Kew, Melbourne.

Nucci had been at Cafe di Stasio from its inception and has been in various restaurants and catering businesses, more recently the Grand Hotel in Richmond.

The buckwheat noodles can easily be sourced and it is a great winter soup.

Pizzoccheri Soup


200g green cabbage
2 cloves garlic
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
3 Tbsp olive oil
1000g vegetable or chicken stock
100g buckwheat (pizzoccheri) noodles or wholewheat spaghetti,
300g Fontina, Jarlsberg or
Gruyere cheese, cubed
Salt and pepper, to taste


Clean, trim and thinly slice the cabbage and place into the Varoma dish and tray.

Place garlic cloves into TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds on Speed 7. Add the onion and chop for 5 seconds on Speed 5. Add the potato cubes and oil and sauté for 7 minutes at 90°C on Reverse + Speed 1.

Place stock into TM bowl, place Varoma on top and cook for 10 minutes at 100°C on Reverse + Speed 1. Add the broken pasta pieces and cook for another 10 minutes at 100°C on Reverse + Speed 1.

Check to see how soft the cabbage is. It depends on how thickly you have cut the cabbage. If necessary, place the soup into a Thermoserver to keep warm while finishing the cabbage. You may need to add some water to the TM bowl and cook the cabbage for a bit longer on Varoma Temperature on Speed 1.

Once the cabbage has cooked, place into a serving bowl, sprinkle cheese over the cabbage and then top with the soup. Check for seasoning and serve.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thermomix Moroccan Chickpea and Pumpkin Stew

This recipe is from Allan Campion and Michele Curtis' wonderful cookbook "In The Kitchen"

It is a great book with over 1000 recipes and presented in simple easy to follow ways.

I was fortunate enough to first meet Michele and Allan at Howquadale in 1997 at a cooking class featuring Greg Malouf. They have been a constant source of inspiration and have done a great deal to promote good food in Melbourne and Australia. They had a monthly newsletter that took the form of a blog, well before that term existed.

Pumpkin & Chickpea Stew


100g chickpeas, soaked overnight ( or 400g can chickpeas)
700g water
1 clove garlic
1 cm piece fresh ginger
1 large onion, peeled & quartered
1/2 capsicum (preferably red), diced
2 Tbsp oil
500g butternut pumpkin, peeled and
cut into 1cm cubes
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 Tbsp tomato paste
300g vegetable or chicken stock
salt & pepper
fresh coriander to garnish


If using the soaked chickpeas, place into the TM bowl with the water and cook for 45 – 50 minutes at 90°C on Reverse + speed soft. Drain and set aside.

Place garlic and ginger into TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 7. Scrape down after 5 seconds. Add onion, chop for 5 seconds on Speed 5, add capsicum and oil to the TM bowl and cook for 5 minutes at 80°C on speed 1.

While onion mixture is cooking, peel pumpkin and cut into cubes.

Add pumpkin and spices and cook for another 5 minutes at 80°C on reverse and speed 1. Add the tomato paste and cook another 3 minutes at 80°C on reverse and speed 1.

Add the drained chickpeas, stock, salt and pepper. Cook for 12- 15 minutes at 80°C on reverse and speed 1.

Check to see if the vegetables are tender enough at this point, you may need to add some water and cook it for another 10 minutes, but you do not want them to become mushy. The sauce should be thick.

Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thermomix Moroccan Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Stew

This recipe comes from the Murdoch cookbook "A Little Taste of Morocco"

It has been adapted for the Thermomix and is simple.

It would be possible to cook the vegetables in the Varoma so that a larger meal could be made.

Thermomix Moroccan Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Stew


few threads of saffron
400ml stock, chicken or vegetable
2 cloves garlic, peeled in the Thermomix
1 large onion, peeled and cut into quarters
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp harissa, or pinch of cayenne pepper
400g butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
400g orange sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
60g raisins
1 Tbsp honey
Salt and pepper to taste
coriander leaves


Place saffron threads into some of the stock and keep aside.

Place garlic cloves into TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 6. Add onions to TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 5. Add oil and sauté for 5 minutes at 100°C on Speed 1.

Add spices to TM bowl and cook for 3 minutes at 100°C on Speed 1. Add stock, honey and saffron in stock to TM bowl, place pumpkin, sweet potato and raisins into the steamer basket, place into TM bowl and cook for 10 - 15 minutes at 100°C on Reverse and Speed 3 with the MC in place.

Remove the steamer basket and then remove the cinnamon stick from the stock mixture. Place the Butterfly over the blades and tip the pumpkin and sweet potato mix into the TM bowl. Cook for 5 minutes at 80°C on Reverse and Speed Soft.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle coriander leaves over the top.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thermomix Onion Jam

This recipe is based on Greg Malouf's recipe in Arabesque. It is an accompaniment to a vegetable cous cous.

The jam matures and develops more flavour after a few days covered in the fridge.

The Thermomix does a wonderful job of constantly stirring to prevent the onion sticking.

Sorry to those who have been patiently waiting for this recipe.

Onion Jam


5 medium red onions, peeled & quartered
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
250g dry sherry
250g tawny port
50g currants, soaked in an extra 50g sherry
freshly gound pepper


Place onions into TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 5. Scrape down after 5 seconds. Add oil and salt and cook for 4 minutes at 90°C on speed 1.

Once onion has started to soften, add sherry and port, and cook for 20 minutes at 100°C on Speed 1 with the MC out of the lid and basket over the lid.

At this stage, add the currants and increase the temperature for 30 minutes at Varoma temperature on Speed 1, with the basket over the lid.

Once they are cooked add the pepper and cook for 3 minutes at 90°C on speed 1.

Use to accompany dishes, including cous cous with vegetables.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thermomix Cabbage Soup

This is a simple, budget buster style dish, but with Antonio Carluccio’s name attached it more likely to attract attention.

The recipe came from a book called Soup Kitchen by Annabel Buckingham & Thomasina Miers.

Zuppa di Cavolo Valtellinense
(Cabbage Soup, Valtellina Style – Antonio Carluccio)


700g Savoy cabbage
200g Fontina, Jarlsberg or Gruyere cheese
1000g vegetable or chicken stock
Chicken bones, (optional, if you have them)
for extra flavour
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 slices of day old bread, cut into cubes
50g butter


Clean, trim and slice the cabbage and place into the Varoma dish and tray.

Place stock into TM bowl and, if you have any chicken bones left over from somewhere, place these into the TM basket in the TM bowl.

Place the lid on and position the Varoma. Heat the stock and cook the cabbage for 20 - 30 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 1. It depends on how thickly you have cut the cabbage.

Once the cabbage has cooked, remove the Varoma and test the stock for seasoning. You can cook the stock for a little longer while preparing the bowl with the other ingredients.

Place some of the cabbage into a large bowl or individual bowls. Then place a layer of bread on top, then some cheese, cabbage, bread, cheese, until it is all finished. Gently press down on the ingredients. Pour the stock over the other ingredients and allow to blend while preparing the butter.

Remove any unused stock to a bowl and roughly clean the TM bowl. Place the butter into the TM bowl and cook for 2 minutes at 90°C on Speed 1. Pour the hot butter over the soup and serve.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thermomix Watermelon Soup

Well, in the hunt for seasonal produce for the Thermomix in Australia Monthly Mouthful competition, I found watermelons going very cheaply. It seemed a bit early in the year for them, but decided to try a couple of recipes for the competition.

This soup is based on a Charlie Trotter recipe that used both rockmelon and watermelon - so one half yellow and the other half red. But the rockmelons were not in the fridge, so just watermelon for now.

You can make the soup without the seeds, but they look cute. You can just grate chocolate over the top of the soup.

Watermelon Soup with chocolate seeds.


60g dark chocolate, buttons or chunks
60g sugar
1kg watermelon, seeded and cut into chunks


Place chocolate into TM bowl and melt for 4 minutes
at 60°C on Speed 1.

Place chocolate into piping bag and make little seeds,
or just place little blobs onto baking paper and mould into
shapes like watermelon seeds.

Place sugar in TM bowl and blitz for 20 seconds
on Speed 9.

Add watermelon chunks and blend for 1 minute on
Speed 6.

Serve chilled. Very simple, but very refreshing.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Thermomix Mascarpone Ice Cream

This recipe came from a cooking program on TV - Chuck's Day Off - it is very basic but it has a really has good texture.

He used frozen bananas but other fruit will work.

Hope you give it a go.

Mascarpone Ice Cream


30 - 60g sugar - depending on the sweetness of your fruit
4 bananas, cut into chunks and frozen (or 400g seasonal fruit - frozen in chunks)
1 & 1/2 cups (sorry forgot the weight) mascarpone cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract (or seeds scraped from the bean)

TM method:

Place sugar in TM bowl and blitz on Speed 9 for 15-20 seconds
Add remaining ingredients and blitz on Speed 9 for 20 - 40 seconds.

Place into moulds or tray in freezer and leave for at least 6 hours.

Take out of freezer and allow to sit at room temp for 5 mins before serving.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thermomix Croissants

This all started after seing the post by Tenina about her Masterchef Challenge with Chocolate Frangipane Croissants for George Calombaris.

I had heard that there was a croissant recipe available for the Thermomix - but NOBODY was willing to reveal the recipe as it had been placed under embargo from HQ.

So, always one for a challenge I decided to go back to the vast array of books and magazines to find a suitable recipe.

Loretta Sartori (who is doing a hands-on pastry class at Diana Marsland's next February) has 2 recipes in her marvellous book Patisserie . The first appears to be a version of that of Joel Bellouet, who demonstrated at French Kitchen in 1984.

Pierre Herme's recipe requires the dough to be placed into the freezer and then the fridge between rollings, while Christophe Felder, of l'hôtel de Crillon à Paris fame preferred to make a paste of butter and flour and envelope it, as in Loretta's second recipe. Both of these methods were discarded as too difficult for me.

Some preparatory words of warning:

This is a full day's work (or over 2 days) - but there is a lot of time between rolling to do other things, so it is not constant.

In terms of timing - you need about half an hour from starting until you do the mix
with all the flour and milk etc. Then there is 15 minutes before the dough goes into the fridge, then 2 hours resting and 15 minutes rolling, 2 hours resting and another 15 minutes of rolling before allowing another 2 hours of resting, then 15 - 30 minutes of rolling and cutting and rolling, before another 1 to 2 hours of proving before just 15 minutes of baking. So, be prepared. One of the two hour resting sessions can be done overnight, but only one.

This is NOT a bread and the dough should NOT be kneaded more than is necessary to combine the dough. It is essentially a puff pastry with yeast to aid leavening. Treat it as a pastry - NOT a bread - you DO NOT want the gluten to be activated - be gentle. Do not leave it kneading past the point that it has become a ball of dough.

Once the dough has been rolled it can be frozen or it can be filled with sweet or savoury fillings and the shapes may be the regular croissant or more in the pain au chocolat (square shape).

Slow proving of the croissants before baking produces the best results. An ambient temperature of about 22°C is best over a period of an hour or more.

Good luck.

Thermomix Croissants


45g sugar
175g milk
50g butter
10g salt

75g bakers’ flour
20g fresh or 7g dry yeast (1 sachet)
100g tepid water

500g bakers’ flour

180g butter, softened (this can be done at 37°C in the Thermomix)

1 egg and 30ml milk for egg wash


Place sugar in TM bowl – grind for 30 seconds on speed 9 until fine.

Add milk, the 50g of butter and the salt to TM bowl and heat for 5 minutes at 70°C on speed 3. Remove and set aside.

Place 75g flour, yeast, and water into the TM bowl. Mix for 2 minutes at 37°C on speed 3. Leave in the TM bowl and allow to rise and develop for about half an hour, until the leaven becomes frothy.

Add the 500g flour and the milk mixture and mix for 20 seconds on speed 5.

Knead for 45 seconds on interval speed. Do not overwork the dough as you do not want to activate the gluten. Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured board and gently shape into a flattened rectangle and let it rest at room temperature for 10 - 15 minutes (to allow the yeast to start working).

Then place dough into some plastic wrap and cover to prevent dehydration and place in the fridge for approx 2 hours.

Take the dough from fridge and place on a floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll into a rectangle about three times the length of its width (approx 17cm x 50cm).

Place half (90g) of the softened butter onto one end of the rectangle and smooth it out over two-thirds of the rectangle.

Now fold the unbuttered third of the rectangle over the centre third

and then the remaining buttered third of the rectangle over the doubled section.

Now turn the dough so that the open fold is to your left

(the photo is taken looking from the chef's side of the table)
and roll the pastry again trying to maintain the shape and ending with a rectangle three times the length of its width. Fold the top third over the middle third and then the bottom third over the other section. Place in plastic film again and return to the fridge for another rest of two hours. It may be left overnight at this stage rather than just for 2 hours.

The dough is again rolled out to a triangle and the bottom two-thirds covered with softened butter. The unbuttered section is folded over the middle third and the bottom third folded back on top of the other section.

Again turn the dough so that the open fold is to your left and roll the pastry again trying to maintain the shape and ending with a rectangle three times the length of its width. Fold the top third over the middle third and then the bottom third over the other section. Place in plastic film again and return to the fridge for another rest of two hours. It may be left overnight at this stage rather than just for 2 hours, but you can only rest it overnight on one occasion.

After the final resting, roll the dough into a rectangle with a 3mm thickness.

Pre heat oven to 240°C (220°C with fan).

Prepare silicone baking sheets or ordinary trays using silicone baking paper.

Cut the dough into triangles with a width of approximately 17cm and length of about 35cm

With the points of the triangle facing away from you, place a cut into each triangle – this reduces the bulk in the centre of the croissant and ensures more even baking.

Roll from the base of the triangle towards the point firmly but do not stretch it lengthways and place onto baking sheet. It is actually best to place the croissants with the tail underneath to prevent it unravelling as in some pictured.

Leave croissants to rise for approx 1 & ½ to 2 hours at approximately 22°C before glazing each gently with egg wash.

Place in oven and turn down to 200°C (190°C fan-forced) for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack with legs to avoid condensation.

Freezing croissants.

If you want hot, fresh croissants for breakfast then place the rolled croissants before they are allowed to rise onto trays lined with baking paper and cover before freezing.

Once frozen the croissants may be stored in airtight plastic bags until required.

Remove the croissants from freezer the night before and place on a tray lined with baking paper at least 5cm apart.

Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to stand overnight.

In the morning the croissants will have risen and be ready for cooking.

Pre-heat the oven and follow the normal cooking instructions.