Saturday, April 18, 2009

Stuffed Mushrooms in the Varoma

This recipe is based on a recipe that I first saw in Antonio Carluccio's book "The Complete Mushroom Book". I have since seen a version in a little Murdoch book called "Steam It".

Fresh shiitake mushrooms are best for this dish, but mushroom caps of a similar size will do.

The great thing with this dish is that you can cook it all in the Thermomix and that you steam the mushrooms while making the sauce. You have a wonderful aroma filling the kitchen while this is all happening.

Stuffed Mushrooms


2 cm piece of fresh ginger
1 clove garlic
1 large spring onion, cut into segments
30 g ham or Chinese sausage (optional)
60 g water chestnuts
300 g chicken thighs cut into
2cm chunks and partially frozen
150 g raw prawns, shelled (or an extra
100g chicken and 30 g breadcrumbs)
1 egg
1 Tbsp Chinese rice wine (or sherry)
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

300 g mushrooms (preferably shiitake), suitable to be stuffed as in the picture


700 ml chicken stock
1 star anise
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp sake, Chinese rice wine or sherry


Place the ginger and garlic in the TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 7. Add spring onion, ham/sausage and water chestnuts and chop for another 10 seconds on speed 7. Remove mixture to a bowl and set aside.

Place chicken in the TM bowl and hit Turbo 5 or 6 times. It should still have a little texture and not look just like a paste. Remove and place in the bowl with the ginger/garlic mixture. Place prawns or remaining chicken in TM bowl and chop the chicken by hitting Turbo 3 times (prawns) or 5 times (chicken).

Place the chicken, ginger and garlic mixture together with the remaining stuffing ingredients into the TM bowl and mix for 30 seconds on Reverse and speed 3 or 4, using the spatula through the lid if needed to push the mixture down.

Remove the mixture to a bowl and clean out the TM bowl.

Place the sauce ingredients into the TM bowl and place the steamer basket over the lid, rather than the MC. Cook the sauce for 15 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 1 while stuffing the mushrooms.

Remove the stalks from the mushrooms, these can be added to the sauce mixture to give extra flavour.

Place the mushrooms, with stuffing uppermost, into the Varoma dish and tray. Once they are all stuffed, position the Varoma on the TM lid. Steam for 15 - 20 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 2.

It is best to check the mushrooms after 10 minutes and possibly swap some of the ones in the Varoma base to the tray and vice versa to ensure even cooking (but not essential)

After the mushrooms have cooked, remove the Varoma and leave aside to allow them to cool.

Strain the sauce into a bowl through the streamer basket and rinse the TM bowl. Return the strained sauce to the TM bowl and cook for 5 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 4 with the basket over the lid. This will help thicken the sauce.

Once cooled, place the mushrooms on a serving platter or individual plates and spoon over some sauce.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thermomix Asparagus and Crab Soup

This is a simple soup with flavours that remind me of Viet Nam. Simple, but so tasty, and it somehow makes me feel good when eating it.

Crab and Asparagus Soup


2 bunches fresh asparagus
2 cm piece of ginger
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
1 tsp sugar, preferably palm sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 Tbsp water
200g crab meat, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten


Peel the asparagus stalks (starting from just below the tip and going towards the base) and break off the hard part from the base of the stalks. Keep the woody sections and chop into 2cm sections. Wash the asparagus in cold water. Chop into pieces to go into the TMX basket. Preferably stand the pieces with the tips up if you wish to use them for garnish.

Place ginger in TMX bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 7. Scrape down as needed.
Place the woody stems and stock into the TMX bowl with sugar, salt and fish sauce. Place the basket in the TMX and cook for 20 minutes at 100°C on reverse + speed 1. Remove the basket with the asparagus and take out the pieces. Cool in iced water. Take the asparagus infused stock and strain, using the basket, into a bowl.

Place the asparagus pieces in the Varoma. Return the strained stock mixture to the TMX bowl with the cornflour mix, position Varoma and cook for 4 minutes at 100°C on speed 1. Add the crab and reposition the Varoma on top and cook for 3 minutes at 90°C on reverse and speed soft. Remove the Varoma, season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Set the TMX to reverse and speed 1 and drizzle in the beaten eggs.

Place asparagus sections in soup bowls or serving dish and pour soup over top. Garnish with coriander leaves or spring onions(shallots).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

White Cooked Chinese Chicken

This recipe is based on a recipe from Stephanie Alexander’s “The Cook’s Companion”.

There are many versions of this recipe, and it is very easy to cook without the Thermomix, but for anybody who doesn't have a stove, this shows the potential of this wonderful machine.

You need to try not to allow the skin to be damaged - you can see the tear in the leg of my first attempt - keep the speed at soft and you should be able to avoid this mistake.

White Cooked Chinese Chicken


1 size 13 (1.3kg) chicken with
parson’s nose removed
3 litres boiling water
60 ml Shaoxing rice wine or sherry
3 spring onions, sliced into 2 cm lengths
2 cm fresh ginger, cut into slices
1 tsp sesame oil


To start, clean as much fat away from inside the cavity. Then carefully pour half of the boiling water into the cavity of the chicken to blanch and clean the blood from inside. Drain the chicken and carefully place it in the TM bowl, bottom end down over and around the blades. Push chicken down carefully so it is firmly set on the blades. Do not tear the skin.

Put the wine, spring onions, ginger and oil into the cavity through the opening at the neck. Position the lid on the TM bowl and then carefully pour about 1500 ml boiling through the hole in the lid to barely cover the chicken. It may want to float, but it should still be OK. There should be about 1 cm clearance from the top.

Set the Thermomix for 10 minutes at 100°C on speed soft. Keep a check on the chicken. It should slowly rotate in the bowl without problems. Place the steamer basket over the opening in the lid.

Then set the Thermomix for 30 minutes at 50°C on speed soft. Place an inverted cup or bowl over the opening in the lid to help keep steam in.

After the time has been reached, turn off the Thermomix, and leave the chicken in the bowl for another 30 minutes. Then, very carefully remove the chicken to a bowl with some iced water being careful not to tear the skin. Cover the chicken with ice cubes and, let the chicken sit for another 60 minutes to thoroughly cool.

When the chicken has cooled sufficiently, drain the water away. Remove chicken to a board and cut into serving pieces. You should find that a delicious jelly forms between the skin and the flesh. The bones may look a bit pink, but it should have a velvety and soft flesh.

Traditionally the chicken is served with slices of spring onion and ginger covered with very hot vegetable oil (it spits as it hits the onions and ginger so beware) and some sesame oil drizzled over.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Drunken Chicken Version 1 in Varoma

My sincere apologies to Anonymous of Singapore, but finally I am getting around to writing up the recipes for some of the Asian dishes that I photographed last year.

This is for the first version of drunken chicken that I will present. White cooked chicken and another drunken chicken will follow.

Drunken Chicken in the Varoma


1.5 kg chicken
150 ml Shaoxing rice wine
3 Tbsp Chinese spirit (or brandy, grappa)
3 slices fresh ginger
3 spring onions, cut into 2 cm lengths
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Coriander leaves and/or
finely-sliced spring onion to garnish


Rinse the chicken, drain and remove any fat from the cavity and around neck. Cut off and discard parson’s nose. Joint chicken and cut into approximately 8 pieces. Place into a bowl and cover with boiling water, leave for 2-3 minutes, then refresh in cold water.

Place the chicken pieces into a bowl that fits into the Varoma. Add the wine, spirit, ginger and spring onion. Place 1000 ml water into the TM bowl and position the Varoma with chicken. Cover and steam for 30 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 2.

After the time has been reached, set Varoma aside still covered and leave for 20-30 minutes to cool in marinade. Baste chicken pieces from time to time to moisten.

For service, strain the marinade from the chicken pieces and place into the TM bowl, add the salt and pepper and cook for 4 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 2, with steamer basket replacing the MC. Strain marinade into a bowl.

Then, either use a cleaver to cut through the bones into bite-sized pieces, or bone the chicken and slice pieces across the grain. Place chicken pieces into a serving dish and cover with the marinade.

Garnish with coriander and/or spring onion.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tongue with Two Sauces in Thermomix

Ox tongue is the sort of offal that many people will eat, if they are not told exactly what it is, or, if they don't see the preparation.

The texture of cooked ox tongue can be so soft and velvety that few really could resist it, if they are fed it "blind".

I love it and so decided to try cooking it in the Thermomix. It worked well for me, so please consider trying it, if you are a tongue-lover.

Tongue with Two Sauces


1 ox tongue
1 onion, cut in quarters
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
Sprig of thyme
1/2 cup white wine
Few black peppercorns
2 whole cloves.


Wash the tongue and trim any excess from underneath so that you can place it in the TM basket. Place onion, carrot, celery and garlic in TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 5. Add remaining ingredients and place the TM basket with tongue into the TM bowl.

Add water or stock to cover the tongue. Place lid on and cook for 60 minutes at 80°C on speed soft. After that time, carefully remove the tongue and turn it over, add more stock or water to ensure the tongue is covered and cook for another 60 minutes at 80°C on speed soft. The tongue should be cooked and a skewer should slip into the tongue without resistance. Remove the tongue to a bowl and cover with the poaching liquid and allow it to cool enough to be able to be handled.

Once cool, the tongue needs to be peeled and trimmed. The bulk of the “skin” can be stripped off and any remaining pieces removed with a vegetable peeler. The gristly bits from underneath also need to be removed.

While peeling the tongue, strain the poaching liquor back into the TM bowl and boil for 10 minutes at 100°C on speed 2. Place the cleaned tongue into a clean bowl and cover with the poaching liquor until needed.

Salsa Verde


1 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic
2 anchovy fillets
2 gherkins
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 cup olive oil
20 ml lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper


Place parsley in TM bowl and chop for 15 seconds on speed 7. Add remaining ingredients and blend for 45 seconds on speed 6. The sauce should be very thick, you may add some more oil, if too thick and then extra lemon juice to taste.

Cumberland Sauce


Zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
200 ml red wine
100 ml port
20ml lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
Salt and pepper to taste.


Place zest into TM bowl and grate for 30 seconds on speed 9, scraping down the sides every 10 seconds. Add the jelly and wines and cook for 8 minutes at 100°C on speed 1.

Add the orange and lemon juice and cook for a further 5 minutes at 100°C on speed 1.
Blend for 30 seconds on speed 9 before straining into a bowl. Stir through the mustard and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Soy Chicken in the Varoma

This recipe is based on a recipe in Kylie Kwong's book "Simple Chinese Cooking". The recipe has been adapted and a further adaptation would be to joint the chicken before steaming. That would reduce the cooking time and enable a larger bird to be used.

It is a simple dish and the marinade can be reserved like a master stock to be used again.

Soy Sauce Chicken in the Varoma


1 x 1.3 kg chicken
2 garlic cloves
2 cm piece of fresh ginger
1 cup shao hsing wine, or dry sherry
1/2 cup dark soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 star anise
1 cinnamon quill
2 strips of orange rind, cut
with vegetable peeler
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1200 g water
4 spring onions, trimmed and cut in half
Cornflour, to thicken sauce, if desired


Place the garlic and ginger into the TM bowl and mince for 15 seconds on speed 7. Add all other ingredients except chicken and spring onions to TM bowl and cook for 20 minutes at 100°C on reverse + speed 2.

Wash the chicken and remove any excess fat from the cavity. Place the spring onions inside the cavity and then push down on the back bone of the bird to flatten it a little. Now, either place the chicken into a roasting bag or, breast side down, into a deep dish that will fit into the Varoma and place marinade in the bag or dish. Leave any marinade that does not fit into the bag or bowl in the TM bowl. Place the bag or bowl inside the Varoma.

Put more water into the TM bowl to make up to 1200 ml, position the lid and then Varoma and steam the chicken for 30 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 2. If using the bowl, you will need to carefully turn over the bird during cooking to allow it to be properly marinated.

After the steaming time has elapsed, if the bird is in the roasting bag and completely immersed in liquid, then just leave in the bag for 2 hours to cool. If you have used a bowl, then carefully remove the chicken to a pot or dish that will allow you to completely immerse the bird with marinade form the dish in the Varoma and the liquid from the TM bowl. Again, leave to cool for 2 hours. It needs to stay in the marinade to cook through.

Once cooked, carefully remove to a tray to drain and cool. Place 500ml of the marinade in the TM bowl and cook for 15 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 3. You may add some cornflour mixed with water to thicken the sauce more. Allow to cool.

To serve, chop chicken into serving pieces and arrange on a platter and spoon over some sauce.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mini Ham and Asparagus Frittatas in the Thermomix Varoma

Following on from yesterday's posting about how to make frittatas in the Thermomix, here is a recipe to give you some more ideas.

It is very easy to make the frittatas this way and hopefully it will inspire othere.

Quick Mini Frittatas in the Varoma


1 large onion, peeled and quartered
150 g bacon or ham cut into chunks
30 g oil, olive or vegetable
1 Tbsp water
100 g asparagus spears chopped into short lengths
60 g milk
6 large eggs
Salt and pepper


Place the onion and bacon in the TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 7.

Add oil and water and cook for 6 minutes at 100°C on speed 1.

Place the asparagus pieces into the Varoma and steam these while sauteeing the onion and bacon.

To prepare the Varoma dish and tray: For ease, you can simply purchase greased patty pans and spray the insides with either cooking spray or oil, or use silicon patty pans. Place them into the Varoma dish and tray so they will support each other when filled.

You may prepare them in greased dariole moulds or mini muffin tins and place in the Varoma. You can even use plastic trays, or line the Varoma tray with a piece of silicon baking paper that has been crumpled, then wet and spread inside the tray, as in this post. With these last two methods you can cut the resulting frittata into small pieces for service.

Place some of the ham and onion mixture and some asparagus into the patty pans or tins/dishes. (If using the paper-lined Varoma tray, then just spread some evenly over the paper.)

Add milk, eggs and S&P to TM bowl and beat for 15 seconds on speed 4.

Add some of the egg mix to the moulds used. (If you have some left over, then transfer to a bowl and then wash out the TM bowl roughly.) Place some paper towel over the tops of the moulds to prevent moisture dropping onto the frittatas. You don’t need to do this if making a large frittata just using the tray and silicon paper).

Place 600 g water into the TM bowl and position the Varoma with moulds. Set the TM for 20 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 2.

You may need to check after about 10 minutes depending on the size of the frittatas you make.

This method means that you do not have to turn on the oven and there is only the one dish to clean.

The frittatas freeze well and can be reheated in the Varoma if desired.

For the large frittata in the previous post, I used approx, 250 g frozen vegetables (peas, corn, red pepper mix), thawed and drained.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Frittata in the Varoma

Well, I have said a few times, in various places that you can make an omelette or a frittata in the Varoma tray. This post is to show that, not only can you do it, but it is very easy.

So, here is how to do it, the recipe with the mini Ham & Asparagus Frittatas will appear tomorrow.

Firstly, take a piece of silicon (baking) paper that will fit into the Varoma tray. Crumple it up and wet it, wring it out, then straighten it back out and place in the tray, which you have sitting in the Varoma base.

Add what ever vegetables, seafood, fish or meats that you wish:

Blend up your eg mix in the Thermomix bowl and pour over the contents. This mix had 6 eggs and some milk.

Place 600 ml of water into the TM bowl and position the lid and Varoma. Cover the Varoma with the lid. Set the Thermomix for 15 minutes at Varoma temperature and speed 2.

Check after the 12 minutes has elapsed to see if the frittata has cooked sufficiently. It depends on what is mixed in with the frittata as to how long it may take - so no definite times.

When you have finished there is a moist, delicious frittata waiting to be devoured, and only the Thermomix to clean (which it does itself mostly !!!)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pork Omelette Rolls in Varoma

This omelette is based on a recipe from the book "Vietnamese Cooking" by Robert Carmack, Didier Corlou and Nguyen Tranh Van.

Didier Corlou and Nguyen Tranh Van were chefs at the Sofitel Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, when I visited in 1998 with Tony Tan's Unlimited Cuisine Co. We had a cooking demonstration in the kitchens of the Spice Garden restaurant of the hotel. A similar demonstration may be on offer with Tony's Tour to Vietnam later this year.

In the morning, we were taken on a tour of the December 19 Market to see the variety of Vietnamese foods and herbs before returning for the demonstration and lunch. The food at the Spice Garden was so fresh and flavoursome. The banana blossom salad lives in the memory.

It is possible to make an omelette in the Varoma and so the whole dish could be completed in the Thermomix.

Pork Omelette Rolls


6 eggs
vegetable oil for cooking
500 g lean pork, cut into 2 cm chunks and placed in freezer for 30 minutes
1 teaspoon ground pepper
3 tablespoons fish sauce
6 flat mushrooms, (or fresh shiitake) , cut into thin slices
1 bunch garlic chives, trimmed


Place eggs into TM bowl and blend for 20 seconds on speed 4.

Use this mix to prepare thin, flat omelettes, either in a 20 cm fry pan with vegetable oil, or you can use a non-stick Swiss roll tin carefully over a flame on the stove, to make rectangular omelettes.

Place the partly frozen pork, pepper and fish sauce into the TM bowl and mince for 40 seconds on speed 7, scraping down the sides a few times, until the mix is smooth.

Divide the meat mixture into portions to fill the omelettes. If you have used the frypan you will possibly have 6 omelettes, so 6 balls of mix.

Lay out an omelette and spread one meat portion evenly on it. Lay strips of mushroom and chive shoots evenly across the entire top, arranging them lengthwise to facilitate rolling. Tightly roll omelette into a cylinder. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, twisting the ends to secure. Repeat with remaining omelettes.

Place the wrapped rolls into the Varoma base and tray. Place 700g water into the TM bowl and position the Varoma. Cover and set TM for 25 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 2. Check the rolls with a skewer to make sure the meat is thoroughly cooked.

Remove Varoma from TM bowl and allow the rolls cool, then remove plastic wrap and cut the rolls into rounds about 5 mm thick. Arrange these on a platter, such as in the fan-shape of a peacock's tail. These rolls are traditionally served plain.

If desired, accompany with lettuce leaves, softened rice vermicelli and Nuoc Cham Sauce, or other dipping sauce. Tear a piece of lettuce to place the roll into with some noodles and fresh herbs of choice, and dip into sauce.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Gabriela Llamas' Dairy Free Chocolate Mousse

Based on a recipe from Cuisines of Spain by Teresa Barrenechea. It allows those with dairy intolerance to enjoy the pleasures of Chocolate Mousse. This is a luscious, light and tasty dessert.

I first tasted the mousse at La Huerta del Emperador cooking school in Madrid. Gabriela Llamas, the owner and teacher at the school presented this along with some other inspiring dishes, including a vegetarian stew from Extramadura with smoked paprika.

A fruity olive oil adds a wonderful flavour to the dish, so choose carefully when selecting your oil.

Dairy Free Chocolate Mousse


4 eggs, separated
Pinch of Cream of Tartar
Pinch of Salt
125 g caster sugar (made in Thermomix)
125 g bitter chocolate (70% cocoa), cut into chunks
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (hojiblanca or arbequina – fruity type)
1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier, Rum or Pedro Ximenez


Insert Butterfly over blades and add egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in TM bowl. Beat for 3 minutes at 37°C on speed 4 with MC out of lid.

Set TM for 1 minute and 30 seconds at 37°C on speed 4 and slowly introduce 50g of the sugar. Remove meringue to a bowl and set aside.

Without cleaning the bowl, place the chocolate into the TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 7. Melt the chocolate for 4 minutes at 50°C on speed 3. After 2 minutes start slowly adding the olive oil as with making mayonnaise. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Place egg yolks and 75g sugar in TM bowl and beat for 5 minutes at speed 4. Add the chocolate and olive oil mix and 1/4 of the meringue mixture. Mix for 15 seconds on speed 3.

Carefully fold chocolate mixture into the meringue so as not to break the air bubbles. Place into 4 glasses and chill at least 4 hours before serving.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chicken Liver Parfait in the Varoma

This is based on a recipe from the book "BANC" with recipes by Liam Tomlin from his time at Banc Restaurant in Sydney.

I recall visiting the restaurant on the Friday, September 14, 2001. The twin towers had crumbled a few days before, Ansett had collapsed and I was supposed to be flying back to Melbourne the next day on an Ansett flight.

The meal was superb, starting with the most sublime and clear Peking Duck Consomme. It was so clear, free from any trace of fat and full of exquisite flavour.

The restaurant had also suffered recently, at the hands of the Sydney food media and Banc had lost a hat. I had been recommended to eat here by a chef and was not disappointed. It was a Five Star experience and finished with a glass of armagnac chatting to Remi Bancal, who had been at Jacques Reymond's.

For those who have not heard of Liam Tomlin and Banc, this Sydney Morning Herald article may help show his influence on Austrlian food.

The book has become a collectors item and will always be treasured, along with the memories of a wonderful restaurant; superb chef and team; and, food prepared with love.

This dish is one of the various parfaits on offer and the Thermomix does a superb job of preparing the dish with a light texture.

If you are able to source duck livers then they produce an even better result. Duck Liver Parfait will always remind me of Philippe Mouchel and the plates of duck charcuterie that were available at Paul Bocuse Restaurant at Diamaru, and now available in a more modest form at the brasserie by Philippe Mouchel.

Chicken Liver Parfait


500g chicken livers
60ml madeira
60ml port
60ml cognac or brandy
2 large eggs
300g softened unsalted butter
salt, freshly ground pepper


Thoroughly clean the livers, removing any sinew or green parts left from the gall bladder, as these will turn the livers bitter. Place the livers in a bowl and cover with madeira, port and cognac. Marinate for 2 hours in the fridge.

Pour the livers into TM basket over a bowl and catch all the alcohol. Put the alcohol in TM bowl and cook for 15 minutes at Varoma Temperature on speed 3 to reduce its volume by about half. Pass through TM basket and allow to cool.

Place the livers in TM bowl and blend for 30 seconds on speed 7. Scrape down the sides during the processing. Set the TM to speed 3 and add the eggs one by one, and then add the reduced alcohol. Once blended pass the mixture through a very fine sieve into a bowl and set aside.

Place the butter in the TM bowl and blend for 30 seconds on speed 3 or until smooth. Add the liver mixture to the bowl and blend for 30 seconds on speed 9. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, before blending for 10 seconds on speed 3 to incorporate.

Line a 1litre terrine mould or dish that will fit into the Varoma with cling film, making sure that you press it right into the corners to ensure you achieve a nice even surface when turning out, and leave enough overhang to cover the top of terrine mould during the cooking of the parfait.

Pour the liver parfait into the terrine and fill to about 2cm (3/4in) from the top. Gently tap the terrine on the benchtop to expel any air bubbles through the parfait. Cover with the over-hanging cling wrap, and place a lid on top or cover with foil.

Place 1200 g water into the TM bowl. Place the terrine into the Varoma and position Varoma on TM lid. Cook for 45 minutes at 100°C on speed 2 and test with a skewer. If the parfait is still soft and runny give it a few more minutes before testing again (when the skewer is removed, it should be clean and barely warm to touch).

Remove from the Varoma and allow the parfait to cool before placing in the fridge to set over night before turning out. To turn out, run a sharp knife around the sides of the terrine mould to loosen the parfait. Invert the mould onto a board or plate. If it doesn't slide out easily, run a tea towel under hot water, squeeze out and place on the terrine. The heat from the tea towel will loosen the parfait.
Heat a sharp knife under hot water, wipe dry and cut the terrine into 1½ cm slices.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chocolate Truffle Torte

This is based on a recipe from "Delia Smith’s Christmas".

This is a luscious and luxurious dessert, so only small helpings.

Chocolate Truffle Torte


75 g Amaretti biscuits
600 ml whipping cream
450 g cooking chocolate (70% cocoa), cut into chunks
5 tablespoons liquid glucose
125 g Grand Marnier, Rum, Whisky or Amaretto
Cocoa powder or icing sugar for dusting


Grease a 23cm springform cake tin with oil, and then place a circle of baking paper in the base.

Place biscuits in TM bowl and crush for 20 seconds on speed 9. Spread these over base of the tin.

Insert Butterfly over blades and place cream in TM bowl. Beat for 20 seconds on speed 4 or until it starts to thicken, it does not need to be firm. Remove to a large mixing bowl and set aside in the fridge. Remove Butterfly.

Without cleaning the TM bowl, place the chocolate into the TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds on speed 7. Scrape down the sides and top and add the liquid glucose and liqueur and then melt the chocolate for 5 minutes at 50°C on speed 1. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then add some of the lightly whipped cream. Mix for 15 seconds on speed 3.

Allow to cool for another 5 minutes and then add some of the lightly whipped cream. Mix for 15 seconds on speed 3. Carefully fold chocolate mixture into the remaining cream in the large bowl.

Once mixture is smoothly blended, spoon into prepared cake tin and tap gently to even the mixture out. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, use a knife to loosen the edges of the torte and undo the springform sides. Place a serving plate on the torte and turn upside down, so that the amaretti biscuit crumbs are now on top. (I didn't do this for the pictures as it looked better with the icing sugar on the chocolate. ;) ) Dust with sifted cocoa powder or icing sugar.

It may be prepared a couple of days before serving and freezes well.

Win Antonio Carluccio's "Passion for Pasta"

It is time to start up this blog - mainly to show that I am still alive, but also to encourage more Thermomix users to join the Forum Thermomix group.

It is a forum run by an Englishman living in Portugal, but if you check it out you will see that mainly Aussies have taken it over.

We are keen to have people with an interest in the Thermomix join us and post recipes or reviews of recipes.

To this end we have a book giveaway !!!!

Last month I met Antonio Carluccio at dinner at Grossi Florentino. He signed a copy of his book Passion for Pasta.

So, if you would like the opportunity to win this book, join the Forum Thermomix group and either post a Thermomix recipe, or review a recipe - from a Thermomix cookbook or website/forum.

More information can be found here.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Using the Varoma to gently cook meat.

This is a post that I had written for the Italian Bimby forum at this site

I decided that I had best start putting posts on this blog to make it of some value to those interested in Thermomix cooking.

In France, America and some other countries, to a lesser extent, sous-vide is being used to gently cook food. The idea is to cook food at a lower temperature than is generally used, and using a vacuum to assist this process.

There is a very useful website

The concept can be used to different meats and fish, and even vegetables, gently over a long period of time producing a very tender result.

I have eaten ox cheek cooked for 40 hours in vacuum-sealed bags at 55 deg (I think), by Dan Hunter from Royal Mail Hotel at Dunkeld, and the result was amazingly tender. Many top chefs in Australia now use this technique. The photo below shows pork loin on the left rear section of the plate that was cooked sous-vide at about 70 deg for an hour. It was so tender and moist.

In Australia there are simple vacuum-sealing machines for home use that can be used for sous-vide.

The machine, called a Food Saver, was developed to seal food in a vacuum to allow for longer "shelf-life" in the home refrigerator or freezer.

There are bags that come with the machine:

The bags when sealed can then be placed in the refrigerator or freezer and stored for longer than would normally be possible, because you have managed to eliminate more of the oxygen from the bag.

These bags can be used to cook food in the microwave oven or in water at lower than boiling (100 deg). They are perfect for sous-vide.

You can, however, use zip-lock or snap lock bags to obtain a similar result. I have seen Philippe Mouchel and Robin Wickens demonstrate the use of these bags for home cooks like me. You just need to expel as much air as possible before sealing.

Then, when you place the bag in the water, you do not have to worry about the water damaging the meat or fish. For bollito, you must have boiling water in which to drop the meat, to "shock" and seal the outer layer and prevent water leaking into the meat during cooking. By using these bags, you can cook at a gentler temperature without fear of the water causing problems.

One of the ideas of sous-vide is to allow gentle cooking so that the protein in the centre of a piece of meat or fish cooks without the outside becoming overcooked.

You can gently cook the meat or fish protected by a plastic bag as in the previous post. Another method of cooking is to place the meat or fish in the Varoma and cook it at 100 deg for a few minutes before grilling it to give the outside of the meat or fish its usual caramelised appearance, that most people prefer to see when eating.

The following are photos of some wagyu (Japanese) beef that was steamed in the Varoma for 10 minutes before being seared on a grill for 30 seconds on each side:

After steaming:

After grilling for 30 seconds:

Unfortunately I did not take a photo to show how uniformly pink it was inside.

The following is a photo of some pork that was prepared in the same way:

The following is quail that was cooked for about 15 minutes at 100 deg in the Varoma while a pan was being heated in the oven at 250 deg and then the quail was transferred to the oven for 3 or 4 minutes and then rested for 5 minutes before serving. The meat was very moist inside and tender.

The times will vary depending on size of bird or piece of meat, but it is worth experimenting to see how juicy and tender the meat is with these methods of cooking.