Katering Around

The Katering Show. A brilliant satire by some seriously clever young ladies.

In particular, I loved watching this episode about the Thermomix. You may recall that I have the Aldi version of the Thermomix (aka $350 versus TMX $2000). It wizzes and whirls and does a job. Maybe not the job, but the question is do we want that job done for us? Those of us who cook intuitively, who taste and feel the food as we make magic with our ingredients – well, the TMX makes some experiences redundant.

Natasha Robinson seems to feel the same way about the Thermomix machine and in her article for The Australian, she suggests that TMX followers are a part of a cult. And it kinda feels that way, sometimes. There are secret tips and nods and techniques, observed by those with their TMX.

I swing from yes, if you gifted me a TMX I would take it and use it. It is speedy for many things I find boring. Like stirring jam and relish as it bubbles for hours, threatening me with three degree burns. And sorbet, custard, bechamel…it is good. Really, I can do all of these things on my own. Just as my mother has done and her mother before her. But the question that needs to be answered is whether I want my lifestyle to change, my family food culture and homemaking to be influenced by a machine.

Will each kidlet leave home expecting a TMX as the ultimate housewarming present? What if they don’t know how to make custard from scratch? Will I have failed them?

If I want to be seriously clever I think I need to be pragmatic about the TMX, show my family how it helps and hinders. And teach them to cook risotto from scratch, with a dash of muscle power and love. NB: Love not found as a program on the TMX.

Easter Hot Cross Bun Recipe

Perfect Easter Hot Cross Buns

Every year I make hot cross buns. I make bread regularly so this should not be a high stress event. But for some reason my crosses have never really work. This year I have found a great recipe. The buns are delicious and they are super easy.

This Good Friday as you remember the day that Jesus died on the cross, make these fabulous fruit an spice buns with your family. Enjoy!

Marked with a cross and ready for the oven

Easter Hot Cross Buns

Makes 16
1 1/4 cups (310ml) milk
3/4 cup caster sugar ( I think you can get away with less)
2 x 7 g sachet of dried yeast
4 1/3 cups plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon  of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ginger and cardamom
1 cup mixed dried fruit ( I used sultanas, substitute cranberries and choc chips)
1 egg, beaten
100g melted butter

It is good to make long lines and not individual crosses

Kneading the dough – it is dark because of all of the wonderful spices. Use whatever you like best!

1. Stir milk and sugar in saucepan over gentle heat until lukewarm. Remove from heat. Add yeast, stir and wait for 10 minutes  or until mixture is foamy.
2. Sift flour and spices. Stir in fruit, yeast mixture, egg and butter, Mix well until dough forms. Knead on floured surface for 5 minutes. Place in oiled bowl and cover with plastic warp. Stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until dough has doubled.
3. Divide dough into 16 pieces and shape into balls. Place in a greased square cake tin. Cover with plastic warp and stand in a warm place for 30 minutes or until the buns have risen to the rim of the tin.
4. Preheat oven to 200 C. Make cross mix with1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon sugar. Cross mixture should be soft and stiff. Place in a piping bag or zip lock bag and snip the end. Pipe the crosses. Bake in hot oven for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 180 c and bake for a further 15-20minutes until golden.
5.Make a sugar syrup with 1/3 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of boiling water. Brush hot syrup over buns and serve.