So it is a sorbet day….

Hello yellow! 
Citrus juice
Blended with a smidgen of sugar
Ice

Hello Thermomix
Love you in the morning
Noon and night

Sorbet at my fingertips

Recipe:
1 large orange and 2 lemons – peel removed
50 grams sugar
800 grams ice (left at room temperature for a few minutes)
*this will help the blending process

Mill sugar, add ice and juice. Blend at high speed, using the spatula to move ice around.
Serve immediately.

Pavlova Love

Break up the hum hum of the week with a fabulous sweet treat. An Australian Pavlova with thick cream and fresh berries. I whipped this one up on the weekend with my new kitchen companion I like to call Big T. You know what I am talking about. I have never been successful with egg whites in the past. Any meringue, macaroon, pavlova type of construction has failed to meet perfection. But……the Thermomix allows for controlled temperature and speed when compiling the recipe. And it worked.
If you are inspired you can find the original Dani Valent recipe here.

If you are interested, the origins of the pavlova are highly contested. For some background reading try this Good Food article. Apparently this lovely little lady, ballerina Anna Pavolva is part of the inspiration. Enjoy!

Easy Peasy Carrot Cake

Confession. I have a new toy. A work horse. Kitchen companion. A Thermomix. Hmmmm. I have blogged about the Thermomix before with mixed impressions, taken aback by the cost and the hands off approach to cooking. But….people it is quite amazing. Conversion!

Did I go out and buy this? Well not exactly. It was a gift from Mr 7mouths2feed. Some would say he is a very smart man. As the mother and CEO to this very busy, large family this new appliance has become my second pair of hands. It does the work for me in super quick time, I can walk away while something is cooking, milling, blending or emulsifying and do that next thing on the list.

There are hundreds of others out there blogging their precious hearts out about the Thermomix. I promise not to do that. But this post is just as a way of stopping by and saying this is what I am doing right now. Making Easy Peasy Carrot Cake. The original recipe can be found here on a thermomix recipe community website but of course, I have altered it to make one large loaf which is gluten and dairy free. The recipe is a winner. Moist, scrumptious cake that takes 5 minutes to make, 40 minutes to bake. Dress it up for dessert or keep it simple for the school lunchbox. It is truly easy peasy.

You can make these too….

Is it too warm for crumpets? I think of crumpets as warm weather food, laden with butter and honey and a hot cup of tea. But I urge you to think outside the square and try this little beauty.

This is not my first time making a crumpet. I think I played with an old school Women’s Weekly recipe back when I was a wee girl. But this recent find has convinced me it is worth the effort. Look out for some larger ‘crumpet’ rings in your local home store. If you have the standard metal egg ring at home that will do as well.

Dry Ingredients:
450gms bread flour
3 teaspoons yeast
1 3/4 teaspoons  salt

Liquid Ingredients:
650ml warm milk
an extra 100ml milk with 1/2 teaspoon Bi Carb soda added

Method:
1. Mix all dry ingredients thoroughly and make a well.
3. Pour half the warm milk and mix.
3. Add remaining warm milk and beat until smooth.
4. Cover bowl with a tea towel or glad wrap and allow to double in size.
5. When doubled add the extra milk/bi carb mix and beat until combined.
6. Leave batter for 40 minutes.
7. Heat frying pan and grease crumpet rings and pan.
8. Spoon in mixture and allow to cook until holes form on the surface and the top dries out. (Keep heat on medium – this may take a little time so be patient.) Turn crumpet over and cook until set.
9. Place crumpets on cooling rack.
10. Crumpets can be toasted to serve. They keep well for a2 days in the fridge or a great in the freezer.

* Don’t skimp on the time in step 6, as you need the second resting time to get really light and airy crumpets.
**If you cannot find crumpet rings use your old school metal egg rings – you will just have smaller crumpets.
*** I am sure you could adapt this recipe to use in your Thermomix.

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.

Tuesday is a Chocolate Cake Day

Tuesday has called for chocolate cake. The kind that is quick to make and portion for school lunches. It is a fail safe cake and a recipe passed on to me from my mother. Rich, dark but with basic ingredients you will find in your panty cupboard. There is no real chocolate, cream or special items. I used a Sunbean Mixmaster to  make the cake, but I am sure your KitchenAid, Thermomix or Thermo Cook would combine all of these ingredients too. On days when I have more time, I do enjoy combining a cake batter by hand. Do you?

My Mother’s Chocolate Devil Cake:

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups SR Flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon Bi Carb Soda
125 gms melted butter
3/4 cups water
2 eggs
vanilla

Method: Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease and line a round 20cm tin ( I vary the tin I use, just don’t choose a large one.) Place all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and combine (by hand or use a mixer). Add half the water, the vanilla and the melted butter and mix for 2 minutes. Add remaining water and eggs and mix until well combined.

Cook in a moderate oven for 30-35 mins.

Dust with icing sugar, or as in the picture above drizzle with a chocolate light icing and sprinkle of 100s and 1000s. Perfect mid week fun.

Kuchef ThermoCook Update

Pasta cooked the old fashion way – no Therm Cook!

It would not be fair of me to avoid updating my blogpost about the Aldi Kuchef Thermo Cook. You may recall that we purchased one as a Christmas gift and have been using it ever since. We have made soup, sauces, jam, chutney, curries, sorbet, smoothies. It has been an all purpose work horse and one that the older kids can use easily.

So the mid year recall was somewhat of a surprise. Our only issue had been that on a sustained  high temperature some recipes ( béchamel, curry pastes) tended to ‘catch’ on the inside of the stainless steel jug. This was nothing a good clean could not fix.

Following the recall instructions my handy workhorse aka Thermo Cook was sent back to the manufacturer and replaced. Apparently there had been issues with hot food being expelled from the machine when it was used at high speed – and I suspect someone has been burnt. But my new best kitchen buddy would not work – when assembled and plugged in, there seemed to be a fault.

My days of whipping every green bit of goodness into smoothies for the family, making fabulous no sugar sorbets and trying the wonderful Dulce de leche (decadent caramel) will have to wait. While I have days when I am missing my machine I do not miss the space it fills on my bench top. This is a Western world problem, no?

I wonder if you have had success with the Kuchef version of the Thermomix. The  second model has a new improved base and non stick jug. I would love to hear your Thermo Cook stories.

Happy cooking the old fashioned way…..for now.

Mango Coconut Cream Sorbet – Kuchef Thermo Cook

 We love the Mango Coconut Cream sorbet that we have made in just minutes in our Kuchef Thermo Cook. Thermomix cooks among you would know how easy it is to make fruit sorbets and ices by blending a few simple ingredients.
Most recipes begin by milling some raw sugar (into confectioner’s sugar), adding fruit and ice and blending at high speed. We have done this successfully with raspberries and strawberries, but this time we decided to give some mango a go. The addition of cream or in this instance a tin of coconut cream enhances the favour and helps to combine the sorbet. And to let you in on a secret out family is happy to eat this without the sugar. It will not change the consistency of the sorbet if you leave out the sugar!
The image here is of the mango coconut cream sorbet while it is still in the Kuchef Thermo Cook. We tend to make a batch that feeds all seven people and then some more, so we don’t freeze it for long after it is made. It is prone to becoming hard and icy when refrozen. So, are you keen? I served this mango coconut crew sorbet in mini ice cream cones…perfect for the little mouths we have to feed each day.

  • 75 grams sugar
  • 500 grams Frozen chopped mango pieces
  • 1 can 400ml coconut cream, Frozen
  • 400 grams ice cubes

RECIPE’S PREPARATION

Pre-freeze coconut cream in ice cube tray.
Blitz sugar on Speed 9 for 10 seconds.
Add mango and blitz on Speed 9 for 10 seconds.  Add coconut cream  and blitz on Speed 9 for 10 seconds.  Add ice cubes and blend on speed 9 for a further 40 seconds to 1 minute. 
 * try this without freezing the coconut cream as well.
 

The Kuchef ThermoCook

I have a confession to make. I have watched as friends from all sides, with many and varied lifestyles and budgets have bought a Thermomix. I have even attended a gorgeous Thermomix party, where we saw all the amazing things the TMX can do and then we sampled a range of dishes. It was fun. But my big question was how useful can this product be for my family? Everyday I feed seven people, five of whom eat as adults. Will a basic TMX (2 litre capacity) work for our family? Plus the price point just seemed a little too much ($2000) when I have many other useful kitchen appliances. Would the TMX be just another expensive hazbeen in my kitchen?
Well, I have one – just not the Thermomix.
 Aldi brought out the Kuchef Thermo Multi Cooker just before Christmas and after some conversation my man and I decided to give it a go. For $349 we said Merry Christmas to each other and got started on our TMX journey. I realised that as we unwrapped and assembled our Kuchef, just how much I hate reading manuals and instruction booklets. I groaned as it seemed as though there were hundreds of extra components and parts. But the reality was that it was actually very simple to set up and use. The time, speed and temperature functions make making basic recipes a breeze.

The German made Kuchef looks different from its Thermomix cousin. It does not have the capacity to weigh ingredients as you go, it relies on a touch pad to set the time, speed and temperature as opposed to the TMX which also has a dial and it does not have a reverse mixing function. But for a sixth of the TMX price I am happy with my little machine.  

The resounding success of the TMX has meant that recipes and tips are everywhere on the web, there are online recipe communities and social media is bombarded by favourite TMX moments posted from all corners of the globe. The Kuchef Thermo Cook suits all lifestyles, but it would be especially useful for a family with very small children, for individuals who have adopted a whole food/low allergy way of eating and what to create recipes from scratch and for those gourmets who just want to have fun.
The Kuchef is real competition for the TMX and has found its place in this busy family of seven.