Monkfish Cheek Colombo Curry

May 16th, 2015

by Madame Thermomix

 

This Colombo curry made with monkfish cheeks is fragrant, gluten free and easy to make in the Thermomix

This Colombo curry made with monkfish cheeks is fragrant, gluten free and easy to make in the Thermomix

Monkfish is one of my favourite fish. It’s called “poor man’s lobster” because the meat is very similar in texture to lobster tail. Its taste lends itself to all sorts of flavour combinations, from pesto and cream to vaguely Thai and curry flavours. Monkfish cheeks were on special today at our local supermarket in Sancerre, France, and we snapped some up along with a few large prawns and made a delicious Monkfish Cheek with Colombo Curry Sauce for dinner this evening. If you can’t find monkfish cheeks – and I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if you couldn’t, LOL – you can use any firm white fish, either fillets or steaks, and it will be equally delicious.

Monkfish Cheek/White Fish Colombo Curry
I threw together this cheeky little recipe (sorry, I couldn’t pass up the gratuitous corny humour) at dinner time this evening using what I found in the veg drawer and my supermarket promotion find of monkfish cheeks. Any firm white fish will be equally delicious in this fast and easy dish. Serves 2 and can easily be doubled.

Ingredients
2 cloves garlic
2 onions, peeled
5-cm/2-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into 2-mm “coins” along the lines of the skin
1 small red chili, seeds removed
15 g sunflower or other neutral oil
1/2 a red pepper/capiscum, cut into 4 chunks
1/2 a yellow pepper/capiscum, cut into 4 chunks
1/2 a courgette/zucchini, cut into 4 chunks
1 Tbsp Colombo Spice Powder
1 x 400 g tin coconut milk
200 g fish stock – or – water
1 tsp soy sauce or to taste
1 tsp fish sauce or to taste
juice of half a lime
4 large sprigs of basil (green, Thai or purple, or a mixture of these)
6 monkfish cheeks or 250 g firm white fish, fillets or steaks
6 large raw prawns, peeled and deveined*

To garnish:
fresh basil and coriander leaves
lime juice

To accompany:
Chinese-style rice noodles – or – cooked white, brown or Basmati rice – or – zucchini/courgette spaghetti

Method

  1. Peel garlic 4 seconds/Speed 4 1/2 / Reverse Blade Function.
  2. Remove skins, weigh in oil and then drop onions and ginger onto running blades on Speed 6. Turn off immediately. Scrape down sides of TM bowl with spatula.
  3. Add red chili, chunks of red and yellow pepper and courgette and chop 2 seconds/Speed 5. Scrape down sides of TM bowl with spatula. Add Colombo Spice Powder and sauté 100° C/5 minutes/Speed Spoon.
  4. Add coconut milk, stock, basil, soy sauce and fish sauce to TM bowl. Place cod cheeks in simmering basket and insert into TM bowl. Cook 100° C/10 minutes/Speed 1. During this time, boil some water in the kettle and “cook” your rice noodles according to the packet instructions. If you’re making zucchini/courgette spaghetti, steam it in the Varoma steamer on top of your Thermomix while the sauce and fish cook in the bowl.
  5. Carefully remove the TM lid, add the prawns to the simmering basket and cook a further 5 minutes/100° C/Speed 1 or until prawns are just cooked and cod cheeks or fish fillets are cooked through. *If you can’t get raw prawns, use cooked prawns and in this step warm them only 3 or 4 minutes instead of 5.
  6. If using, carefully remove the Varoma lid and place it upside down on your worktop as a dripcatcher. Then place the Varoma dish on top of the upturned lid. Remove the TM lid and turn it upside down on your worktop. Use the handy notch in the spatula to carefully remove the simmering basket containing the fish and prawns and place it on the upturned TM lid.  Taste the sauce and adjust to taste with more soy and/or fish sauce if you’d like. If you need to cook some rice, keep your curry warm in a Thermoserver on the worktop or in an ovenproof dish in a 120° C oven. Don’t bother washing the TM bowl to cook your rice as the curry sauce will flavour it beautifully – and save on washing up 😉

Serve the fish and prawns in warmed bowls on top of rice noodles or rice or zucchini/courgette spaghetti. Pour the curry sauce over the fish and noodles/rice/zucchini, garnish with fresh basil and coriander leaves and a few drops of lime juice and enjoy!

Any firm white fish will be deliciously enhanced with this fragrant Colombo curry recipe

Any firm white fish will be deliciously enhanced with this fragrant Colombo curry recipe

Bon appétit !

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Sugar-Free Thermomix Coconut Lime Cake with Natvia

April 3rd, 2015

by Madame Thermomix

This Sugar Free Thermomix Coconut Lime Easter Cake is made with Natvia 100% Natural Sweetener and it's delicious!

This Sugar Free Thermomix Coconut Lime Easter Cake is made with Natvia 100% Natural Sweetener and it’s delicious!

Easter. Easter eggs. Chocolate eggs. Chocolate. Too much chocolate. Too much sweet stuff. Too much refined sugar. Sound familiar? Perhaps Natvia Sugar Free Natural Sweetener can help. Widely available in Australia where it is proudly made, Natvia is currently being introduced to the UK and can be purchased through Ocado and Amazon. You use it as a one-to-one volume replacement for sugar (1 cup sugar = 1 cup Natvia, minus all the calories) and I have done the testing and maths to get the weight measurements right to easily use Natvia in this Thermomix recipe for my Sugar-Free Thermomix Coconut Lime Easter Cake.

Stirred into your favourite bevvie, sprinkled on breakfast, baked into your bestest cake or swirled into a perfect icing, Natvia 100% Natural Sweeteners can help you reduce your refined sugar intake. And best of all, it tastes great!

Stirred into your favourite bevvie, sprinkled on breakfast, baked into your bestest cake or swirled into a perfect icing, Natvia 100% Natural Sweeteners can help you reduce your refined sugar intake. And best of all, it tastes great!

I had a piece of this lovely-looking cake after lunch today (it was a sacrifice for you, Dear Reader, so you would have a photo of the inside of the cake 😉 ) and it was as delicious as it was pretty. My recipe lets you get the best results baking with Natvia by beating the butter really fluffy so as to get the most air into the batter. The butterfly whisk is particularly good at this, and also beats the cream cheese into a fluffy delight of icing. And speaking of icing, Natvia’s Icing Mix is a finer ground version of this natural sweetener which makes a nice smooth icing.

This Sugar Free Thermomix Coconut Lime Easter Cake is so delicious, you'd never know it was made with Natvia 100% Natural Sweetener!

This Sugar Free Thermomix Coconut Lime Easter Cake is so delicious, you’d never know it was made with Natvia 100% Natural Sweetener!

The original recipe for this cake has it as an Easter cake, and I have duly decorated it here and in my original recipe with mini Easter eggs. And it’s so light, tasty and delicious that you can make it for any occasion, all year round. When would you serve a sugar free cake?

Sugar-Free Thermomix Coconut Lime Cake made with Natvia Sugar Free Natural Sweetener
Adapted for Thermomix from a recipe in ASDA Magazine, March 2008. Adapted for Natvia Sugar Free Natural Sweetener by Madame Thermomix. Serves 12.

Ingredients
For the cake:
2 limes (+ 2 more as below for the icing)
175 g Natvia Sugar Free Natural Sweetener Baking Pack
225 g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
1/8 tsp salt (2 good pinches)
225 g self-raising (cake) flour
50 g dessicated (dried) coconut
4 tsp baking powder (when you use a lot of rising agent with Natvia you get a nice, light cake)
4 large free-range eggs

For the icing:
2 limes
125 g Natvia Sugar Free Natural Sweetener Icing Mix
600 g full-fat cream cheese

To finish:
75 g simple syrup (from a bottle or make in your Thermomix using 75 g Natvia and 100 g water, Varoma setting/5 minutes/Speed Spoon)
12 decorative chocolate eggs

Moisten cake with lime juice and sugar syrup

Moisten cake with lime juice and simple syrup

Method

1.      Preheat the oven to 180° C/160° C fan oven. Butter 3 x 21 cm round cake tins and line the bases with baking/waxed paper.

2.      Thinly peel the zest of 2 of the limes and add to the Thermomix bowl. Weigh in175 g Natvia Baking sweetener and grind 20 seconds/Speed 10. Scrape the sides of the Thermomix bowl with the spatula.

3.      Weigh in the butter. Insert the Butterfly Whisk and whisk 3 minutes/Speed 4, stopping twice during this time to scrape the sides of the bowl. Scrape the Thermomix bowl again when finished.

Grind sugar with lime zest

Grind Natvia with lime zest

4.      Weigh in the flour and coconut. Add the eggs and the baking powder and mix 20 seconds/Speed 4. Scrape the Thermomix bowl. Mix again 5 seconds/Speed 4.

5.      Divide the batter between the three tins, level the tops and bake for 20 minutes or until well risen.

Sandwich layers with lime icing

Sandwich layers with lime icing

6.      Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Remove the lining paper and leave until cold.

7.      Mix together the juice of one of the peeled limes with 75 g of simple syrup. Using a pastry brush, moisten each cake with this liquid to ensure a soft, moist and tasty cake.

8.      Remove thin peelings from the remaining two limes and add to the Thermomix bowl. Weigh in 125 g Natvia Icing sweetener and grind 20 seconds/Speed 10. Insert the Butterfly Whisk, add the cream cheese and whip 2 minutes/Speed 4 until you have a fluffy icing. If it’s too thick, add a little lime juice and whisk a few seconds to incorporate.

Covering the top and sides of the cake is an American method to retain moisture

Covering the top and sides of the cake is an American method to retain moisture

9.      Sandwich together the three layers of cake with about one third of the icing. Use the remaining icing to seal the top and sides of the cake. This is an American method for icing cakes which locks in the moisture so your cake stays fresher for longer.

10.  Decorate the top of the cake with 12 small decorative eggs or other edible decorations like bunnies or chicks.

Bon appétit !

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Sponsored post; samples of Natvia were received free of charge.

As with any new product, use caution and do your research before consuming.

 

 

 

This Sugar Free Thermomix Coconut Lime Easter Cake is made with Natvia 100% Natural Sweetener and it's delicious!

This Sugar Free Thermomix Coconut Lime Cake made with Natvia 100% Natural Sweetener is so light and delicious and you’ll want to make it all year round!

 

 

Mexican Chicken All-in-One Varoma Meal

April 2nd, 2015

by Madame Thermomix

This Mexican Chicken All-in-One Varoma Meal is made particularly delicious by Spice Kitchen's Mexican Spice Blend

This Mexican Chicken All-in-One Varoma Meal is made particularly delicious by Spice Kitchen’s Mexican Spice Blend

Did I tell you I’m American? Yes? No? Can’t remember? Well I am, and to the dismay of my waistline I grew up eating Chilli Con Carne, guacamole, tortilla chips and tacos. I love Mexican food! So I was thrilled when I discovered a pack of Mexican Spice Blend in the samples sent to me by Spice Kitchen UK. While coming up with my recipe for a Mexican Chicken All-in-One Varoma Meal, memories of crunchy tacos overflowing with Mom’s homemade fillings came to mind – especially the lashings of sour cream on top – and the robust yet subtle spices we used to buy in the supermarket in the USA. More than just Chilli powder, a Mexican spice blend has to include things like cumin, oregano, garlic powder and some sort of gentle thickener to keep the tomatoes in the sauce from splitting out into a watery mess. And Spice Kitchen’s Mexican Spice Blend has all that and more.

I first thought I’d make a batch of Chilli Con Carne but I didn’t have any kidney beans. I know, I know, there are two schools of thought on kidney beans in chilli, the With and the Without. But let’s save that discussion for another day, shall we? I’m delighted to share with you a recipe I devised for an All-in-One Varoma Meal using chicken thighs, some peppers/capsicum and Spice Kitchen’s Mexican Spice Blend. And of course, that woefully under-utilised part of the Thermomix, the Varoma steamer. Oh yes, and some rice. You could also add some green beans or some carrot and courgette tagliatelle to round the meal out even further. ThermoHubby John scarfed his down in no time flat, saying that it was “much better than he expected.” Don’t worry, he was also very directly complimentary 😉 We both liked the subtle heat and the lovely cumin flavour coming through and mixing beautifully with the chicken. And by steaming the chicken with the skin, you retain moisture in both the flesh and the skin, and the steamed skin gets wonderfully crispy on the outside yet moist inside. Delicious!

Mexican Chicken All-in-One Varoma Meal
This is a great mid-week family meal that won’t cost an arm and a leg. You can either steam the chicken thighs with their skin and then crisp them up under the grill or remove the skin for a lower fat version that will be just as tasty. To make it go even further, add some more veg such as green beans or carrot and courgette tagliatelli to the Varoma tray during the last 15 minutes of steaming.

Chopped coriander and spsring onions are the perfect garnish for this dish. Add some chopped parsley, too, if you wish

Chopped coriander and spring onions are the perfect garnish for this dish. Add some chopped parsley, too, if you wish

Ingredients
1 bunch fresh coriander, leaves only
a pack of chicken thighs, about 1 kg / 2 lbs
a 20-gram pack of Spice Kitchen’s Mexican Spice Blend
2 tbsp. plain flour or rice flour
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 red pepper/capsicum, seeds removed and cut into strips
1 green pepper/capsicum, seeds removed and cut into strips
1 L water (1000 g)
200 g – 400 g basmati or long-grain rice
1 tsp. sea salt
1 or 2 spring onions, sliced thinly
optional: green beans or carrot and courgette tagliatelli

You will also need:
a shallow dish or a plastic bag
a foil-lined baking tray if you crisp the skin under the grill

Method

  1. Drop coriander leaves on the running blades of the Thermomix at Speed 6; turn off immediately. Scrape out with spatula and set aside.
  2. Place Mexican Spice Blend and your chosen flour into a plastic bag along with the salt and pepper. Add the chicken thighs, close the bag and shake to coat evenly. If you’re using a shallow dish, toss all ingredients (i.e. flour, spice mix, chicken thighs, salt and pepper) in the dish with your hands until evenly coated. Place the coated chicken thighs into the Varoma dish and scatter the strips of red and green peppers/capsicum on top along with about half the chopped coriander. Pop the lid onto the Varoma.
  3. Add 1000 g of water to the Thermomix bowl, place the TM lid on top and place the Varoma on the lid. Cook 40 minutes/Varoma setting/Speed 2 ½. (Optional: during this time prepare some green beans or carrot and courgette tagliatelle.)
  4. At the end of the cooking time, very carefully remove the Varoma from the Thermomix and set aside. Remove the TM lid and insert the simmering basket. Weigh in the rice and add 1 tsp. of salt. (Optional: add your prepared green beans or carrot and courgette tagliatelle to the Varoma tray and place the tray into the Varoma.) Replace the TM lid and the Varoma. Rinse the rice 10 seconds/Speed 7 and notice the wonderful Soft Start safety feature. Cook another 10 minutes/Varoma setting/Speed 2 ½. Now’s the time to preheat your oven on a high grill setting.
  5. After 10 minutes, very carefully remove the Varoma and set it aside on its upturned lid. Take the pepper/capsicum strips from the Varoma and place them on top of the partially-cooked rice in the simmering basket. Finish cooking the rice 10 minutes/Varoma setting/Speed 2 ½.
  6. Now place your skin-on chicken thighs onto a foil-lined baking tray and pop them under the grill for 5 minutes or until the spice-coated skin is nice and crispy. You might want to warm some plates in the oven while the chicken is crisping up. (If you have removed the skin from your chicken thighs, set them aside and keep them warm.)
  7. At the end of the crisping and cooking time, serve your Mexican Chicken Thighs on top of the fragrant rice and pepper/capsicum strips, along with your optional additional vegetables. Garnish with lots of chopped coriander and spring onion for a lovely, fresh contrast.
Look at the deliciously vibrant colours in this Mexican Chicken All-in-One Varoma Meal!

Look at the deliciously vibrant colours in this Mexican Chicken All-in-One Varoma Meal!

Bon appétit !

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Sponsored post: The Mexican Spice Blend used in this recipe was provided by Spice Kitchen UK and it is delicious! 

 

 

Cauliflower Couscous (Tabouleh)

March 23rd, 2015

by Madame Thermomix

Cauliflower Couscous or Tabouleh is fast and easy in your Thermomix. It's gluten free, grain free and can be fat free, too!

Cauliflower Couscous or Tabouleh is fast and easy in your Thermomix. It’s gluten free, grain free and can be fat free, too!

Flavours of mint and lemon. That subtle crunch of just-cooked couscous semolina. Add a dash of chopped parsley and it’s called Tabouleh, a Middle-Eastern staple dish that the British somewhat incorrectly call Couscous. Memories of many a delightful meal at the Auberge La Pomme d’Or in Sancerre, France, and especially one lunch where Chef Didier Turpin thoroughly enchanted us with a Cauliflower Couscous or Tabouleh.

I just happened to have a lovely organic cauliflower in my fridge along with some parsley, a bunch of fresh mint leaves and a big, juicy lemon. Perfect for creating a fat-free version of Didier’s delicious, gluten-free, grain free side dish. It’s fast and easy to make, it brings a bit of crunch to your meal, it’s just like “the real thing” and it’s really good!

Cauliflower Couscous (Tabouleh)
Gluten free, fat free if you want it to be, vegetarian, raw, fresh and delicious – this recipe has an awful lot going for it. Serves 2 or 3.

Ingredients
½ a head of cauliflower, broken into a few large pieces
the juice of half a lemon
3 or 4 stalks of parsley, leaves only
2 stalks of mint, leaves only
20 g olive oil (or more to taste; omit for a fat-free version)

The subtle crunch of raw cauliflower is enhanced by the flavours of lemon and mint in this Cauliflower Couscous or Tabouleh.

The subtle crunch of raw cauliflower is enhanced by the flavours of lemon and mint in this Cauliflower Couscous or Tabouleh.

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to your TM bowl or to a food processor and give 2 Turbo pulses (½ second each). That’s it!

Serve as a starter/first course or as a side dish with hot or cold fish, poultry, or meat.

Bon appétit !

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With or without olive oil, this Caluiflower Couscous is  deliciously gluten free and grain free.

With or without olive oil, this Caluiflower Couscous is deliciously gluten free and grain free.

Mint, lemon, cauliflower and olive oil meld together to recreate this Middle-Eastern staple.

Mint, lemon, cauliflower and olive oil meld together to recreate this Middle-Eastern staple.

 

 

 

Artichoke Vinaigrette

March 16th, 2015

by Madame Thermomix

Artichoke Vinaigrette is fast and easy to prepare in your trusty Thermomix and its handy Varoma steamer!

Artichoke Vinaigrette is fast and easy to prepare in your trusty Thermomix and its handy Varoma steamer!

The globe artichoke is a variety of a species of thistle cultivated as a food.” Our friends at Wikipedia really know how to get my appetite going, I have to say. Not! If ever I heard a less appetising description of a really delicious food…

Delicious, yes, but rather challenging to eat. One usually peels the scale-like leaves off one by one, dipping them into a lovely sauce and stripping the fleshy base off with the teeth. Like lobster, for instance, one needs to put in a bit of effort to reap the rewards. I think the rewards are definitely worth the effort!

So much for eating artichokes. What about cooking them? The first time I cooked artichokes I boiled them in a very large pot of lemony water. It took ages and boiled over of course, just when I wasn’t looking. And I had to drain them for a while in a colander to get the water out from between the leaves. Now I steam them in the handy Varoma of my trusty Thermomix and the result is impeccable, with no need to drain. And no boiling over! Then I just whisk up a tasty vinaigrette and hey presto, a delicious starter was had by all. Here’s how:

Artichoke Vinaigrette
Start with really fresh artichokes from your local market or supermarket, and finish with your choice of dipping sauce. Vinaigrette is a classic, and so are hollandaise and just plain melted butter. I prefer the acidic touch of the vinaigrette, which enhances the flavour of the artichoke. Use your favourite vinaigrette recipe or try the one below. Serves 2.

Ingredients
2 whole, raw artichokes
1000 g water
1 Tbsp. salt

For the vinaigrette
15 g red wine vinegar
45 g olive oil, sunflower oil or a mixture
1 heaping tsp. Dijon mustard
pinch of salt
several turns of freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Cut off all but about 2 inches/5 cm of the stalks and place the artichokes in the Varoma dish. Weigh the water into your TM bowl, add the salt, and close and lock the TM lid. Set the Varoma on top, put the Varoma lid on and steam your artichokes for 1 hour/Varoma setting/Speed 2 ½. See Madame Thermomix’s Top Tip below for steaming other foods at the same time.
  2. At the end of the cooking time, carefully remove the lid of the Varoma and turn it upside down on your worktop. Watch out for hot steam! Place the Varoma itself on top of the upturned lid and let your artichokes cool while you make your vinaigrette.
  3. Empty out your TM bowl and add the vinaigrette ingredients, making sure to place them to the side of the blade rather than on top of it. Mix 5 seconds/Speed 4 or until thoroughly mixed, scraping the sides of the TM bowl with the spatula. Divide between two small dipping bowls. Serve the artichokes warm or cooled, accompanied by your tasty vinaigrette. Plan on plenty of napkins to wipe your fingers 😉
Peel off the individual leaves of the artichoke and dip them in your vinagrette

Peel off the individual leaves of the artichoke and dip them in your vinagrette. Bon appétit and happy Thermomix cooking!

Madame Thermomix’s Top Tips:

  1. Don’t forget that while you’re steaming the artichokes in the Varoma you can also steam something else in the simmering basket. I cooked some gorgeous fresh peas for our main course during the last 10 minutes of steaming and kept them warm in the basket in the closed bowl while we ate our prickly friends. You could also steam some rice during the last 15 minutes and get ahead for your chosen main course. What a great way to save time and use electricity as efficiently as possible!
  2. The TM31 Varoma just holds two large artichokes and the slightly larger TM5 Varoma should hold them with ease. How many artichokes were you able to fit into your TM5 Varoma?

Bon appétit!

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Super Easy Chocolate Mousse

February 2nd, 2015

by Madame Thermomix

You can make this Super Easy Chocolate Mousse with milk chocolate or classic baking chocolate. It's especially delicious made with dark chocolate!

You can make this Super Easy Chocolate Mousse with milk chocolate or classic baking chocolate. It’s especially delicious made with dark chocolate!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love chocolate! I needed a fast and easy recipe for a really good chocolate mousse and this one is a real winner. It has only four ingredients and it took me about 10 minutes to make. Thermomix makes it so easy, the trickiest part of this chocolate mousse is actually piping it into your serving dishes 😉 If you don’t have a piping bag you can always spoon the mousse into wide-mouthed dishes or cups. So grab that bar of good chocolate you’ve been hiding in the back of the cupboard and make yourself a real treat!

Super Easy Chocolate Mousse
This recipe by Jean-Pierre Wybauw of chocolate supplier Barry Callebaut makes a delightful light mousse that lends itself to milk chocolate (usually about 35% cocoa solids), classic baking chocolate (around 54% cocoa solids) and dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids or more). According to Chef Wybauw, the milk makes the mousse lighter than if you just had chocolate and cream. Serves 4 to 8 or 9, depending on the size of the dishes or cups you use. The mousse sets up quite fast so it’s a good idea to have your serving dishes ready before you mix the whipped cream into the chocolate.

No-waste tip: Scrape as much whipped cream or other mixxture out of the bowl and around the butterfly whisk with a spatula. Then put the bowl back on the TM base and spin 1 or 2 seconds/Speed 4 to flick the rest of your mixture to the sides of the bowl where it is easy to scrape out.

No-waste tip: Scrape as much whipped cream or other mixture out of the bowl and around the butterfly whisk with a spatula. Then put the bowl back on the TM base and spin 1 or 2 seconds/Speed 4 to flick the rest of your mixture to the sides of the bowl where it is easy to scrape out.

Ingredients
250 g good quality chocolate, broken into pieces
130 g milk
50 g sugar
500 g heavy cream

Method

  1. Weigh chocolate into TM bowl and chop 5 seconds/Speed 10. Scrape sides of bowl with spatula. Weigh in the milk and melt 5 minutes/50° C/Speed 1. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula and mix 10 seconds/Speed 3 to smooth out any remaining lumps. Scrape out into a large bowl and let cool. Prepare your serving dishes (4 martini glasses, 6 coffee cups, 8 espresso cups, etc.) and your piping bag and nozzle if you’ll be using one.
  2. Thoroughly clean and degrease your TM bowl in hot soapy water, making sure to wash all the chocolate from the blade. Insert the Butterfly Whisk. Weigh in sugar and cream and whip on Speed 3 until you form soft peaks, about 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Be careful not to overwhip (this is not the time to go and write an email or make a phone call!) as you will end up with sweetened butter and have to start over again 😉
  3. Scrape the soft-whipped cream out of the TM bowl and gently fold it into your reserved melted chocolate and milk mixture. Pipe the mousse into your serving dishes and place in the refrigerator to set.

Here’s a video of Jean-Pierre Wybauw and Thermomix UK Director Janie Turner showing you how easy it is to make this Super Easy Chocolate Mousse:

Madame Thermomix’s Top Tips:

  1. After washing your bowl in hot water and before whipping cream, cool down your bowl by rinsing it in cold water. You’ll feel the difference right away!
  2. The new, improved Butterfly Whisk for the TM5 does a superb job of whipping cream. No worries with your TM31 whisk, either!
  3. Since you want to whip air into your cream with the Butterfly Whisk, do not put the Measuring Cup on the lid in this instance.
  4. No-waste tip: Scrape as much whipped cream or other mixture out of the bowl and around the butterfly whisk with a spatula. Then put the bowl back on the TM base and spin 1 or 2 seconds/Speed 4 to flick the rest of your mixture to the sides of the bowl where it is easy to scrape out.
This rich yet light chocolate mousse is made with only four ingredients and takes about 10 minutes to make

This rich yet light chocolate mousse is made with only four ingredients and takes about 10 minutes to make

I served my mousse in espresso cups at the end of an 8-course wine tasting dinner where we didn’t need a big dessert. What kind of dishes do you serve yours in?

I served my mousse in espresso cups as we didn’t need a big dessert. What kind of dishes do you serve yours in?

I served my mousse in espresso cups as we didn’t need a big dessert. What kind of dishes do you serve yours in?

Bon appétit !

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Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free Chewy Peanut Butter Teff Brownies

January 24th, 2015

by Madame Thermomix

Madame Thermomix's Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies are not only gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free, they're scrumptious to boot!

Madame Thermomix’s Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies are not only gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free, they’re scrumptious to boot!

The gentle folk at MyProtein were kind enough to send me samples of Teff flour, coconut oil and peanut butter and asked me to come up with a recipe to showcase them. The road to reaching this recipe for Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies was a bit of a rocky one, but I think you’re going to love the finished product 😉

My first reaction to this challenge was Teff flour? What’s that? I’d never heard of it before. According to MyProtein and many other internet sources, “Teff Superfine Flour is an annual grass and is native to the northern Ethiopian Highlands of East Africa. Teff Flour is considered a complete source of protein as it contains all the essential amino acids, as well as being a source of calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and thiamine.” Wikipedia also states that it can be used by coeliacs because “the gluten in teff does not contain the a-gliadin-fraction that causes a reaction in those with coeliac disease)”.

These Chewy Gluten Free Peanut Butter Brownies are so easy to make in your Thermomix, you can get the kids to help ;-)

These Chewy Gluten Free Peanut Butter Brownies are so easy to make in your Thermomix, you can get the kids to help ;-)

Throughout my recipe testing I used Teff flour in a variety of ways, including as a very successful thickening agent for the gravy for my Thermomix Varoma-steamed whole chicken. Its nutty flavour enhanced the chicken stock and made one of the tastiest gravies I’ve ever made. I found that Teff flour needs a good rising agent for baking, most likely due to the tiny grain from which it is ground and the superfine flour it produces. My first recipe attempts revolved around a classic sponge based on the 4/4 method where you use the “egg weight” of flour, sugar and butter such as used in my recipes for quick sponge cake and Magic Minute Microwave Mug Cake. My results were dry and heavy and I was disappointed. Back to the drawing board for me, then.

MyProtein was kind enough to send me their absolutely gorgeous Coconpure Certified Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and some Natural Peanut Butter with no added sugar or salt along with the Superfine Teff Flour and I thought these might combine nicely into some peanut butter brownies. My, oh my, I was right! These Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies are absolutely superb. They are moist and chewy with a subtle peanut taste, a hint of caramel and that perfect satin top. They contain no refined sugar, no dairy products and are reputedly safe for coeliacs. And with Thermomix at your side they are ready to go in the oven in just a couple of minutes so you can make way too often 😉

Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies
Original recipe by “Jo” on allrecipes.com. Makes 16 brownies in one 20×20 cm/9×9 inch square baking tin.

Ingredients
100 g peanut butter
150 g coconut oil plus more for the tin
250 g coconut sugar – or – rapadura – or – Muscovado– or – your chosen unrefined sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp. vanilla extract
125 g Teff flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt

Method

Preheat oven to 180° C/350° F/160° C Fan. Grease a 20 x 20 cm/9 x 9-inch baking pan.

  1. Add all ingredients to TM bowl and mix 15 seconds/Speed 5. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula and mix again 15 seconds/Speed 5.
  2. Scrape batter into your greased tin. Spin the blades 5 seconds/Speed 4 to get the last of the batter from the bowl – it’s too delicious to waste!
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in your preheated oven, or until the top just springs back when touched. (Over baking produces a more cake-like brownie rather than this moist, chewy version.) Cool and cut into 16 squares.

I drizzled my brownies with some more peanut butter but there are many other variations if you want to fancy them up a bit. Here are some I thought of:

Variations:

  • Drizzle with melted peanut butter or chocolate
  • Top with chocolate or peanut butter icing
  • Mix chunks of chocolate or other sweets (M&Ms?) into the batter

What healthy variations can you think of?

Bon appétit !

 

With a coffee for the adults or a healthy juice for the kids, these Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies have a subtle peanut butter taste with a hint of caramel

With a coffee for the adults or a healthy juice for the kids, these Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies have a subtle peanut butter taste with a hint of caramel

 

Dead Easy Bolognaise Sauce

January 14th, 2015

by Madame Thermomix

Madame Thermomix's Dead Easy Bolognaise Sauce comes out nice and chunky and hey - it's dead easy to make ;-)

Madame Thermomix’s Dead Easy Bolognaise Sauce comes out nice and chunky and hey – it’s dead easy to make ;-)

Spaghetti Bolognaise, or Spag Bol to its intimates, is a favourite dish around the world – and especially with Thermomix owners because it is so fast and easy to make in our Best Friend in the Kitchen. Everyone seems to have their own version with varying ingredients and varying complexity of cooking procedures like Kirrin’s Kitchen’s idea to keep the mince nice and chunky by cooking it in the internal steamer basket. Well, mostly because I would eat Spag Bol by the bucketful if I were left to my own devices and desires, I don’t make it too often. This Saturday lunchtime was an exception. Spaghetti Bolognaise was the perfect lunchtime treat. I scrounged around the fridge and the cupboard, grabbed what I had to hand, and came up with this very tasty, super fast and Dead Easy Bolognaise Sauce recipe.

Vary your Bolognaise Sauce with whatever you have to hand: onion, garlic, herbs, carrot, celery, beef, chicken, pork... the possibilities are endles and it's still dead easy!

Vary your Bolognaise Sauce with whatever you have to hand: onion, garlic, herbs, carrot, celery, beef, chicken, pork… the possibilities are endles and it’s still dead easy!

Dead Easy Bolognaise Sauce
This recipe will work with pretty much whatever mince you have to hand such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey or veal, or a mixture of any of these. Don’t break up the block of meat, let the Thermomix do it for you and your mince will be chunkier. I used only basic aromatic vegetables (onion and garlic) but you can also add things like celery and carrot to lighten it up, hide some vegetables for the kids, and add more depth of flavour. One ingredient my Mom always used is tomato paste or tomato puree. It adds a more intense tomato flavour as well as a bit of thickness. You can be a purist and use fresh tomatoes or be practical and use a tin. Whole peeled tomatoes yield a chunkier sauce than crushed tomatoes, but both are great. So open up the fridge and the cupboards, grab some likely ingredients, and go to town!

Ingredients
2 cloves garlic, peeled (or more to taste!)
1 large onion, halved
1 red or green pepper/capiscum
15 g olive oil or any other cooking oil you have to hand
400 g minced beef (I used 5% lean and it was gorgeous; 15% and 20% work as well)
400 g whole peeled tinned tomatoes, (if you’ve got crushed toms they’re fine, too)
30 g tomato paste/puree
½ tsp. dried or 1 tsp. fresh herbs (such as rosemary, oregano, parsley, mixed herbs, herbes de provence, or again whatever you have to hand)
½ tsp. salt or to taste
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper or to taste

How do you like to serve your Bolognaise Sauce?

How do you like to serve your Bolognaise Sauce?

Method

  1. If required, peel your garlic in the Thermomix, 4 seconds/Reverse Blade Function/Speed 4 ½. Remove skins and leave cloves in bowl. Add onion, pepper/capiscum and oil and chop 2 seconds/Speed 5. Scrape sides of TM bowl with spatula.
  2. Sauté 5 minutes/100° C/Reverse Blade Function/Speed 1.
  3. Add mince to bowl (no need to break it up) and remaining ingredients. Cook 10 minutes/100° C/Reverse Blade Function/Speed Spoon/Measuring Cup off. Place the internal steaming basket on the lid of your Thermomix to stop spatters.

Voilà. Bolognaise Sauce. That was dead easy, wasn’t it?

Serve over fresh Thermomix pasta or make lasagne. You can use this sauce for a quick Moussaka, too, or spoon it over grilled aubergines for an easy treat. My Thermomix just whipped me up some polenta while I was editing this blog post, and golly is it gorgeous with Bolognaise Sauce on top!

Now there’s one thing I’ve not yet done, and that’s cook my dried spaghetti in the Thermomix. I’ve seen video clips of this for the TM31, and here’s Thermomix UK’s video of pesto and pasta in the TM5. I admit I cooked the pasta on the stovetop while the Bolognaise was cooking in the Thermomix. Next time I’ll be brave and cook my dried past in my trusty Thermomix 😉

There must be hundreds of other ways to serve it. How do you like to serve your Bolognaise Sauce?

Bon appétit !

PRINT THIS RECIPE

 

 

 

Coffee Walnut Cake

January 10th, 2015

by Madame Thermomix

Madame Thermomix's Coffee Walnut Cake is a marriage made in heaven for two complentary flavours

Madame Thermomix’s Coffee Walnut Cake is a marriage made in heaven for two complentary flavours

I had never tasted Coffee Walnut Cake until I moved to England with ThermoHubby John. In the UK, this marriage made in heaven for two complementary tastes is a staple in tearooms and coffee shops. There’s a rather retro feel about it which I quite like. I made my first Coffee Walnut Cake from a recipe I found in one of the “Favourite” series of booklets you see in the gift shops of stately homes and the like, and it’s one of the very first recipes I adapted for Thermomix. I used to make it nearly every week for the tearoom at The Antiques Warehouse in Farnham, Surrey. The page is covered in blobs of icing and my notes for the Thermomix version. It’s like finding an old friend and LOL, the rest is history 😉

There's a lovely coffee flavour in both th cake and the icing of this Coffee Walnut Cake

There’s a lovely coffee flavour in both the cake and the icing of this Coffee Walnut Cake

The “Favourite” recipe is delicious but since it is basically a coffee sponge there are no walnuts in the cake itself. You may recall that we have two very fruitful walnut trees here in France, so I of course wanted a recipe where I could use some of our home-grown and self-harvested nuts. A plain walnut cake with no coffee in it is a staple of French baking, but there don’t seem to be many French recipes combining both flavours. I did find a recipe posted by an anonymous Internet user on French cookery website Elle à Table. It seems to me that it’s an English recipe rather than a French one, because it uses self-raising flour – commonplace in the UK but unusual in France.

So here I am on the one hand with a personally tried and tested recipe that is missing the walnuts in the cake, and on the other hand a recipe I haven’t tried that does. What to do? Simples. Make two cakes and compare! :) :) To my waistline’s dismay, that’s exactly what I did. The Elle à Table recipe is nice but the cake is a bit dry, and the icing from the “Favourite” recipe is a bit heavy. So, I took the “Favourite” recipe cake and added some walnuts, and took the icing from the Elle à Table recipe, and I came up with a moist, nutty cake with a lovely coffee flavour in both the cake and the icing. Enjoy!

This recipe combines the very first recipe that I ever adpated for Thermomix and one I found online

This version combines the very first recipe that I ever adpated for Thermomix and one I found online

Thermomix Coffee Walnut Cake
Original recipes from More Favourite Cake Recipes, A Teatime Collection compiled by Lucy Rose (Printed and Published by J. Salmon Ltd.) and French cookery website Elle à Table. Adapted for Thermomix by Madame Thermomix. Makes one 7-inch two-layer cake serving 8 to 12 depending on how greedy you and your guests are 😉

Ingredients
For the cake:
80 g chopped walnuts
3 eggs
2 tsp. instant coffee granules
200 g butter at room temperature,* diced
175 g sugar
175 g self raising flour – or – 170 g plain flour and 1 ½ tsp. baking powder

For the icing:
45 g (3 Tbsp.) milk
1 Tbsp. instant coffee granules
200 g icing sugar (make your own in your Thermomix!)
150 g butter at room temperature,* diced
Walnut halves to decorate

METHOD

  1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 170° C/150° C fan. Grease and line two shallow 18-cm/7-inch sandwich (cake) tins. If required, chop walnuts 3 to 4 seconds/Speed 5. Tip out and reserve.
  2. Mix eggs and instant coffee 10 seconds/Speed 5. Scrape sides of TM bowl with spatula.
  3. Weigh in butter and sugar and mix 10 seconds/Speed 7. Scrape sides of TM bowl with spatula. (At this stage your mixture could be oddly lumpy-looking. Don’t worry, it will become lovely and smooth in Step 4.)
  4. Madame Thermomix’s Top Tip: Scrape out as much batter as you can with the spatula, then return the bowl to the Thermomix base and whizz 5 seconds/Speed 5 to spin the remaining batter to the sides of the bowl.

    Madame Thermomix’s Top Tip: Scrape out as much batter as you can with the spatula, then return the bowl to the Thermomix base and whizz 5 seconds/Speed 5 to spin the remaining batter to the sides of the bowl.

    Add self-raising flour or plain flour plus baking powder and mix 1 ½ minutes/Speed 5; scrape down. Add walnuts and mix 8 seconds/Speed 3/Reverse Blade Function. Divide the batter between your tins. Madame Thermomix’s Top Tip: Scrape out as much batter as you can with the spatula, then return the bowl to the Thermomix base and whizz 5 seconds/Speed 5 to spin the remaining batter to the sides of the bowl. Scrape the rest of the batter into your tins. #nowaste!

  5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the centre comes out clean, or until the top springs back when lightly touched with a finger. Let cool completely on a wire rack before turning out. Wash and thoroughly dry your TM bowl, blade and lid.
  6. Make the icing: If required, grind your icing sugar by weighing in 200 g of granulated sugar and grinding 30 seconds/Speed 10. Tip out and reserve. Add milk and instant coffee to TM bowl and mix 10 seconds/Speed 3. Scrape down and repeat. Add butter and icing sugar to bowl and mix 30 seconds, gradually increasing speed to Speed 5. (This should help control the cloud of snowy sugar from flying up the sides and onto the lid of your bowl!) Scrape down and mix again a few seconds if required.
  7. Assemble the cake: Unmould the cakes and place one of them upside down on a serving plate. For an English-style cake, spread half the icing on the bottom cake and place the other cake on top, right side up so that the flat sides are together. Spread the rest of the icing on top. For an American-style cake, spread about 1/3 of the icing on the bottom cake and place the other cake on top, right side up as before, so that the flat sides are together. Spread the remainder of the icing on the top and on the sides of the cake. (This American method seals your cake and keeps it moist longer.) Decorate your cake with the walnut halves.
With a vague retro feel about it, Coffee Walnut Cake is a staple in tearooms and coffee shops throughout the UK.

With a vague retro feel about it, Coffee Walnut Cake is a staple in tearooms and coffee shops throughout the UK.

*Madame Thermomix’s Top Tip for softening butter, from Thermomix UK Director Janie Turner: Soften your cold butter by cutting it into 1-inch/2-cm cubes and mixing at 40° C/Speed 4 for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on the amount. E.g. 175 g butter = 30 seconds; 250 g butter = 40 seconds; 350 g butter = 1 minute. This works brilliantly and I’d recommend you not exceed these timings without checking so that you don’t melt your butter 😉

Bon appétit !

PRINT THIS RECIPE

 

 

 

Je suis Charlie

January 8th, 2015

by Madame Thermomix

Je suis Charlie


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