“Free” Brownies: Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Grain Free, Nut Free, Paleo. Simply delicious!

October 30th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

Free Brownies are about as close as you can get to good for you in a delicious treat!

Free Brownies are about as close as you can get to good for you in a delicious treat!

I first saw this sugar-free, grain-free and nut-free brownie recipe mentioned in a Tweet by @ThermoDad who linked to it from ThermOMG, a blog written by four mums in Australia. It’s dead easy to make and about the closest you’ll get to good for you in the delicious treats department. Much to my waistline’s dismay I just made my second batch of “Free Brownies” in less than a week and ThermoHubby John and I devoured half of it after a full meal and a bottle of wine. Which reminds me, they go superbly well with a nice glass of red wine ;-) I have tweaked their recipe ever so slightly by adding an optional pinch of salt and indicating an amount of vanilla to use. Otherwise, the ThermOMG ladies did a fab job adapting the original recipe to be made in our Best Friend in the Kitchen!

Your "Free" Brownies batter should be thick, dark and very hard to resist!

Your “Free” Brownies batter should be thick, dark and very hard to resist!

“Free” Brownies: Gluten Free, Grain Free, Sugar Free, Nut Free, Paleo
Easy to make and about as close to good for you as you’re likely to get in a delicious chocolate treat. Sweetened with dates and bound with eggs and the good fats in coconut oil. Original recipe by American wellness expert and gluten-free guru Elana Amsterdam, found on Jamie Oliver’s blog. Interestingly enough, ThermOMG reduced the original cooking time by half and you can see the difference between Elana’s photos and mine. My brownies are gorgeously moist and moreish :) Makes one 10-inch square tin of 16 brownies and up to 16 happy campers!

Ingredients
200 g dark chocolate, broken into squares
½ tsp baking powder
200 g pitted dates
55 g coconut oil
3 eggs
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract – or – the seeds of one vanilla bean

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160° C and line a 10-inch square pan with baking parchment or a silicone sheet. Add chocolate and baking powder to TM bowl and chop 5 seconds/Speed 8.
  2. Weigh in dates and chop 5 seconds/Speed 6.
  3. Add eggs, vanilla and coconut oil and mix 20 seconds/Speed 7. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula, check consistency and mix a few more seconds if necessary. You should have a thick dark mixture with very small chunks of chocolate and dates in it – very hard to resist licking the spatula!
  4. Pour into pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is glossy and the inside is just holding together. Do not overcook or your brownies will go dry. I cooked both batches for 18 minutes and this average time worked well in my oven so be sure to adjust the timing to yours. Cool in pan for 30 minutes to an hour, cut into squares and dust with icing sugar.

Bon appétit !

These "Free" Brownies are absolutely gorgeous with a nice glass of red wine ;-)

These “Free” Brownies are absolutely gorgeous with a nice glass of red wine ;-)

 

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And what is your favourite brownie recipe? Leave a comment at the bottom and share the Thermo love!

 

 

 

 

Courgette (Zucchini) Nut Bread

October 19th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

Madame Thermomix's Zucchini/Courgette Nut Bread is delicious with a cuppa and makes a great foodie gift

Madame Thermomix’s Zucchini/Courgette Nut Bread is delicious with a cuppa and makes a great foodie gift

When I was a child in Scituate, Massachusetts, my Mom had a vegetable garden and I was often given the task of weeding it. I didn’t enjoy weeding as much as I enjoyed harvesting the different vegetables that very soon after appeared on my plate. Some vegetables grew slowly and yielded little, such as my favourite white sweet corn, while others seemed to double in size and ripen overnight, yielding vast crops of such things as zucchini or courgettes. Faced year after year with gluts of gorgeous green squash, Mom consulted her cookbooks and came up with various recipes now forgotten and one that sticks in my mind for being a real keeper. That keeper of a recipe is for zucchini nut bread, from our old standard Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. “What, a bread made from courgettes?” I hear you say. Yes, just as we make a cake from carrots, Zucchini or Courgette Nut Bread is a delicious loaf cake flavoured with cinnamon and nutmeg, a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea, glass of milk or cup of coffee. Transform your glut of courgettes or zucchini into this delicious loaf and pop it into the freezer to make ahead and enjoy all year long. And how about making muffins or mini loaves as brilliant Christmas and holiday gifts? Sounds to me like a great way to avoid waste!

I baked my Zucchini/Courgette Nut Bread in a silicone mini loaf pan and reduced the cooking time to about 18 minutes. Perfect for gifting!

I baked my Zucchini/Courgette Nut Bread in a silicone mini loaf pan and reduced the cooking time to about 18 minutes. Perfect for gifting!

Courgette (Zucchini) Nut Bread
The grated lemon peel in this recipe really livens up the flavour and makes this a super recipe for using up gluts of courgettes, zucchini or marrow. Whatever you call it, it’s good! See Madame Thermomix’s Top Tips for other ways to bake and serve this delicious loaf. I love it at breakfast ;-) The nuts are optional, it’s just as good without. Perfect for Christmas and other gifts. Make ahead and freeze for parties, gifts and year-round delights. Recipe adapted by Madame Thermomix from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. Makes one standard loaf, one 20 cm/8 inch deep-sided round cake, 24 muffins or 8 mini loaf cakes. Prep time 2 minutes (thank you Thermomix!); bake/Varoma steam time 60 minutes; 10 minutes cooling time.

Ingredients
60 g walnuts or pecans (optional)

2.5 cm/1-inch piece of lemon peel
200 g sugar

200 g plain flour
a 2.5 cm/1-inch piece of cinnamon stick (or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon)
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. fine sea salt
½ tsp. baking soda (bicarbonate)
¼ tsp. baking powder

200 g unpeeled courgette/zucchini, cut into large chunks
1 egg
110 g sunflower oil

Don't forget that you can steam your sweet and savoury cakes in Thermomix's amazing Varoma Steamer

Don’t forget that you can steam your sweet and savoury cakes in Thermomix’s amazing Varoma Steamer

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180° C/350° F. If using, chop nuts 1 second/Speed 5; tip out and reserve. Grind sugar and lemon peel 20 seconds/Speed 10.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix 10 to 20 seconds/Speed 5 until you have a smooth cake batter.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the TM bowl and mix in the reserved nuts with the spatula.
  4. Pour the batter into a loaf tin, greased and lined with baking paper. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the centre comes out clean.
  5. Cool in tin for 10 minutes. Remove from tin and let cool thoroughly on a cooling rack. Wrap loaf in clingfilm and store overnight before slicing – if you can wait that long!

Madame Thermomix’s Top Tips:

  1. Make mini-loaves or muffins in silicone or metal tins; bake 15 to 18 minutes or until a pick near the centre comes out clean. Eat some and freeze some; perfect for gifting, too!
  2. Pour batter into a deep-sided 20 cm/8 inch cake tin and steam in your Varoma for 55 to 60 minutes or until a pick near the centre comes out clean. It should be the moistest cake you’ve ever made!
This Zucchini or Courgette Nut Bread is delicious with coffee, tea, or a glass of milk. Serve it just about any time of the day for a nice treat. Makes a great gift, too!

This Zucchini or Courgette Nut Bread is delicious with coffee, tea, or a glass of milk. Serve it just about any time of the day for a nice treat. Makes a great gift, too!

Bon appétit ! 

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Sabu’s Goan Pork Vin d’Alho (Vindaloo)

October 14th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

Sabu's authentic Goan Pork Vin d'Alho is fast and easy to make in your Thermomix

Sabu’s authentic Goan Pork Vin d’Alho is fast and easy to make in your Thermomix

Back in 2011 I sold a Thermomix TM31 chef’s package to an enterprising young Goan chef in North London. Sabu asked me to check over his authentic recipe for Vin d’Alho to make sure he was using his Thermomix to the best of its abilities. During our demonstration Sabu not only shared his recipe with me but also the origins of the dish, which is made with vinegar (Vin) and garlic (Alho). Transformations over the years onto Indian restaurant menus have mutated the dish into Vindaloo and the misconception that it includes potatoes (aloo). (For more information, read this interesting rendering of the history behind True Vindaloo.) I am delighted to share with you this delicious, authentic Goan Pork Vin d’Alho recipe that is simple to make in the Thermomix and superbly tasty. If you’d like to make it ahead for a party or a family gathering, I also include instructions for the superb Vin d’Alho sauce or marinade to serve with already-cooked pork. It’s just another way that Thermomix helps you cater for a crowd!

The gorgeous ingredients for Sabu's authentic Goan Pork Vindaloo include pork shoulder, ginger, onions, dried chillies and spices

The gorgeous ingredients for Sabu’s authentic Goan Pork Vindaloo include pork shoulder, ginger, onions, dried chillies and spices

Sabu’s Goan Pork Vin d’Alho (Vindaloo)
An authentic version of a well-known curry that has bags of flavour without being overly sour or hot. Serves 4 to 6. Prep time 10 minutes; cook time 60 minutes. See below for a method to make just the sauce, which can be used as a marinade as well. Many thanks to chef Sabu Samarnath for the original recipe!

Ingredients
16-18 cloves garlic (about 2 heads – yes, this much!)

Spices:
1 Tbsp. dried red chillies (this makes a pretty hot curry so use more or less to taste)
1 Tbsp. whole cumin seeds or 1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
2.5 cm/1 inch cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves

5 cm/2 inch piece ginger, cut into 3 mm “coins” along the lines on the skin
4 medium onions or 8 small onions, peeled and halved

15 g oil (Sabu uses rapeseed oil; I used sunflower oil)

150 g malt or cider vinegar
250 g chicken stock
500 g pork shoulder or belly, cut into 2.5 cm/1 inch cubes

Here's how I peeled 18 cloves of garlic in my Thermomix, in no time at all and without getting my hands smelly! Top left: After just 5 seconds, my garlic is peeled. Top right: ere I've flooded the bowl with water and you can see that all the skins have floated to the top. Bottom right: I used a slotted spoon to scoop out the skins. Bottom left: Among the many uses of the handy Thermomix simmering basket is as a reverse strainer. I popped it into the bowl and gently pushed it down, then held it in with my thumb and strained out the gorgeous, flavourful garlic water to use in soup, stock or even bread. Centre: Here's my peeled and roughly chopped garlic, ready for my curry!

Here’s how I peeled 18 cloves of garlic in my Thermomix, in no time at all and without getting my hands smelly! Top left: After just 5 seconds, my garlic is peeled. Top right: ere I’ve flooded the bowl with water and you can see that all the skins have floated to the top. Bottom right: I used a slotted spoon to scoop out the skins. Bottom left: Among the many uses of the handy Thermomix simmering basket is as a reverse strainer. I popped it into the bowl and gently pushed it down, then held it in with my thumb and strained out the gorgeous, flavourful garlic water to use in soup, stock or even bread. Centre: Here’s my peeled and roughly chopped garlic, ready for my curry!

Method

  1. Peel garlic 5 seconds/Speed 4/Reverse Blade Function. To remove skins, flood the bowl with water to the half-litre mark (or enough to cover all the garlic) and watch the skins float to the top. Scoop out the skins with a slotted spoon. Insert the simmering basket, hold it down with your thumb or your TM spatula and pour the gorgeous garlic water into a jug and save for another use. Tip out and reserve the peeled garlic (or leave it and switch to your second Thermomix bowl).
  2. Clean and dry your TM bowl. (Optional: toast spices 5 minutes/Varoma setting/Speed 1.) Grind spices 1 minute/Speed 10. Use a pastry brush to wipe ground spices from the lid and sides of TM bowl.
  3. Turn the blades to Speed 8 and drop ginger “coins,” peeled garlic and onions onto running blades; turn off. Scrape sides of bowl with spatula. Add oil and blend 1 minute/Speed 10. Scrape down.
  4. Add vinegar, stock and cubed pork. Cook 60 minutes/100° C/Speed 1/Reverse Blade Function or until pork is tender and sauce has thickened and reduced. Taste pork for tenderness and sauce for consistency, use your judgement and decide if you’d like to cook it some more.

Madame Thermomix’s Top Tips:

  1. For a lovely thick sauce, cook 40 minutes on Varoma setting, then 20 minutes at 100° C.
  2. Harness your Thermomix’s power and steam some vegetables in the Varoma steamer during the last 10 or 15 minutes of cooking.
  3. Transfer your cooked Vin d’Alho (and Varoma-steamed vegetables) to a Thermoserver or oven-proof dish and keep warm while you steam some rice in the internal steamer basket.
  4. Don’t skimp on the garlic, it’s what gives this dish its fabulous flavour ;-)
  5. Use your Thermomix’s Reverse Blade Function to peel all those garlic cloves. I’ve made you a picture collage showing all the steps.
  6. And use the gorgeous garlic-flavoured water in soup, stock, bread or even to steam rice!
  7. A pastry brush is really helpful for wiping ground spices (and icing sugar) from the lid and sides of the TM bowl. It gets nicely around the blade and around the sealing ring and you don’t lose any of your freshly ground spice or sugar.
  8. Try this with chicken or beef and adjust the cooking times accordingly: less for chicken, more for beef. I use chicken thighs for added moistness and better texture. Ooh, and nice and tender beef chuck or neck would be gorgeous!
Sabu Samarnath's authentic Goan Pork Vin d'Alho, made in the Thermomix, of course!

Sabu Samarnath’s authentic Goan Pork Vin d’Alho, made in the Thermomix, of course!

Catering for a Crowd with Thermomix

Sabu bought his Thermomix for his London takeaway curry outlet. For 30 servings of Vin d’Alho, Sabu pre-cooks the pork in the oven (115g cooked meat per person) and uses his Thermomix to make the sauce. Thermomix really is an extra pair of hands in the kitchen! While the meat is in the oven you can batch the sauce to make enough for your family gathering or other foodie event.

Here is Madame Thermomix’s method for making Sabu’s delicious Vin d’Alho sauce. I estimate that one batch would make enough for 8 to 10 servings and that you could double the proportions and not overfill the bowl. Please note that I haven’t made a double batch yet and I’d love to hear your experience with this. Please give it a try and leave a comment!

Sabu’s delicious Vin d’Alho sauce or marinade
Prep/cook time under 30 minutes per batch. Each batch makes enough sauce for 8 to 10 servings. If doubled, increase cooking time in Step 4 to 10 minutes and in Step 6 to about 15 minutes. As you would if cooking on a stove or hob, use your judgement as to when this sauce has reached the consistency you’re looking for.

Ingredients
16-18 cloves garlic (about 2 heads)

Spices:
1 Tbsp. dried red chillies
1 Tbsp. whole cumin seeds or 1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
2.5 cm/1 inch cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves

5 cm/2 inch piece ginger, cut into 3 mm “coins” along the lines on the skin
4 medium onions or 8 small onions, peeled and halved

15 g rapeseed or sunflower oil

150 g malt or cider vinegar
250 g chicken stock

Method

  1. Peel garlic 5 seconds/Speed 4/Reverse Blade Function. To remove skins, flood the bowl with water to the half-litre mark and watch the skins float to the top. Scoop out the skins with a slotted spoon. Insert the simmering basket, hold it down with your thumb and pour the gorgeous garlic water into a jug and save for another use. Tip out and reserve the peeled garlic (or leave it and switch to your second Thermomix bowl).
  2. Clean and dry your Thermomix bowl. (Optional: toast spices 5 minutes/Varoma setting/Speed 1.) Grind spices 1 minute/Speed 10. Use a pastry brush to get all the ground spices from the lid and sides back into the TM bowl.
  3. Turn the blades to Speed 8 and drop ginger “coins,” peeled garlic and onions onto running blades; turn off. Scrape sides of bowl with spatula. Add oil and blend 1 minute/Speed 10. Scrape down.
  4. Cook 7 minutes/Varoma setting/Speed 1 or until the oil separates from the spice (you’ll see it shimmering on the top).
  5. Add vinegar. Blend 20 seconds/Speed 10.
  6. Add chicken stock and cook 100° C/10 minutes/Speed 2.

Transfer cooked pork, chicken or beef to a large pot or casserole and mix in the sauce. I would make this a day or two ahead, let the flavours meld and develop, and reheat on party day. Think chafing dish on a lovely buffet table and serve warm with rice and your choice of steamed vegetables.

Bon appétit !

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Steam Cooking with Miele at Alain Ducasse School of Cooking in Paris

October 8th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

Chef William of Ecole de Cuisine Alain Ducasse is photographed by the Regal magazine crew as he takes our lunch out of the Miele steam oven

Chef William of Ecole de Cuisine Alain Ducasse is photographed by the Regal magazine crew as he takes our lunch out of the Miele steam oven

Whenever I’m asked what equipment makes a good kitchen, I always reply that all you need is a Thermomix, a good knife and a really good oven. Madame Thermomix was lucky enough to participate in a steam cooking class organised by the French cooking magazine Régal and Miele kitchen appliances at the Alain Ducasse School of Cooking in Paris. It was a wonderful day filled with recipes, techniques and new friendships. Plus of course, the chance to discover the range of Miele steam ovens, designed to give 20 years of reliable high performance and trouble-free operation.

The classroom kitchen at Ecole de Cuisine Alain Ducasse is equipped not only with a bank of Miele steam ovens but also with a Thermomix!

The classroom kitchen at Ecole de Cuisine Alain Ducasse is equipped not only with a bank of Miele steam ovens but also with a Thermomix!

As I see every day with my Thermomix and its brilliant Varoma steamer, steam cooking is very healthy, very tasty, and very easy. It can be fat free. You can add gobs of flavour with herbs and spices. You can steam meat, fish, poultry and vegetables. With a Miele steam oven you can roast and steam at the same time, so for instance your roast chicken will be über moist on the inside and nice and crispy on the outside. Your breads and pastries will take on new meaning as the steam enhances their rising and baking, too. I know that I will do my best to include a steam oven in my teaching kitchen here in France where I’ll be running cooking retreats, so do you hear that, Miele ?  ;-)

Behind the scenes of a Régal Magazine photo shoot

Behind the scenes of a Régal Magazine photo shoot

Many thanks to Régal magazine, to the Alain Ducasse School of Cooking and to Miele France for this wonderful opportunity to discover new friends, new techniques and new products for my new cooking retreats kitchen!

Bon appétit !

Madame Thermomix’s Top Tip: Click on any of the photos below to see them full size and without any overlay of text.

Ecole de Cuisine Alain Ducasse in ParIs offers cooking classes in French and in English

Ecole de Cuisine Alain Ducasse in ParIs offers cooking classes in French and in English

Madame Thermomix helps Chef William make pesto

Madame Thermomix helps Chef William make pesto

Gamberoni, a type of prawn, were the star of our lunch and steamed beautifully in th Miele steam ovens

Gamberoni, a type of prawn, were the star of our lunch and steamed beautifully in th Miele steam ovens

Chef William of ECAD shows us how to prepare the gamberoni

Chef William of ECAD shows us how to prepare the gamberoni

Students of our cooking class preparing pak choi

Students of our cooking class preparing pak choi

Getting ready to plate up

Getting ready to plate up our first course

Plating up our steamed gamberoni

Plating up our steamed gamberoni

Preparing dim sum

Preparing dim sum

Chef William checks the bank of Miele steam ovens

Chef William checks the bank of Miele steam ovens

Don't forget to take notes!

Don’t forget to take notes!

Bon appétit !

Bon appétit !

If you read French, Régal magazine shares the latest and the best in French cooking trends, complete with loads of yummy recipes

If you read French, Régal magazine shares the latest and the best in French cooking trends, complete with loads of yummy recipes. Bon appétit !

 

 

 

Thermomix France Plaited Brioche

October 2nd, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

Thermomix Plaited Brioche is easy, delicious and oh so special

Thermomix Plaited Brioche is easy, delicious and oh so special

Brioche is a traditional French sweet breakfast treat, made from flour, eggs, sugar and milk. It’s that funny-shaped thing that vaguely resembles a Dalek in fancy dress, a channelled lump with a ball on top, you know? In a more romantic vein, you’ll very often see beautiful brioche adorning the display cases of French bakeries or boulangeries in Paris and all around the country. This recipe for a plaited brioche comes from Thermomix France and is so fast and easy to make it is used in the basic TM31 demonstration because it shows the kneading function of our Best Friend in the Kitchen and also encourages guest participation to plait it into one or more lovely – and delicious – brioches. So grab some friends or the kids and have a brioche party!

Here's my Thermomix Plaited Brioche ready for the oven, along with some burger buns I also made from the same dough

Here’s my Thermomix Plaited Brioche ready for the oven, along with some burger buns I also made from the same dough

Thermomix France Plaited Brioche
This is a very easy and very versatile recipe for a real treat. Serves 8 and can easily be halved to serve just 4. There are lots of ways to jazz it up, too so be sure to look at Madame Thermomix’s Top Tips at the end of the recipe. Requires 8 minutes in the Thermomix and 30 minutes rising time.

Ingredients
200 g milk
80 g sugar
40 g fresh yeast
1 tsp. orange blossom water or other liquid flavouring (optional)
650 g plain flour, divided 350 g + 300 g
4 eggs + 1 yolk to glaze
80 g butter, diced
1 tsp. fine sea salt
Optional: chunky sugar, chocolate chips or other decoration

Light and fluffy Thermomix Plaited Brioche

Light and fluffy Thermomix Plaited Brioche

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 50° C or its lowest temperature. Weigh milk, sugar, yeast and optional orange blossom water if using into your TM bowl and warm through 2 minutes/37° C/Speed 2.
  2. Add 350 g flour, the whole eggs and salt and mix 15 seconds/Speed 5.
  3. Add remaining 300 g flour and the diced butter and Knead 6 minutes : lock lid, set time for 6 minutes and push the Kneading/Interval button (the funny-looking one that looks like a wheat sheaf).
  4. Dust a board or your work surface with flour. Remove the dough from your TM bowl by turning it over onto the board and giving the little knurled knob on the base a couple of turns in each direction to loosen the dough. There’s quite a lot of dough in there! Remove the base of the bowl and let the blade drop out, then carefully remove the blade from the dough. You will have a lovely, sticky dough at this stage.
  5. Divide the dough into 3, roll out each bit into equal “ropes” and plait or braid into a lovely tress*. Place your plait(s) on a lightly floured or baking-paper-line baking tray. Mix the egg yolk with 1 tsp. water and glaze your brioche(s) with a pastry brush.
  6. Place your tray of brioche(s) into the oven at 50° C or its lowest temperature and rise for 30 to 35 minutes. You may discover a monster in your oven ;-) Top with your chosen decoration, very very gently pressing them into the dough so as to make topping stick but not flatten the plait.
  7. Increase oven temperature to 160 ° C and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
  8. Let cool for a few minutes – if you can wait that long! – and enjoy your brioche with a glass of milk, a cup of hot chocolate, a lovely cup of coffee or your favourite cuppa. It’s absolutely divine when still warm…

Madame Thermomix’s Top Tips:

  1. *At this point of the recipe you can decide to make more than one very large brioche, so use your imagination and adapt the shapes to your needs. You can make two plaited brioches for 4 people each (divide the dough into 6 equal portions), or get the kids together and let them use their imagination to make different shapes. I made one large plaited brioche for breakfast and some hamburger buns for dinner.
  2. If you make half a recipe you could use a brioche mould, or a tray of mini brioche moulds if you have one.
  3. Make this dough just before bedtime and rise your shaped brioche overnight in the refrigerator for an amazing mid-week or weekend morning treat. Think birthday breakfast for a loved one, Valentine’s Day, Christmas morning, or “just because.”
  4. Top with chocolate chips before baking and make an amazing Chocolate Chip Brioche.
  5. Add dark and white chocolate chips during kneading and make a chocolate-laced brioche…
  6. Go savoury and shape your brioche dough into burger buns or pull-apart rolls and top with black pepper, sesame seeds, cayenne pepper, herbes de provence, or other herbs, nuts or spices.
  7. Here’s a good one: Divide your dough into lots and lots of small balls, put one in the bottom of each cup of several muffin tins, pop in a square of chocolate, and top with another ball of dough. How good will that be to bite into a fluffy brioche and discover melted chocolate inside?
  8. Brioche is a wonderful gift to bring along to a friend’s house for coffee or any other invitation or reception. It’s rather unusual outside of France, it looks very impressive and you don’t have to tell them how easy it was to make ;-)
Thermomix Plaited Brioche is easy, delicious and oh so special

The recipe for this Thermomix Plaited Brioche also makes great burger buns. These ones are topped with black pepper

The recipe makes one very large Thermomix Plaited Brioche to serve 8 or two brioche to serve 4

The recipe makes one very large Thermomix Plaited Brioche to serve 8 or two brioche to serve 4

Anyone for a cuppa along with some of my Thermomix Plaited Brioche?

Anyone for a cuppa along with some of my Thermomix Plaited Brioche?

Bon appétit !

 

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Greg’s Thermomix Risotto Balls

October 1st, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

Greg's Thermomix Risotto Balls are a super way to use leftovers - if there are any ;-)

Greg’s Thermomix Risotto Balls are a super way to use leftovers – if there are any ;-)

We just love risotto in our house, and ThermoHubby John is our specialist. He works from the basic Thermomix risotto recipe on page 81 of Fast and Easy Cooking and comes up with gorgeous flavour combinations based on whatever he finds in the refrigerator. I always keep risotto rice in the cupboard and Parmesan in the fridge for a great start.

Most times, I have to say, the two of us gobble down the entire TM bowl full of luscious risotto, but most times there is some left over. What to do with leftover risotto? Greg Turner, Service Manager at Thermomix UK, makes a double batch and then makes his special Risotto Balls with whatever is left. Here’s what he has shared with Madame Thermomix:

Greg’s Thermomix Risotto Balls
This is a super way to use up leftover Thermomix risotto (if there is any!) and turn it into a quick lunch, a light supper, a kid-friendly finger meal, or even party food. Let the kids get their hands dirty (literally) and help shape their own food!

Ingredients
leftover Thermomix risotto
Mozzarella cheese
a few slices of bread – or the doorstep left from your TM bread ;-)
Seasoned flour
1 egg, beaten
3 bowls

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180° C. Make bread crumbs: Tear bread slices in half and add to TM bowl. Turbo pulse briefly a few times to make lovely fresh breadcrumbs. Set aside.
  2. Cut mozzarella into 1.5 inch/3 cm squares. Surround with some risotto to make either large golf balls for children or 3-inch/7.5 cm flattened disks/patties for adult-sized portions.
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper or aluminum foil. Prepare three bowls, one with seasoned flour (that’s plain flour seasoned with some salt and pepper, and perhaps some herbs if you fancy), one with the egg that you should beat lightly, and one with the breadcrumbs. Dip each ball or patty first into the seasoned flour, then into the egg and finally into the breadcrumbs. Place on the lined tray.
  4. Bake 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs turn a lovely golden brown. You’ll know the centre is melted if the mozzarella starts oozing out onto the tray – yum!

 Bon appétit ! 

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Roasted Bone Chicken Stock

September 14th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

"Colour is flavour" so roast your bones before making chicken stock!

“Colour is flavour” so roast your bones before making chicken stock!

To get the very best flavour in your chicken stock, it’s really worth a little extra time to roast the bones. Professional chefs agree that “Colour is flavour” and chicken bones are a perfect example. Here’s my easy peasy bestest ever roasted bone chicken stock recipe:

Madame Thermomix’s Roasted Bone Chicken Stock
“Colour is flavour” and you can’t beat roasted chicken bones for adding flavour to your stock. Makes up to one litre.

Ingredients
one chicken carcass
water

Add your roasted bones to your TM bowl, add water to 2-Litre mark and cook for 30 minutes

Add your roasted bones to your TM bowl, add water to 2-Litre mark and cook for 30 minutes

Method

  1. Start with the carcass from a whole chicken you’ve steamed in your Varoma (done that yet? It’s fabulous!). Roast the bones in the oven 30 minutes, 180° C, fan. Deglaze your roasting tin to get all those yummy caramelised bits up, too!
  2. Transfer bones to TM bowl, cover with water to 2L mark. Cook 100°/30 minutes/Speed Spoon/Reverse Blade to get a good Litre of stock – or – Cook Varoma setting/30 minutes/Speed Spoon/Reverse Blade to get a smaller quantity of more concentrated stock.
  3. Strain stock through simmering basket into 2nd TM bowl or into another recipient; cool.
Don't forget to deglaze your roasting tin to get all the caramelised bits

Don’t forget to deglaze your roasting tin to get all the caramelised bits

Use stock for TM risotto, gravies, sauces, soups and more.

Bon appétit !

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Leftovers Lunch: Caramelised Shallot and Chorizo Tart with Herbed Shortcrust Pastry

September 10th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

Caramelised Shallot and Chorizo Tart on Herbed Shortcrust Pastry by Madame Thermomix

Caramelised Shallot and Chorizo Tart on Herbed Shortcrust Pastry by Madame Thermomix

We’ve just moved into our new house and I’m up to my ears in boxes that need to be unpacked. My friend Mariette is coming for a visit with her three dogs (much to Harley and Billy’s delight) and I need to rustle something up for lunch. Off I go to the supermarket to pick something up, only to discover that I had left my handbag at home so had no wallet to pay :( Oh dear, it was too late to make the trip back to the store so leftovers it had to be.

My refrigerator contained about a dozen old and wrinkled shallots and some new white onions with the green tops still attached, plus a bit of salted butter. My larder contained some flour and a bit of brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. And I had just brought some lovely rosemary back from our country house that would go nicely with the thyme in the pot outside. Leftovers lunch was therefore created with what was available, and it was to be a caramelised shallot tart on a herbed shortcrust pastry base. There really weren’t enough shallots and little white onions to fill the tin, so that’s where the chorizo came in ;-)

Just roll your shortcrust pastry out on a board dusted with flour and some fresh or even dried herbs and you've got a lovely herbed crust

Just roll your shortcrust pastry out on a board dusted with flour and some fresh or even dried herbs and you’ve got a lovely herbed crust

I first made the easiest shortcrust pastry you’ll ever find using the recipe from Thermomix France. I only kneaded it for 35 seconds and it came out much lighter and flakier, so go for that amount of time. Then I dusted my board with flour and herbs and rolled them into the pastry as I rolled it into a round. Simple! Blind bake for 20 minutes at 200 degrees C or until nicely golden brown.
While the crust was baking, I gently caramelised the onions and shallots in some butter and oil, added some herbs and then the sliced chorizo to bulk it out. A bit of Balsamic vinegar and about a teaspoon of sugar gave it all a nice, dark, caramelised appearance and taste.
Next I plopped xxx arranged ;-) the caramelised mixture in the baked herby crust and set on a serving plate.

Instant carrot salad - complete with dressing - in one step and in 2 seconds!

Instant carrot salad – complete with dressing – in one step and in 2 seconds!

To accompany, I chopped some carrots with some Dijon mustard, olive oil and white wine vinegar to instantly dress and make an instant carrot salad – just 2 seconds/Speed 6 in my Thermomix!
Voilà! A delicious lunch created from what I had to hand. Mariette even asked for seconds, so I know it was good ;-)
Bon appétit !

 

 

 

Thermomix TM5: The New Kid on the Block

September 8th, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

Cyberspace has been abuzz lately with rumours and now confirmation that Vorwerk has launched its new all-in-one kitchen appliance, the Thermomix TM5. Cooking as well as high-tech afficionados will appreciate the new features of my Best Friend in the Kitchen which are presented in official videos and fact sheets on the various Vorwerk Thermomix websites around the world. Check them out in multiple languages on your local Thermomix website such as these:

http://thermomix.vorwerk.co.uk/

http://www.thermomix.com.au/

http://thermomix.vorwerk.fr/

http://thermomix.vorwerk.es/

http://bimby.vorwerk.it/

Super Kitchen Machine's comparison image

Many thanks to Helene of Super Kitchen Machine for this excellent comparison of the TM5 and TM31

Or for an unbiased view (well, ok, it’s written by someone who absolutely adores Thermomix) check out Helene’s excellent First Look at the NEW THERMOMIX.

I’ll be hopping over to an upcoming TM5 Discovery Day to see what all the buzz is about and to see how the TM5’s more powerful, quieter motor can help me through my various culinary tasks. I’m sure that Vorwerk’s unequalled quality will once again provide excellent value for money while saving me time and effort in the kitchen.

Welcome to the new Thermomix TM5!

 

 

Wasabi Panna Cotta

September 2nd, 2014

by Madame Thermomix

Wasabi Panna Cotta may sound like an unusual combination but it works like a dream and tastes fabulous!

Wasabi Panna Cotta may sound like an unusual combination but it works like a dream and tastes fabulous!

Some days I think I must be mad. I’ve invited the French chef from our favourite restaurant here in Sancerre over for dinner. He doesn’t have a Michelin star – yet – but he certainly deserves one. Since I’ve been Thermomixing all day, I am actually quite calm and confident in what I have made: Wasabi Panna Cotta with prawns steamed in the Varoma, a Chinese steamed chicken – another Varoma triumph, of course – and Ginger Nut Crème Brûlée, a variation on my Crème Brûlée with Speculoos recipe. And we made various Chinese sauces involving peeling and chopping garlic, chopping ginger and herbs (dropped on the running blades – brilliant) and a few other processes I have overlooked as they come so naturally to me now. My only reserve is serving such a Western dessert with an Asian meal LOL but it’s so gorgeous and Fast and Easy, I wanted the chef to see what he can do with his own Thermomix!

Wasabi Panna Cotta
This unlikely-sounding combination is actually quite subtle and a wonderful accompaniment to your choice of seafood and/or fish. I’d love to serve these at a cocktail party, too. Just watch out for the huge hit of wasabi oil vapours up your nose when you take the lid off your Thermomix! Many thanks to The Collection by Liz McGrath for the original recipe.

Ingredients
200 g/200 ml Cream
20 g Wasabi
2 Gelatine Leaves, soaked in ice water
Pinch of sea salt
Juice of half a lime

Thermomix Method

  1. Weigh the cream into the TM bowl. Cook 4 minutes/90°C/Speed 1.
  2. Add the drained gelatine, the Wasabi, a pinch of salt and the lime juice and mix 10 seconds/speed 3.
  3. Pour into small verrines or shot glasses, chill, cover and refrigerate until set, 2 to 4 hours. Can also be poured into a container to set and formed into quenelles.

Serve with seared tuna, prawns or smoked salmon/tuna/trout. Would be a hit at a cocktail party, too.

This Wasabi Panna Cotta is fast and easy to make. The lime juice really goes well with the wasabi.

This Wasabi Panna Cotta is fast and easy to make. The lime juice really goes well with the wasabi.

Non-Thermomix Method

Bring cream to 80ºC, whisk in wasabi, gelatine, salt and lime. Set up in fridge, whisk before quenelling.

Bon appétit !

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