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Posts Tagged ‘thermomix’

Chicken and Egg

Chicken and Egg

I’ll be the first to admit, I am a gadget junkie.  This weekend I stepped inside the mall and stepped out with an electric groom tool and a soft serve ice cream maker.  It really didn’t matter that even the salesman tried to dissuade me to get the groom tool or that I had previously bought two ice cream makers (which I had each used once).  My desire to have a soft serve ice cream party during the summer (only six months away) was enough to cloud my normally better judgement.  The truth is, most of the gadgets would be lucky to be used twice… Like my coconut grater, express pizza oven, and smoker (oh actually, that was only used once!).

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Coconut Custard Jam

Coconut Custard Jam on toast with butter

“Are you trying to kill me?” My husband asked as I put a plate infront of him.

“Ha!  Not yet.” I told him.  “I have get some life insurance on you first!”

The reason for his outburst was because infront of him was this toast, slathered with a caramelized coconut custard and a considerable amount of sliced butter.  I had been finding ways to use up my twenty egg yolks from my last macaron class and had started with making pasta with six egg yolks.  Then I made some portuguese custard tarts (another four there) and used up six to make some ice cream.  All this time my husband was the lucky recipient of all the egg yolk laden dishes.

So down to four egg yolks I decided to make some Coconut Custard (Kaya Jam).  I learned about a recipe from Amy Beh which I had seen floating around the internet and was keen to try.  I must confess that I used the thermomix to make this as I have no patience to continuously stir for more than an hour which is what the recipe requires.  I used the first two egg yolks for the first test batch where I followed Amy’s recipe but thought the resulting custard wasn’t caramelized enough for my liking.  The next batch I caramelized the sugar and poured hot coconut milk into the caramel creating a darker and richer base for the custard.  The result was what I was hoping for – my husband enjoyed it and mentioned that it tasted like latik which is a  highly addictive Filipino fried coconut milk curd.

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Berry Tiramisu

Berry Tiramisu

I’ve been distracted and uninspired lately.

Distracted because my husband and I have been house hunting and where normally my weekends have been spent baking or cooking in my kitchen, we’re now spending them in other people’s kitchens during open inspections. Just the thought of moving has been both exciting and stressful at the same time.

The lack of inspiration always hits me when my Mom, the Blog Monster leaves.  As many of you know, she is always a great source of recipes and an even greater source for blog stories!  I usually find myself scrounging around for blog material a month or two after she’s gone.

During these times I find that going to a restaurant we’ve never been to or buying a new cookbook helps.

This weekend my husband and I finally made our way to Newtown, a suburb only 15 minutes away from our place, to a restaurant called Bloodwood.  Run by chefs Claire van Vuuren, Mitchell Grady and Jo Ward who previously worked in fine-dining restaurant Claude’s, this restaurant offers a more down to earth but every bit as delicious plate-sharing menu.  Wonderful food, great vibe, and  excellent service, this place was a definite source of weekend inspiration!  One stand out dish was their Bloodwood Trifle -(made with strawberries, pound cake, rose jelly, mascarpone and champagne anglaise) which served as the inspiration for my wanting to make this Berry Tiramisu.

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Basmati Risotto with Grilled Prawns

Basmati Risotto with Grilled Prawns (Tomislav Restaurant)

Is it persistence or stubbornness? Maybe both?

When I have an idea in my head, I’ll do whatever it takes to get it (all within legal means of course!) and I never back down from a dare.  Ever.

Every now and again these two traits can get me into trouble.  Like the time I confidently told my sister that I could get ourselves into the Qantas First Class lounge only to be evicted twenty minutes later as we were about to take a sip of our coffees (she never has forgiven me for that).

But more often than not, I try to channel these traits more noble pursuits.  Like finding a way to get a recipe for a dish I really enjoy, or getting a seat at a restaurant that is booked months in advance or experimenting with food or gadgets I’ve never used.

Introducing: Dare me…

This idea was born out of a conversation between me and my husband.   We were having dinner at Tomislav Restaurant the other night and I was blown away with the Basmati Risotto with Yamba Prawns.  “I wish there was a way to get my hands on this recipe.”  I told him.

“I dare you ask the chef for it.”  He said.  “You seem to get your hands on many of the recipes you like.” he added.  I wasn’t able to ask Chef Tomislav for the recipe that night (he had not yet arrived) but I managed to find the recipe anyway.  I made this dish twice in two days.  Yes, it was that good.  The first time I made it over the stove top, adding the chicken stock gradually as you would a regular risotto.  The next day I made the basmati risotto using the thermomix.  I’m pleased to report both techniques work as well as each other.

So here’s the first of hopefully a series of posts called : Dare me.

If you’re looking for a recipe that you really love – then dare me to find it for you. Just drop me an email or a comment at the end of this post and I’ll turn your craving into a fun challenge and get you that coveted recipe!

Tomislav’s Basmati Risotto with Prawns

  • 250 grams good quality Basmati Rice
  • 1000 to 1500 ml good quality hot chicken stock (homemade is best)
  • 125 grams unsalted butter
  • 10 ml soy sauce
  • 40 grams acidulated butter (see below)
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone
  • Lemon Juice
  • Chopped Nori roll (1 sheet)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 200 grams prawns, chopped

Regular Method

  1. Place the butter in a wide surfaced pan and melt. Add the rice and toast for around 3 minutes until the butter is slightly browned and nutty. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the chicken stock (I only used 1000 ml but the recipe calls for 1500 ml) a little at a time and stir continuously for around 15 minutes. The rice will still have a little bite and remember that the dish will not be as creamy as a risotto using regular risotto rice.
  3. Once the rice is cooked, finish the dish by stirring in the soy sauce, acidulated butter, mascarpone, lemon juice, chopped nori roll and chives. Season with more salt and pepper if needed
  4. Grill the prawns and top the risotto with grilled prawns and grated lemon zest.

Using the Thermomix
FYI: I halved the recipe on the Thermomix

  1. Heat the butter at 100c on speed 3 for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and heat for 5 minutes using the butterfly attachment on reverse and speed soft.
  3. Add the stock (I added 500 ml for 125 grams rice but feel free to add more stock if necessary towards the end of the cooking time) and continue to cook (butterfly attachment, reverse, speed soft) for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the soy, acidulated butter, mascarpone, lemon juice, nori and chives and give it another stir for 5 or so seconds on reverse, speed soft.
  5. Top with grilled prawns and lemon zest and serve immediately.

Acidulated Butter

  • 100 grams unsalted butter
  • 50 grams basmati rice

In a pan, melt the butter and add the rice and cook until nutty brown flavour is released. Pass this through a sieve. Set aside.

  • 90 ml white wine
  • 90 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • 100 grams butter

Combine the onion, white wine and white wine vinegar and heat in a pan and reduce until the pan is almost dry. Take this off the heat and whisk in the butter until the butter is emulsified. Pass through a sieve.

Mix both butters and leave to set in the fridge for around 8 hours. You will have enough for several batches and this lasts a few days in the fridge.

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Poached Egg and Hollandaise on the Thermomix

Poached Egg and Hollandaise on the Thermomix

A few weeks ago our washing machine broke.  After 5 years the old fella decided to call it a day.  My husband and I went shopping for a new one on a Sunday and were informed that someone would call on Monday to let us know when the delivery could be arranged. Monday came and we were dealt with the news that it would take six weeks to receive a new one.  The prospect of wearing dirty clothes for the next six weeks was frightening and we promptly cancelled the order and ordered the washing machine elsewhere and got it three days later.

It was surprising that a few days ago I got not one, but three different calls from a company trying to arrange a time for me to receive that cancelled washing machine.  Despite my telling them that I had cancelled the order the calls still kept coming.  On the last call, I admit, I thought (for a second) that maybe I should just take the delivery.  I could maybe sell it on ebay or place an ad on our community bulletin board.  But common sense prevailed and told them for the final time the machine wasn’t mine.

Because that would be cheating.

For the longest time I resisted getting a thermomix.  Making things like mayonnaise, custards and  tempering chocolate becomes a breeze with this machine.  I thought a true test of one’s skill was to be able to make this all from scratch.  I wondered, was using the thermomix cheating?

It's not a science project!  It's a slow poached egg!

It's not a science project! It's a slow poached egg!

My philosophy is simple, using the thermomix is just another way to cook.  If I wanted to whip some egg whites I could place it in a bowl and beat like crazy using a wire whisk.  I could use my kitchen aid, or any of the four hand held beaters I have (yes, I have four… don’t ask why)… or I could use the butterfly attachment on the thermomix on speed 3 or 4.  

If I wanted to poach an egg I could drop some eggs in a pot of simmering water or try this recipe here.  More recently, I’ve discovered that the thermomix is one of the best ways to slow poach eggs.  The eggs are cooked in their shells for around 40 minutes at a very low heat, similar to the technique that Momofuku uses, but because the thermomix can regulate temperature, there is no need to watch the pot for the duration of the cooking.

I could stand infront of a stove over a bain marie to make a velvety smooth hollandaise , or I could drizzle some warm butter into a running blender that has some egg yolks to create this sauce – or I could chuck everything into the thermomix and eight minutes later I’m done.

The point is, to each his own.

In 1960 commercial food processors were introduced and it took almost 12 years before food processors were created for domestic use.  I am sure there were also a few raised eyebrows and unbelievers when they were first released but today, it’s hard to find a household without a food processor or stick blender.  I am sure in time, people will also come to embrace how easy it is to use the thermomix.    I’m not going to go into all the great things you can do with this machine, you can read all about it  over the internet, but some resources can be found here, here and here.

But I do think the fact that it can make a perfect poached egg and hollandaise alone is worth it.  Because I never buy bottled hollandaise.

Now, that would be cheating.

Poached Eggs and Hollandaise Sauce on the Thermomix

Serves 2
For the Poached Eggs
You will need four eggs. Fill the thermomix bowl just below the 2 litre mark. Place four eggs (in their shell) into the steam basket and add more water until the 2 litre mark is reached. Cover the thermomix with the lid. Heat at 60c for 43 minutes on speed 3. Remove from the thermomix and gently crack the tops and tip the eggs into a small saucer. Serve immediately.

For the Hollandaise Sauce

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 130 grams cold butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place all ingredient in the thermomix bowl. Using the butterfly attachment, cook the mixture at 90c for 8 minutes on speed 3

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Mango Natilla

Mango Natilla

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but growing up, I certainly enjoyed the many perks of my family owning a Spanish restaurant.  Probably top of the list was being able to order anything I wanted from the menu.  With each visit I’d try to order a different dish  for my main course but dessert would always stay the same.

I’d always have the Natilla. I loved the look burnt sugar topping provoking me to give it a good hard crack and then my spoon surrendering to the velvety custard and sponge finger mix beneath.

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Almond Croissant

Almond Croissant

With my Mom (the Blog Monster) around, many  leftovers have come back to life.  Just the other day I was complaining that I didn’t have any space for the chicken stock I had made (as I’ve said before, fridge space is the most coveted real estate in my house) and so I ransacked the freezer looking for space for the 3 liters I had just made.  In the process, I found, frozen and forgotten for many months, three containers of ham and pea soup, three large bags of home made dumplings, morcon (a Filipino chicken roll stuffed with vegetables and sausages), and filling for some chicken pot pie.

In a fit of frustration I told my Mom I was going to get rid of them.  They’d been in the freezer for months and if they hadn’t been eaten by now, then maybe they weren’t worth eating. “They’ll taste bad! I’m going to get rid of it” I told her.

“No… don’t.  I can make something out of these.” She insisted.

With a sigh, I gave in but being a refrigerator tyrant that I am, I gave her a deadline of five days to do what she wanted with the leftovers and then I’d toss everything out.

Of course, a few days later, not only did I find myself eating my words, I also found myself eating all the leftovers!

Day 1 – Mom sauteed some chorizo and added this to the ham and pea soup.

Day 2 – Mom made some pancit molo with the bags of dumplings and the chicken pot pie filling went to my brother who had them on a sandwich.

Day 3 – The Chicken Morcon was pan fried with a lovely tomato based sauce and served for dinner.

I did my best to snub the “made over” dishes but the oohs and aahhs and yumms of my family made me cave in.

Almond Croissant

Almond Croissant

Anyway, these Almond Croissants are filled with an almond cream made with some creme patissiere, topped with more of the almond cream and sliced almonds and then baked until golden.  To serve, they are dusted with some icing sugar. When reading about these gorgeous pastries, I discovered that they were originally invented as a way to use up old croissants.

So you can imagine that  I immediately thought of my Mom – who manages to make even the old look and taste better than brand new…

Almond Croissant

Almond Croissant

Croissants aux Amandes

Almond Croissants

  • 10 grams ground almonds
  • 100 grams creme patissiere (see below)
  • 70 grams caster sugar
  • 60 grams butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40 grams flour
  • 70 grams sliced almonds, for topping
  • 5 croissants
  • Icing sugar to dust the croissants
  1. Using a stand mixer or electric mixer, cream the almonds, creme patissiere, sugar, butter, egg yolks and flour. This will take around 3 to 5 minutes, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl once in a while. Beat until light and fluffy
  2. Slice the croissants horizontally and spread around 3 heaping spoonfuls of the almond mixture. Cover with the top of the croissant and spread another 3 heaping spoonfuls of the almond mixture.
  3. Top the croissants with the sliced almonds and bake in a pre-heated oven at 190c for around 10 minutes.
  4. To serve, dust with icing sugar.

On the Thermomix
Place the ground almonds, creme patissiere, sugar, butter, egg yolks and flour in the thermomix bowl. Mix on speed 6 for 10 seconds until light and fluffy. Follow from number 2 above.

Almond Croissant

Almond Croissant

Creme Patissiere

  • 250 ml milk
  • 50 grams sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scrapped
  1. Heat the 200 ml of the milk with the vanilla beans (and pod) and bring to a boil in a sauce pan.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, egg and 50 ml milk.
  3. When the milk has come to a boil, pour a little of the hot milk into the sugar/cornstarch mixture and then whisk this thoroughly, then pour the rest of the hot milk into the bowl (remove the vanilla pod).
  4. Now pour the milk mixture back into the sauce pan and heat, constantly whisking until the mixture thickens, around 5 minutes. Make sure to whisk at the bottom of the bowl so that the mixture does not catch and burn.
  5. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

On Thermomix

  1. Put all the ingredients into the thermomix bowl and cook at 90c for 6 minutes on speed 4. Remove the vanilla pod and allow to cool.

Stumble It!

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