Baked Cinnamon Donuts

Here is a nice after school snack! These freeze well and the recipe is quite forgiving, I use spelt and GF flours often and they turn out just as perfect! Enjoy! ~ K

The Thermomix Diaries

2013-01-28 15.31.13 These are as delicious as they look! Trust me :o)

I have been eye-ing off the Baked Donut Trays at Big W for sometime…imagining lovely baked delights I could make for lunchboxes to please my kiddies when we return to school.  So while picking up the last of our school supplies I decided to make a quick detour and picked up a tray.

I have made donut flavoured muffins previously.  I kind of set about using what I liked in several recipes and this is what has resulted. I have made a couple of batches now and have found both dairy free milk and spelt flour are fine when substituting.

2013-01-28 14.14.27   2013-01-28 14.14.50

My first batch I kind of spooned the mix around the donut well, but after doing a bit of research, I decided to fill a freezer bag with batter and ‘pipe’ direct into the donut wells. This proved both…

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Save a Motzah making Mozzarella!

Those who know me food wise, know that I’m fascinated by recipes where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. From flour and water, we can achieve a naturally risen sourdough or a multitude of flat-breads. Depending on whether you use iced water or boiling, you can create delicate little dumpling wrappers or the chewiness of Peking pancakes. It’s like turning water into wine, right?

I think it’s much the same with many soft cheeses, in that it starts with milk and rennet, but depending on the temperature and application, you come out with vastly different results. Haloumi is a firm favourite in our house, as is ricotta, labne and a few others that are relatively simple to make in the Thermomix. One of the things I’ve wanted to make for a long time is mozzarella and bocconcini, and a recent episode of a popular cooking show reignited this interest.

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I’ve been busy, so cooking has taken a back seat. Finding myself with a rare day off, I decided to treat myself to a day in the kitchen to create these little balls of marvellous. They were much easier than I anticipated and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t try making them before now. Their flavour is far superior to the yellow plastic balls you’ll purchase in the supermarket!

My favourite way to use them is in a salad caprese with a drizzle of caramelised balsamic. Come on summer! Until then, they’re just gorgeous sliced over a home-made pizza.

~ Justine

Mozzarella

  •  2 litres of whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon citric acid
  • 1 teaspoon liquid rennet or half a junket tablet
  • 1 teaspoon non-iodised salt*

Pour 2000ml of milk into the Thermomix bowl.

Mix 1 teaspoon of citric acid into 1 tablespoon of cool water. The citric acid has dissolved properly once the water turns clear. Add to milk and stir through with a long spatula.

Bring milk to 37c at speed 1. You’ll have to keep your eye on the temperature lights, but my room temperature milk took about 5 minutes. Once the 37c green light stops flashing, you know you’ve hit your temperature.

Add 1 teaspoon of liquid rennet. If you don’t have rennet, you could use half a junket tablet dissolved in 1 tablespoon of warm water. Stir for 2 seconds on speed 3.

Pour milk mixture into a warmed Thermoserver. Cover and leave undisturbed for 15 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, cut into your curds horizontally and then vertically. You want to try and cut your curd into 3 centimetre squares. Cover and leave for 10 minutes.

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Carefully tip your curds and whey back into the Thermomix bowl. Cook for 40 minutes/37c/gentle stir mode.

Line your Thermomix strainer with a damp cheesecloth or a wet, new chux wipe and strain your curds over a large bowl. Drain for about 15 minutes. You might want to help the draining process along as you want to drain as much whey from the curd as possible. Reserve your whey if you’re going to store your cheese for more than a day. Actually, reserve your whey because it’s fantastic in baking. My blog buddy Karen found some fabulous ways to use all that whey over at Farm Curious.

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Return your thoroughly drained curd to the Thermomix bowl. It’s going to look crumbly at this stage, but that’s okay. Add half a teaspoon of finely ground non-iodized salt* and knead for 1 minute. Remove curd from the bowl.

Now here comes the fun part. It’s the stretching that gives mozzarella that mozzarella-ey texture. First you need to heat the mozzarella, so channel your inner-yogi and put your pretend asbestos gloves on, because this is going to get a little ‘heated’.

Microwave method: Place your curd into a medium-sized microwave proof bowl and cook on high for 40-60 seconds.

Thermomix method: Place your curd into a small heatproof bowl that will fit inside the strainer. Place enough whey or water to cover the blades. Place the strainer with the bowl of curd into the Thermomix bowl and cook on varoma/speed 1 for 4-5 minutes. Leave the MC off because you’re trying to avoid water condensing into your drained curd. Tip your curd into a larger bowl for you to work with. WARNING! The bowl is going to be very hot and it’s a little awkward to remove from the strainer, so be very careful!

To be honest, I prefer the microwave method, but I know lots of people prefer not to nuke their food.

Anyway, back to the fun stuff.

Using a flexible spatula, beat and stir your cheese until it comes together into a ball.

Once you’ve stirred your curd into a smooth mass, carefully stretch your mozzarella before folding it back onto itself. I reheated the cheese twice until I felt I’d created a smooth, glossy ball of mozzarella. Place your mozzarella into a rounded bowl and set in the fridge to cool.

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To make bocconcini, pinch out little balls of the stuff. Egg sized is the size of traditional bocconcini, while grape size is baby bocconcini. If you don’t work fast enough, you may have to reheat your cheese halfway through. Pop your little bocconcini balls into a tub of cold, reserved whey.

You can either store your mozzarella wrapped in the refrigerator, or you can store it in the cooled reserved whey (refrigerated of course).

* I used a pink Himalayan rock salt that I blitzed down to an icing sugar consistency so it would incorporate a little easier.

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Crazy for Crackers

We have found making crackers both quick and rewarding in our trusty Thermomix. What’s more you can tailor your ingredients to suit your dietary needs. Find out more in our ‘Crazy for Crackers’ post. Enjoy!

The Thermomix Diaries

There are some things in my pantry and refrigerator that I would never have dreamed that I’d prefer to make than purchase.  Yoghurt, stock powder and pastes, muesli bars and cereals.  There are lots of things.  I think the item that I’m most surprised by however, is savoury biscuits.

My husband works hard and has a physical job, so he likes to come home and have a beer and something to nibble on before dinner.  Our cupboard was stocked with chips and crackers to have with cheese or with a dip; full of numbers that I was always too scared to investigate.  We’d tried crudités, but he didn’t want to have to fiddle with that, and I didn’t want to have to chop them while prepping for dinner.

Within week one of owning my Thermomix and having purchased Tenina Holder’s For Food’s Sake, one of the first things…

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Almost Raw Raspberry Cream Easter Eggs

photo 4I am feeling a little more excited about Easter Sunday after experimenting with this recipe. Truth be told, I am not a big ‘shop bought’ Easter Egg fan, so I enjoyed experimenting with this recipe using some more healthy ingredients from my pantry.

Firstly, I have to admit that my family’s transition to raw foods is a work-in-progress, so perhaps I should name this recipe Almost Raw Raspberry Cream Eggs as I have used a good quality, but store bought chocolate to coat my eggs. Now I know they love the raspberry cream (yay), I will work on making this entire creation raw in the future. I would look at following this raw chocolate recipe by Jo from Quirky Cooking, it looks divine.

So…now we have that sorted out… let me share the converted recipe method I used today.

The recipe I have had bookmarked for a while, and was found here at Fragrant Vanilla Cake. FVC also has a wicked looking Peanut Butter Egg as well 🙂

First step was making the coconut butter. One ingredient…how amazing!  I have made this a few times now, and follow this recipe by Super Kitchen Machine.  You will need 1.5 cups of coconut butter, which means two batches of this recipe. It’s quick an easy and you will have a good amount of coconut butter left over.

coco butter

Now the method…

eggs ingred

(Almost) Raw Raspberry Cream Easter Eggs

Makes about 20ish small eggs

Raspberry Cream

  •  38og or 1.5 cups of raw coconut butter (liquid form)
  • 75g or 1/4 cup of maple syrup (or coconut nectar or raw honey)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp rosewater (optional)
  • 1 cup raspberries (approx 1 x 125g punnet)
  • 1 tsp beetroot powder  (optional)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1.5 cups of raw dark chocolate chunks (or 1 block of milk or dark chocolate)

Drizzle

  • 3 tbspn raw coconut butter (liquid form)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp maple syrup (or coconut nectar or raw honey)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • a pinch of beet powder (optional)
  • 1-2 tbspn water (as needed)

Method

If you make the coconut butter before making the eggs it will be still in its liquid form. My coconut butter sets hard in the pantry so you will need to warm this to liquid state again to use.

1. Puree the raspberries on sp 3-4 for 4-5 seconds.  Scrape down.

1. Add Raspberry Cream ingredients to TM bowl and mix on 20 secs/ sp 4 until mixture is smooth.

2. Use a plastic spoon to remove heaped tablespoon amounts and form into an egg shape. The consistency should be like really soft playdough.

photo 1

3. Place cream eggs in freezer for about 30 minutes

4. Clean and dry the bowl and grate and melt chocolate of choice.
Grate: 5-10 sec / sp 8
Melt: 2 minutes / 50 degrees / sp 3

5. Remove the cream eggs from freezer. Use a skewer to dip eggs into melted chocolate coating completely.

6. Once all eggs are coated, return eggs to freezer for a few minutes to set chocolate.

photo 3

7. Mix the drizzle in a small bowl by hand (amount is too small for TM bowl), it should be a glaze-like consistency.  Place drizzle into a small snaplok bag, seal, snip the corner and decorate.

photo 5

8. Refrigerate to set and enjoy your creations.

Happy Easter.

ps.  dont let the left over melted chocolate go to waste in your TM bowl.  I warmed some milk on 70 degrees for about 4-5 mins on sp 3-4, which cleaned up the remaining chocolate and provided a nice warm choccie milk for the kids 🙂

~ K

ttd eggs

 

 

 

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A Farewell Feast

I had a sad week with the passing of a friend’s father.  He was a good man and will be sorely missed.

Times like these require a very quick rally round and I was glad to be able to do my bit in terms of cooking for the wake.  We decided on finger food so we wouldn’t need to worry about cutlery and plates.

A hasty and not so glamourous photo, but it was a very busy morning.

A hasty and not so glamourous photo, but it was a very busy morning.

When cooking for others, I normally pore over my cookbooks for days and agonise over the right balance of food choices.  Given that I didn’t have the luxury of time, and that I’m also at the pointy end of my studies, I decided to stick with tried and true favourites.  With a few minor tweaks, you can turn things you might cook daily into something a little more special.

Here’s a rundown of what I cooked.  I’d certainly do this again, but hopefully under happier circumstances.

Moroccan Hommus

Tomato and Cashew Dip

Feta and Herb Dip

Crudités, and Quinoa and Spelt Crackers

* * *

Mini Quiche Lorraine

Thai Chicken Wonton Cups

Beef Rendang Pies

* * *

Portuguese Tarts

Lavender Shortbread

Hummus from The Everyday Cookbook.

  • I added a heaped teaspoon of Moroccan spices and chopped coriander.

Tomato and Cashew Dip from the Everyday Cookbook

Feta and Herb Dip – adapted from The Everyday Cookbook

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 small bunch of basil – or half a bunch if large
  • 2 spring onions roughly chopped
  • 250g feta cheese
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons yoghurt  (you can use milk instead)

Chop 1 clove of garlic for 5 seconds/speed 7.  Add basil and roughly chopped spring onions.  Blitz for 5 seconds/speed 7.

Add feta and blend for 20 seconds on speed 5.  Push mix down onto blades, and continue mixing on speed 4/5 until consistency achieved.  Add yoghurt or milk until you get the desired consistency.  The dip will thicken once refrigerated.

Vegetable Crudités – sorry, you’ll have to get the knife out for these. 😉

Quinoa and Spelt Crackers – For Food’s Sake (These are a staple in our house).  I throw in a teaspoon of coriander seeds at step two.

Mini Quiche Lorraine

  • 300g bacon – chop finely.  I’m going to come clean here – I hand chop rather than use Thermomix.
  • 1 large onion – finely chopped.  Again, I’ve chopped by hand because I like the even dice of the bacon and onion in these quiches
  • 300ml cream
  • 5 eggs
  • 100ml milk
  • Salt, grated half nutmeg
  • 120g parmesan
  • Chopped chives
  • 3 sheets of shortcrust pastry – If I wasn’t under the pump, I would have made the EDC rough puff pastry

Cook bacon in a frypan until just starting to brown.  Add onion and cook until caramelised.  I know I could cook this in the Thermomix, but my Thermomix was busy so I dusted off my frypan.

baconDefrost pastry sheets, or roll your pastry into 25cm x 25cm squares.  Using an 8cm cookie cutter, cut 9 rounds from each sheet.  I use a large glass as a template and cut circles with a knife because I don’t own an 8cm cutter.

Pop each pastry round into mini tart tins.  Willow make a tin with 6 to a tray and I’m sure it only cost about $3 from Big-W a few years ago.

Chop Parmesan into 1 inch cubes and grind for 10 seconds/speed 9.  Remove from bowl.

Add eggs, cream, milk and seasoning.  Mix for 10 seconds/speed 4.

Place a teaspoon of Parmesan into each pastry case, then a teaspoon of bacon and onion mix, and then top with the egg mixture.  Sprinkle a few chives over the top then bake for 190c for 16 minutes.  Now that sounds very precise, but I’ve made these little guys so many times, I’ve worked out exactly how many minutes it takes to have the pastry base cooked and lightly golden.

first quiche

raw quicheLet sit for a minute or two before serving.  I generally cook these ahead of time as they reheat nicely in a moderate oven.

cooked quiche

Curried Beef Pies

Use the beef rending from EDC.  I used a little less coconut milk and left out the shredded coconut.  I added a teaspoon of coriander seeds, a teaspoon of cardamom powder and rather than making the spice mix, I saved time but throwing in a couple of tablespoons of the Tikka Paste from the Indian Cookbook, because that’s another staple in our house.  This was the first thing I cooked as I needed it to cool down before I could fill my pastry.  I also shredded the meat slightly by mixing on speed 4/reverse for a few seconds.  I just didn’t want large chunks of meat in my petite little pies.

pie inside

Using shortcrust pastry, cut rounds to fit inside mini muffin tins.  Pop a heaped teaspoon of cold meat mix into the pastry and top with a round of puff pastry.  I sealed the pastry together with a fork and then brushed the tops with an egg wash and a sprinkle of seeds.  I use nigella seeds which are the black seeds you sometimes see on top of Turkish bread.  They look like black sesame seeds but they have a much more fragrant flavour.  You might find these in an Indian grocer.

Bake for about 16 minutes in a 190c oven or until golden and the pastry is cooked.

pie top

Thai Chicken and Wonton Tarts – Pick your favourite Thai chicken salad for this recipe.  I was racing the clock so I just mixed poached and shredded chicken (from the Asian Cookbook) with EDC Mayo, chopped coriander, finely sliced spring onions and a glug of sweet chilli sauce.  Pop this into cooked wonton cups and top with fried shallots which you’ll find in the Asian section of the supermarket.

To make the wonton cups, pop a wonton wrapper into mini muffin tins and bake for a few minutes at 180c until golden.  You need to watch these like a hawk because they’ll burn in seconds.

raw case  cooked case

Portuguese Tarts

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 300ml cream
  • 100ml milk – I used coconut milk because I had leftovers from the beef rendang
  • 30g cornflour
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons vanilla paste

Place all ingredients into bowl and cook for 7 minutes/90c/speed 4.

Pour into a container, cover and cool.

Defrost puff pastry or use EDC’s rough puff.   Cut nine 8cm circles from each pastry sheets.

Pop each circle into a small tart tin but be careful not to pinch the edges as this hinders the ‘puff’.  These are the same trays that I use for my quiches.

Fill each pastry case about 2/3 full of custard.

Bake in a 200c oven for 14 minutes.

tarts

Lavender Shortbread – These are just too elegant for words.   You’ll find the recipe here, but you’ll have to scroll down a bit to find the recipe.

It was a fitting feast for a fine man.   Vaarwel Willem. x

~ Justine

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Yes to Yakult Style Fermented Milk

In recent months I have been managing some tummy problems and was encouraged to take a daily Yakult.  I tried a few on the market and found the Vaalia style to my liking.  I regularly make my own yoghurt (I follow Super Kitchen Machine’s recipe link below), so it didn’t seem such a stretch to try making my own fermented milk drink and save a whole lot of $$$ in the process.

After a bit of research I found this non-thermomix method on the internet (yakult recipe).  I applied it to Valerie’s recipe and this is the method I follow. I have made this 3-4 times now, each time saving 50-100ml of fermented milk for the next batch.

I have really enjoyed the flavour of this fermented milk drink. I prefer it best without the sugar added, it is mild and suits by tastebuds first thing in the morning. However, if you prefer you can add sugar to taste.

yakult photo

Fermented Milk Drink (Yakult style)

  • 1 litre of plain dairy milk
  • One serve (50-100ml) of Vaalia fermented milk drink
  1. Ensure all your containers are cleaned thoroughly and rinse with hot water.
  2. Place milk into the TM bowl and heat 20mins/80 degrees/sp 2-3.
  3. Cool milk to 37 degrees C.  As Valerie suggests, pop your TM bowl in the fridge and check after 30 mins by placing on TMX and watching lights for temperature indication. If still too warm after 30mins, place back in fridge and check again in 5mins increments until temperature shows 37 degrees.
  4. When milk is at correct temperature, add your fermented milk starter. Gently mix in with milk 3-4 sec/speed soft.
  5. Heat 15mins/37 degrees/sp 2.
  6. Meanwhile grab your Thermoserver rinse with boiling water.
  7. Pour fermented milk into your Thermoserver and allow it to incubate. I usually make a batch before bed and leave overnight on the bench.  The end product should be the same colour as milk, just slightly thicker and has a mild yoghurt smell and slight tang.
  8. Incubation time:
    1. 8 hours:  consistency is thicker than milk, but still quite runny and does not stick to sides of a glass. Easy to drink.
    2. 10 (or more) hours: consistency thickens to be more like a runny yoghurt.  This is nice on CADA or muesli.  Still good to drink, but you may need a spoon to retrieve all the residue.
  9. Refrigerate and when ready, have a shot glass of pro-biotic goodness.

~ Karen

yakult 2

8 hours of incubation gives a runny drinkable texture

  • Use within seven days
  • Remember to save approx 100ml of fermented milk for your next batch!!
  • A big thanks to Helene from Super Kitchen Machine, for the inspiration and method to make yoghurt in the first place!
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Searching for Sago

Sago

The first time I ate sago was when my eldest children were born.  They were born 4 weeks early (they’re twins, so that’s normal), but they needed to stay in the newborn care centre until they were strong enough to leave.  Although we were blessed with relatively healthy babies, it was still a harrowing time for my husband and me.

During the few weeks they were in hospital, I developed an odd ritual.  Every day when the doctors did their rounds and the parents were banned from the ward, I would head downstairs to the cafeteria to buy myself a lemon topped sago pudding.  The cafeteria was packed, so I had no option but to head back to the parents room to eat my lunch where inevitably someone would switch the television to a midday soap.  Now I reaaaallly don’t like daytime soaps, so I would tune out the TV, the chatter around me, and, for the 10 minutes it took to eat my lunch, stop stressing about the two precious bundles next door.

I’d squish the little balls of sago in my mouth and wonder what it looked like in its original form.  I’d pace the lemon topping so that every spoonful would have a tiny bit until I had scraped the bottom of the cup.  It was my odd little sanctuary of 10 minutes ‘time out’.

A year or so later, I was visiting a friend who had become a new mum and thought I’d treat myself and my children to the pudding I had enjoyed so much.  I planned on paying closer attention to the ingredients so I could try and replicate something similar at home.  Horror of horrors, it was no longer sold.  My reaction was alarming enough that the lovely girl behind the counter had every right to start fumbling for the ‘call security’ button. 😉

From that day, I began trying every sago recipe I could get my hands on.  Every recipe I tried had its faults.  I either had balls with a tiny nucleus of uncooked sago, or sago that disintegrated into a gooey mess.  It was about three years of testing and tweaking before I finally found a recipe that came close to the pudding I used to buy.  My poor husband understood my obsession, but he still suffered in silence with every taste test.

I discovered that by soaking the sago for an hour before cooking, the cooking time is dramatically reduced, but the sago cooks through to its core.  I truly believe this is the secret to sago.

My recipe has morphed over the years, and it is now my youngest son’s most favourite dessert.  We like it with a simple gula melaka syrup, coconut cream and crushed nuts.  While it’s something I cook a lot, it’s something I had never converted for the Thermomix.  Maybe I was so worn out from tweaking and testing that I didn’t have the energy to mess with the recipe again.  When a recent episode of a popular cooking program featured coconut sago, my youngest asked if the Thermomix could manage the dish.  I decided to bite the bullet, cross my fingers, and convert my recipe.

It was a great success, and I just shake my head that I put it off for so long.  It is so much easier to cook in the Thermomix, because I don’t have to stir it!  I like to use martini glasses as they leave more surface area for the gula melaka syrup and they’re easier to eat out of.

~ Justine

sago martini

Coconut Sago Pudding with Gula Melaka Syrup

Makes 6 puddings

Ingredients

  • 130g sago
  • 500g water
  • 400ml coconut milk or cream *See note below
  • 130g sugar (white, raw or rapadura)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste (you could use pandan essence for a different flavour)

* I use a tin of coconut cream but let it sit for a few hours (don’t shake!) so I can scrape the thick cream from the top.  I use this to top the puddings as a bit of an indulgence.  Make sure you top the tin up with water to make up the fluid.

 Gula Melaka

  • 100g palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 75g water
  •  Toasted crushed nuts

 Method

Soak sago in 500g water for one hour.

Drain the sago water into the Thermomix bowl.  Put the sago aside for the moment.

Add coconut milk, sugar and vanilla paste to the bowl.  Cook for 5 minutes/varoma/sp.1.

Add reserved sago to the bowl and cook for 10 minutes/90c/rev/speed soft.

Pour into 6 dishes.

Gula Melaka

Add palm or brown sugar and water to the cleaned Thermomix bowl.  Cook 5 minutes/100c/sp 1, (no MC) or until syrup has thickened.

Pour syrup over the top of sago puddings and add a dollop of reserved cream if you feel indulgent.  Top with crushed toasted nuts.

This is lovely warm, but just as nice cold the next day.  Just don’t add the syrup and the coconut cream until just before serving.

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