Cleaning your Thermomix

Here’s a few ways to clean your Thermomix bowl, along with a few tips for let’s say ‘spring cleaning’ once or twice a year.

For everyday cleaning, I can’t recommend highly enough, using a Thermomix bowl brush.   They are fantastic for getting around the bowl & blades quickly.  I think they’re so fantastic, I give one to my customers when I deliver their Thermomix.  If you want to buy some, they are $5 each & you should be able to get them from your consultant, or a local consultant in your area.  If not, you can purchase them through the Thermomix website http://www.thermomix.com.au/accessories-product-detail/?sku=1692 (note: this link is Thermomix in Australia).

Cleaning 1

Personally, when I’m cleaning my bowl, I really only ever remove the blades if I can see food stuck to the blades.  Having a small brush like this, or a baby’s bottle teat brush, is essential for cleaning your blades.  They are fantastic for making sure everything’s clean under the blades too.

cleaningI found these brushes on an Australian website, although anything similar would do the job just as well.

http://www.tm-essentials.com.au/p/2-x-thermomix-twisted-wire-double-ended-cleaning-b/TWISTEDBRUSH

Cleaning 2

VINEGAR CLEAN

A vinegar clean is great to do once, or twice a year.  I do a vinegar clean when the inside of my bowl has a slight rust colour tinge to it.  Doing the vinegar clean & then a good rinse & brush with the Thermomix bowl brush, will help your bowl shine.

Simply add 1 litre white vinegar to the TM bowl & 1 good squirt of dishwashing liquid.  Cook 60 minutes/50 degrees/speed 1.

GUMPTION

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Gumption is a gentle multi purpose cleanser, that I use with a gentle scouring sponge to remove any burnt stains on the bottom of the bowl.  You might find you get these if you cook something for a long time at high temperature that contains sugar or honey.

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If my bowl looks like this, I take out the blades & give it a good scrub with Gumption.  These are the types of scourers I use – just NEVER USE STEELO (steel wool)!

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TARTARIC ACID

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I haven’t used this personally, as I find vinegar clean & gumption wonderful for my cleaning.  However, my colleagues have recommended Tartaric Acid.   Simply sprinkle some into your Thermomix bowl & give a good wipe with a damp cloth.  Leave to sit for a few minutes, then rinse.

Apple Muffin Balls

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These muffin balls are fantastic for lunchboxes!  They’re also so easy to make, literally just place all ingredients into your Thermomix & mix!  I love that they don’t even need to be rolled into balls with your hands.  If you use an old fashioned ice cream scoop, you can scoop them straight onto the tray.  They also freeze well, so you can add them to a lunchbox straight from the freezer & they’ll be ready to enjoy by recess.     My 5yo loves them, which means they passed the fussy eater test!

Ingredients:
290g SR flour
280g apple puree
60g brown sugar
30g rice bran oil
10g chia seeds
10g cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder

Method:
1) Pre heat oven to 170 degrees
2) Place all ingredients into TM bowl, mix 20 seconds/speed 3.5
3) Scrape down the sides of the bowl, mix 10 seconds/speed 3.5
4) Using a small old fashioned ice cream scoop, scoop balls of mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper.
5) Bake 12-15 minutes, or until the balls just start turning brown.

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Notes:
 Take care using the ice cream scoop or any steel spoon in your TM bowl, as they could scratch the inside of the bowl.  When it’s getting towards the end of the muffin mixture, I scrape the mixture into another bowl, just to prevent scratching.  You can also place your TM bowl back & turbo a few times, to release mixture around the blades, so there’s less wastage.
 

 Substitute apple puree for apple/raspberry or apple/strawberry puree for different varieties.

For a healthier option, substitute…..

Brown sugar for Rapadura

Cocoa for Cocao

SR Flour for wholemeal, or gluten free flour
 

Source:  cutoutthecrap.com.au (I modified the recipe for a lighter texture & using ingredients I had in my pantry)

Spiced Coriander & Yoghurt Chicken

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This Varoma dish is very tasty & so easy!  Imagine spending only 5 minutes in the kitchen & then 20 minutes later, dinner is ready!  You can even marinade the chicken up to 24 hours ahead of time.  I’ve adapted this recipe from an old cookbook of mine.  In that recipe the chicken was marinated, grilled on both sides & then cooked in the oven.  If you have’t used your Varoma for cooking protein, you really need to give it a try.  It’s very easy & the end result is very moist & tender.

The flavours of this dish are lovely & you can adjust the chilli to your tastes.  I personally don’t like foods too spicy, so I used 1 teaspoon of dried chilli.  If you’re cooking for the kids you may wish to just use a half teaspoon or leave it out.  Even if I’m only cooking for one or two, I always cook the full recipe & keep the left over chicken for lunches or another night’s dinner.  As the chicken breasts are cut lengthways, they are fantastic served in a wrap for lunch or with a salad!

Ingredients:
150g natural yoghurt
3 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp ground coriander
1-2 tsp dried chilli flakes (adjust to taste)
1 tsp turmeric
salt & pepper
juice of 1 lemon
4 skinless chicken breasts

Method:
1) Combine yoghurt, spices, seasoning & lemon juice in a large bowl.
2) Cut chicken breasts lengthwise into 3 or four pieces each. Add chicken to bowl & ensure chicken is thoroughly coated in yoghurt mixture. (This can be done up to 24 hours ahead of time).
3) Place 1 litre boiling water in TM bowl. Line Varoma tray with a sheet of baking paper & spread chicken evenly over the tray. Pour any excess yoghurt mixture over chicken.
4) Insert Varoma into position & cook 18 minutes/Varoma temp/speed 3.
5) Check that chicken is cooked through.  If not, cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
6) Serve with a simple salad, vegetables or with cous cous or rice.

 

Notes:

Vegetables can be added to the Varoma dish during the cooking time – ensure there is a gap in the veggies, so the steam can get through.  Here’s a fantastic Varoma tip – you can put a cookie cutter in your Varoma dish, to make a gap for the steam to get though, which ensures even cooking.

Cookie cutter in varoma

Sometimes, the use of Tumeric in your cooking can cause the TM lid or Varoma to stain green.  This can also happen when using Saffron & Mustard Powder too.  Don’t panic if the lid or Varoma do stain.  If you leave them outside, in direct sunlight for a few hours, the stains will fade.  Because I line the Varoma dish with baking paper, my Varoma doesn’t stain (but the baking paper will).  If you don’t use baking paper, your Varoma tray & dish will stain green.

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Take care removing the Varoma tray once the chicken is cooked.  There will be some water lost from the chicken as it cooks & you can carefully drain this from the Varoma tray before serving.  This is the chicken in the Varoma tray before it’s been cooked:

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And this is the cooked chicken:

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Monkey Bread

 

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If you love Hot Cross Buns, Monkey Bread is an addition to your Easter feasts that you’re sure to love!  Served warm, in the middle of the table, you’ll be able to pinch off balls of sweet, soft pastry that have been rolled in butter & cinnamon sugar!  Baked in a Bundt tin, it will be a centrepiece on your table that is sure to get your friends & family talking.

You can mix this up a bit too – add some cinnamon & mixed spice to the dough in step 1.  You could also add some sultanas or currants to the dough, so it’s more like a hot cross bun (see notes).  For a dairy free option, you can substitute the butter for coconut cream.   If you prefer a healthier Monkey Bread, check out Quirky Cooking for her Spelt Hot Cross Bun Monkey Bread.

The sweet dough in this recipe is a basic sweet bun recipe, that you can use to make things such as sweet scrolls, finger buns, add fillings or cover with icing or sugar glaze.

Sweet Dough Ingredients:
275g lukewarm water
2 sachets dried yeast (or 5 tsp dried yeast)
550g bakers flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp milk powder (optional)
65g brown sugar
45g soft butter

Ingredients for Monkey Bread assembly:
150g butter
100g raw sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice (optional)

Method:
1) Add all dough ingredients into your TM bowl, in the order listed in the recipe. Mix 40 seconds/speed 3.
2) Knead 8 minutes/dough setting. (it’s best to stay in your kitchen when using the dough setting, to keep an eye on your machine)
3) Transfer dough to a ThermoMat, wrap & let it rest/prove for 30 minutes in a warm spot, or until doubled in size.
4) Once proved, place the dough on your Thermomat or floured surface & knock back the dough with your hands.
5) To assemble the Monkey Bread, place 150g butter in TM bowl, melt 3 minutes/65 degrees/speed 2. Set aside in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, place sugar & spices & mix together.
6) Grease your Bundt tin well, with butter or non stick spray.
7) Pinch off walnut sized pieces of dough & roll into balls.  Roll the balls in melted butter, then in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Place balls in your tin, making sure you keep the level of balls even around the tin.  Drizzle over any remaining butter.
8) Cover with a clean tea towel & allow to prove in a warm place for 30 minutes.
9) Place tin into a cold oven & turn on to 180 degrees.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.
10) Allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then serve warm.

 Notes:

If you add sultanas or dried fruit to your dough, add them for the last minute of kneading (step 2).

 If you’re having trouble finding a warm place to prove your dough, pour boiling water into your ThermoServer & place your dough on top.  The heat that comes trough the lid will be enough to prove your dough.

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When you roll the dough balls in butter & sugar, keep them at an even level around the tin, as the top of this tin will become the base of your Monkey Bread. 

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This has been proved for a further 30 minutes (I just sit the tin on top of my ThermoServer full of boiling water).  Look how much it’s risen!

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The Monkey Bread has just come out of the oven & smells amazing!  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes & then turn out onto a platter & serve.  This is definitely best eaten warm, as the dough is so light & fluffy, however, my kids have enjoyed a few balls of this everyday for the last few days.  It’s great as a treat or snack – even a few balls in the lunchbox. 

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If you don’t have a ThermoMat, use a stainless steel bowl greased with olive oil & cover with glad wrap instead. 

Freezing & Defrosting Pizza Dough

The pizza dough recipe in your basic or everyday cookbook makes 4 pizza bases. After the dough has been proved, you can freeze the dough if you’re not using the whole amount. I freeze my dough in portions, wrapped in glad wrap.

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If you want to make frozen dough into a pizza, allow a few hours for it to defrost & come to room temperature. I’ll usually put mine out in the morning or at lunchtime. Unwrap the frozen dough & put on a plate. Place fresh glad wrap over the frozen dough, making sure that it’s airtight.

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Now just allow your dough to slowly defrost. As it comes to room temperature, it will prove again, doubling in size, which is why you place fresh glad wrap over it.   Depending on how warm your kitchen is, your dough size could increase more or less.  The dough will be quite sticky, so it’s good to roll out on your ThermoMat, with some plain flour on both sides of the dough.

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Now you can make up your pizza as usual, cook & enjoy!

Pizza Night (with lots of veggies)!

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It might not sound like a stretch to get your kids to like pizza, but my 5yo daughter is a very fussy, plain eater. Even to the point where she would turn up her nose at a slice of pizza, just because it was something different. Although she’s getting better, she’s still very fussy, although now she’ll try something, before telling me she doesn’t like it….. sometimes!

Anyway, she now loves pizza, so that is one new thing she likes, although she can still spot the smallest vegetable in her dinner, so I’m getting very creative at hiding them. This pizza I made for dinner this week was very easy (almost everything I grabbed from the freezer), very tasty & most importantly, FULL OF VEGGIES!

The sauce on this pizza is a few cubes of mashed vegetables, which I have in the freezer.  Then I mix in a few teaspoons of tomato paste, to give it a pizza sauce colour.   Follow this link to the veggie mash recipe.  I made the beef meatballs in my Thermomix too, although I haven’t posted the recipe yet.  They too are full of veggies, that are pureed so fine that my 5yo can’t spot them & then steamed in my Varoma tray.  I’ve then sprinkled on some cheese & cooked.

Freezing Pizza Dough:

The pizza dough recipe in your basic or everyday cookbook makes 4 pizza bases.  After the dough has been proved, it’s fine to freeze the dough if you’re not using the whole amount.  I freeze my dough in portions, wrapped in glad wrap.

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If you want to make frozen dough into a pizza, allow a few hours for it to defrost & come to room temperature.  I’ll usually put mine out in the morning or at lunchtime.  Unwrap the frozen dough & put on a plate.  Place fresh glad wrap over the frozen dough, making sure that it’s airtight.

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Now just allow your dough to slowly defrost.  As it comes to room temperature, it will prove again, doubling in size, which is why you place fresh glad wrap over it.  The dough will be quite sticky, so it’s good to roll out on your ThermoMat, with some plain flour on both sides of the dough.

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More Pizza Tips:

Another way to make sure you can always whip up a quick pizza for dinner (without having to go to the shops) is to have some toppings in the freezer.  I recently bought a boned leg of ham at the supermarket that was on sale, shredded it in my Thermomix & then frozen in 90g portions.  Not only is this convenient, it can save you a lot of money.

Pizza night

This is enough ham for one pizza & here’s what I made for the kids – they demolished it:

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CADA (Fresh Muesli)

Cada

This post is for all of my TM5 customers.   When the new Thermomix model was released in September 2014, the Everyday Cookbook that came with your Thermomix, was replaced with The Basic Cookbook.  The Basic Cookbook is wonderful & interestingly, wherever in the world you buy your TM5, you receive the same cookbook (just in different languages).    The only down side is that CADA isn’t in the cookbook!  CADA is an acronym for the four ingredients – Coconut, Almonds, Dates & Apple.

You literally cannot make a quicker, easier, healthier breakfast.  This takes less than a minute to throw the ingredients in your TM bowl & then 2 seconds to chop.  Substitute the almonds & dates for other dried fruit & nuts if you want.  You can even serve this with custard for a dessert feel.

To my TM5 customers & my future TM5 customers; do yourself a favour & make CADA at least once!

Ingredients:
40g fresh coconut (flesh only) or desiccated coconut
40g almonds
40g pitted dates
1 apple, quartered

Method:
1) Place all ingredients into TM bowl, chop Turbo/1 second/ 2 times.
2) Serve with yoghurt straight away, or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Source: Thermomix Everyday Cookbook
Photo Source: Thermomix Recipe Community

Vegeroni Spirals with Rich Mushroom Sauce

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I made this mushroom sauce recently, by adapting a recipe in my cookbook collection.  It wasn’t a Thermomix recipe, but I converted it along the way.  It’s delicious as a rich, tasty pasta sauce, but can also be served as a mushroom sauce on top of a piece of grilled steak.  This recipe is vegetarian & also vegan if you don’t add the sour cream.  To mix it up, you could also make this with chicken stock paste, instead of vegetable for a different flavour.   Serve this with any type of pasta – the original recipe was Mushroom Orecchiette, but I couldn’t find Orecchiette that day at the supermarket.  This sauce is also very easy to freeze in portion sizes for a quick dinner when you don’t have much time on your hands.

Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic
1 onion
20g dried forest or porchini mushrooms
40g olive oil
500g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
125g white wine
125g tomato sugo or tomato passata
1-2 tablespoons vegetable stock paste
60g sour cream or cream (optional)
400g dried Vegeroni spirals (or any dried pasta)
pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley or basil
Parmesan cheese, to serve

Method:
1) Place garlic in TM bowl, chop 3 seconds/speed 7.
2) Add onion, chop 3 seconds/speed 5.
3) Add dried mushrooms & oil, cook 3 minutes/120 degrees/speed 1 (MC removed).
4) Add mushrooms, cook 5 minutes/100 degrees/reverse/speed 1.
5) Add white wine, cook 4 minutes/100 degrees/reverse/speed 1 (MC removed).
6) Add sugo/passata. Zero scales, add 1-2 tbsp veg stock paste & add enough water to reach 125g.
7) Cook 15 minutes/100 degrees/reverse/speed 1 (MC removed & place steamer basket on lid to prevent spitting).
8) Add sour cream, cook 2 minutes/100 degrees/reverse/speed 1.
9) Check seasoning, toss sauce with cooked pasta & herbs. Serve with shaved parmesan cheese.

 

Notes:

If you have a TM31, cook at Varoma Temperature, when a recipe is for 120 degrees.

I like to use Swiss brown Mushrooms, as they have more flavour than button mushrooms.  If you can’t find Swiss browns, use any combination of any mushrooms & button mushrooms are fine to use.  The dried mushrooms will add a flavor kick anyway.

 This is not just a pasta sauce – use this mushroom sauce to top your steak.  One serve of sauce (for pasta) could be used to top 2-3 steaks.

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 Dried mushrooms add a flavour kick to this dish, as mushrooms alone don’t have a lot of flavour.  You can buy these from some grocers & deli’s, but they can be expensive in small packets.  I buy my dried mushrooms in bulk from Moorabbin Wholesale Market in Melbourne.   Places like Costco also sell in bulk.

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Chunky Basil & Cashew Dip

Chunky basil & cashew dip

This is one of my favourite dips & I sometimes make this dip at my demos.  This recipe, from the ‘Recipe Community’, replicates the ‘Wattle Valley’ dip you buy at the supermarket.  This dip, however’ is made with fresh ingredients & contains no additives & preservatives.  I’ve been asked so many times for this recipe, so I thought it time to share on my blog.  I’ve followed the recipe on the Recipe Community, but tweaked the recipe by adding a little extra olive oil.  You can enjoy this dip as is, but also use it on pizza bases & make basil pesto scrolls.

Ingredients:
1 clove garlic
50g fresh basil leaves (usually 1 bunch)
120g unsalted cashews
60g parmesan cheese, cubed
50g olive oil
20g white vinegar
Sprinkle of dried mixed herbs
Salt & pepper

Method:
1) Place garlic into TM bowl, chop 3 seconds/speed7.
2) Add remaining ingredients, chop 1 second/Turbo. Repeat the 1 second/Turbo a few more times, or until the consistency reaches your desired level of ‘chunkiness’.   Serve & enjoy.

Source: Thermomix Recipe Community

Notes:

I buy my cashew nuts in bulk, to save money (Although I do need to hide them in the pantry so I don’t snack on them all the time)!  Aldi sell them in small packets that are reasonably priced compared to the other major supermarkets.  You can also save a lot of money buy buying in kilo bags or more.  Around my local area I go to Moorabbin Wholesale Market or D&D nuts in Dandenong.  

Use left overs on pizza, add oil for dressing, scrolls.  Just remember if you make scroll, they contain nuts, so are not ‘lunchbox friendly’ for many schools & kindergartens.

Pesto scrolls

Honey Joys

Honey Joys

It was my daughter’s 5th birthday yesterday, so I’ve been busy making lots of party food.  My kids love honey joys, but I think my Dad loves them even more!  As I was making them yesterday, I converted the 1/3 cup & tablespoon measurements from my recipe into grams, so next time I can just weigh the ingredients into my Thermomix bowl.  It’s great to have the butter mixture melting at a controlled temperature & not have to keep stirring it.  While it’s melting, you can get all the patty pans ready for the next step.

Ingredients:
90g butter
80g sugar
20g honey
150g cornflakes

Method:
1) Pre heat oven to 150 degrees & line muffin tray with patty pan cases.
2) Place butter, sugar & honey in TM bowl, cook 5 minutes/100 degrees/speed 2.
3) While the butter mixture is cooking, place a mixing bowl on top of the TM lid, zero the scales & weigh cornflakes into bowl.
4) Pour butter mixture over the cornflakes & mix well.
5) Working quickly, spoon mixture into patty cases. Bake for 10 minutes.

 Notes:

 If you prefer, you can add the cornflakes to the TM bowl in steps 3 & 4.  Mix the cornflakes for 15 seconds/reverse/speed 2 or until the cornflakes are all coated.

 I prefer to mix the cornflakes & butter mixture in a mixing bowl, as you need to use a tablespoon to spoon the mixture into the patty cases & I’d rather not use a tablespoon in my TM bowl, so I don’t scratch it.  If you’d rather do everything in the Thermomix & avoid washing another mixing bowl, just take care when spooning out the last of the mixture & be careful not to scratch the base of your TM bowl.