Sunday, July 31, 2011

Nigella's Norwegian Cinnamon Buns

These are a family favourite in our house - they are light, sweet and buttery which is pretty much everything you could possibly ask for in a bun! 

Norwegian Cinnamon Buns (converted from Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess)



*  600g bakers flour
*  100g rapadura sugar
*  1/2 tsp salt
*  21g yeast (yep, really!)
*  100g butter
*  400ml milk
*  2 eggs


*  150g butter
*  150g rapadura
*  1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
*  1 egg, beaten



*  Melt the butter in TMX for 2 minutes at 50º on speed 4.
*  Add milk and eggs and mix for 10 seconds on speed 4.
*  Add flour, sugar, salt and yeast.  Mix to combine on speed 5 for 15-25 seconds.
*  Knead, in closed lid position, for 3 & 1/2 minutes.  The dough should be smooth and springy.
*  Form into a ball on the TMX silicone mat, wrap and leave to prove for 25 minutes.


*  Whilst the bread is proving, cream the butter in TMX for 20 seconds at 50º on speed 4.
*  Add sugar and cinnamon and quickly whiz to combine.


*  Once dough has risen, knock out the air and then roll into a rectangle of about 50 x 25cm.
*  Spread the filling out evenly all over the dough.
*  Roll it up into a long sausage shape, then cut into slices of about 2cm wide.  You should end up with about 20 rounds.
*  Line a baking tin with greaseproof paper.  Place the rolls into the tin, swirly cut side up.  They should fit snuggly together.  Brush with the beaten egg and then rise again for 15 minutes.

*  Put in a hot preheated oven ( 200º) and cook for 20-25 minutes until gorgeously golden brown.  Remove them from the tin and leave to cool slightly on the rack.

Tear each bun off and eat warm.  I generally serve them with a dollop of mascarpone and make a quick caramel sauce to go alongside them (just a bit of rapadura sugar, some butter and a dash of cream in the TMX for a couple of minutes on 90º).  The buns don't necessarily need the sauce, but really - how can extra caramel ever be a bad thing?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Nigella's White Bean Mash

I'm a big fan of nearly everything gorgeous Nigella Lawson creates.  Her recipes are generally super simple and the kind of food that nourishes your soul.  I spent some time on the weekend trawling through some of my favourite Nigella recipes, readying them to convert to the TMX this week.

Tonight we had her Lamb with Rosemary and Port, accompanied by White Bean Mash which I did in the TMX while the lamb was cooking in the pan.  It was, as per usual, super quick and easy and very tasty! 

Nigella's White Bean Mash


60ml olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 sprig rosemary
Zest of 1 lemon
3 x 400g cans cannellini beans
Pinch of salt


*  Place garlic, rosemary and lemon zest in the TMX bowl.  Chop for 5 seconds on Speed 7.

*  Add oil, saute on 100º at speed 1 for 1 minute.

*  Drain the beans and rinse under a tap.  Add to the TMX with the salt.  Cook on 100º for 7 minutes on Speed 2.  Add butterfly, whip for 30 seconds on Speed 4.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Whoop de doo!

After Donna Hay made them on Sunrise last week and then Danni on Masterchef this week, I figured that it must be time to see what was so special about Whoopie Pies.  I picked up a copy of Love Food's Whoopie Pie recipe book which was full of great ideas and taste combinations.  After making the decision that, just for once, I would not opt for the chocolate upon chocolate recipe, what caught my eye was the recipe for Coconut & Raspberry Mallow Whoopie Pies.

What I liked was the idea of using marshmallow as a filling, rather than buttercream and so I thought I'd tweak the recipe a little and create a Toasted Marshmallow Whoopie Pie.  They were devoured pretty quickly this morning, so I think they'll get a repeat in our kitchen, particularly a gingerbread version.  That said, I wasn't a huge fan of the texture of the cake/cookie - I prefer the soft freshness of just plain old ordinary cake.  Still, as always, the TMX made giving them a go super quick & easy and gave me the opportunity to make marshmallow, which is always a good thing!

Toasted Marshmallow Whoopie Pies (altered from Love Food Whoopie Pies)


Whoopie Pie:-

*  225g plain flour
*  2tsp baking powder
*  pinch salt
*  115g coconut - shredded or desiccated
*  115g butter
*  150g caster sugar
*  1 large egg
*  100ml milk

Filling:- (courtesy of Recipe Community)

*  220g sugar
*  1tbsp gelatine powder or 5 gelatine sheets soaked in cold water until soft
*  250g boiling water
*  1/4 tsp coconut essence


Whoopie Pie:-

*  Preheat oven to 180º.
*  Toast coconut in oven until golden brown.  Allow to cool and then grind in TMX on Speed 7 for 10 seconds until fine.  Set aside.
*  Place butter in TMX and mix on 50º, Speed 4 for 30 seconds.
*  Add all other ingredients, including coconut, and mix for 15 seconds on Speed 5.  Scrape down sides and then mix for a further 20 seconds on Speed 5.
*  Spoon mixture into a piping bag and pipe out 30 rounds. 
*  Bake in oven for approximately 10-12 minutes.  They will rise and be just firm to touch.
*  Cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack until completely cool.


*  Insert butterfly, place sugar and gelatine in TMX.  (Make sure all the dry ingredients are below the top of the blades to ensure full coverage with the water.)  Add boiling water and cook for 22 minutes at 100º, speed 1.
*  Remove lid from TMX and dry upper edges of bowl with paper towel.  Allow uncovered liquid to cool to room temperature until it has a very thick syrup consistency and is almost at setting stage.
*  Replace TMX Bowl and lid, but leave MC off.  Whip syrup for 4 minutes at speed 4 until thickened.
*  Add coconut essence and whip to combine.
*  Pour into a jug and place in the fridge to cool - it took almost an hour for it to cool to the consistency I needed for piping.  Every 15 minutes or so I just checked it and gave it a stir.

To Assemble:-

*  Organise the whoopie pies into pairs.
*  Spoon marshmallow into piping bag and pipe onto the base of each pair.
*  Allow to set for a couple of minutes and then gently place the top pie on and sandwich the marshmallow.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Joyeux Quatorze Juillet!

We are off to C'est Bon tonight with friends to celebrate Bastille Day, so there'll be no french fare on offer this evening in our house (in fact, the boys are having tacos!).  I couldn't let the day go past without us all sitting down to something french though, so I opted for the frenchiest of the french - croissants.

This recipe is a bit of a cheater - it's certainly not Julia Child standard, but is remarkably quicker because you only rest the dough for 30 minutes in between rolling & folding.  The result is still very light and flaky.  One day I'll have the 2 days spare to put aside to making croissants slower (and properly) so that I can compare the two end products, but today's not that day!

The dough recipe itself comes from my old Panasonic Bread Maker Cookbook.  I've uploaded photos of each step which can be used as a step by step guide with the instructions below.



*  6g dry yeast
*  500g bakers flour
*  50g caster sugar
*  24g powdered milk
*  8g salt
*  30g butter
*  350g water

Also -
*  250g butter
*  1 egg, beaten for glazing


*  Roll 250g of chilled butter between two sheets of plastic wrap until it measures about 17 x 25cm rectangle.  Chill for at least an hour.

*  Add dough ingredients to Thermomix, mix quickly on Speed 5 for 5 seconds to bring together.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then knead for 4 minutes.  The dough should be shiny & elastic when it's finished.

*  Turn the dough into a greased bowl, cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

*  Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is a 30cm square.

*  Place the rolled out butter over two-thirds of the dough.  Fold the third without butter over the centre third.

*  Fold the remaining third on top.  Seal the edges and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

*  Place the dough so that it's at right angles to the position you started with when you added the butter (you do this each time you roll out again - so that your rolling pin is parallel to the open edges of the dough - not the folded seam).  Roll out into a 30cm square.  Fold into thirds again, wrap with cling film and then refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

*  Repeat this step twice more, making sure you rotate to a right angle each time.  Wrap and chill after each rolling.  After the final folding, chill for several hours or overnight.

*  Roll the dough out into a 30cm square (you can go bigger if you want it to be a bit thinner - just make sure you keep it square).  Cut the dough crosswise into thirds and then cut each third into thirds.  Cut each small square diagonally to create two triangles.

*  Roll each triangle loosely, starting from the side opposite the point.  Curve the ends inwards to create crescent shape.

*  Place on a tray, seam side down.  Cover and prove somewhere warm for 30-50 minutes (until nearly doubled in size).

*  Brush with the beaten egg and bake in preheated oven at 200º for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Bon Appétit!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cyndi's Super Easy Chilli Con Carne

When I first started covetting the Thermomix it was because I knew it would make things like mayonnaise, sauces and custards so much easier.  I really had no idea that I would use if for the main meal as often as I do (easily 5 nights out of 7).  Probably the thing I love most about the Thermomix is that it saves me so much time doing simple, tasy, nutritional meals. 

A few days during the week, I don't get back from the school run until almost 5pm.  On these days, I tend to cook one of the quick and easy options which I know the boys love.  It means that eating dinner won't take forever - they're hungry, it tastes good and therefore they devour it quickly.  It also means that whilst it's cooking, I can supervise bathtime so that after feeding time at the zoo is finished, they're ready for bed.   Risotto al Salmone is probably the top of Sammie's list, whilst Cyndi O'Meara's Chilli Con Carne is Jack's favourite.  It was on the menu tonight - it takes all of 2 minutes prep and about 30 minutes cooking time, is tasty and the leftovers are great the next night for tacos!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Phad Thai Noodles and Aria Brussels Sprouts

A few months ago I had dinner at Aria Brisbane and had the Brussels Sprouts as a side.  I could have easily just eaten the sprouts for the entire meal (and in fact, can't remember what I had as a main - the sprouts are what have stuck in my memory).  Imagine my excitement then when in The Courier Mail last week Aria Brisbane's chef, Ben Russell, shared his recipe.  We tried it out tonight, alongside Cyndi O'Meara's Phad Thai Noodles.  The noodles were good, the brussels sprouts.... sensational!!!!

Aria Fried Brussels Sprouts (converted to TMX)


*  600g brussels sprouts, scored
*  200ml vegetable oil

*  90ml grapeseed oil
*  160ml soy sauce
*  90ml rice wine vinegar
*  6g caster sugar
*  4g salt
*  2g black peppercorns
*  300g shallots, peeled
*  Sesame oil, to taste

*  80g fried shallots (from Asian section in supermarket)
*  20g mint, finely sliced (or chopped in TMX first and then set aside)


Grind peppercorns for 5 seconds on Speed 9
*  Add shallots, chop for 10 seconds on Speed 7
*  Add remainder of ingredients, mix with 50ml of water for 10 seconds on Speed 5.
*  Set aside.

*  Steam sprouts for 5 minutes.  Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
*  Heat oil over a high heat until it reaches 180°C. 
*  Fry the sprouts in batches, taking about 3-4 minutes per batch.  They will take on a rich brown colour on the outside - don't stress if they start looking burnt, it adds to their flavour.
*  Drain on kitchen paper.

To serve:-
*  Dress the brussels sprouts with the dressing (I only used about a quarter of the amount made).  Garnish with fried shallots and mint.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mmmmm, butter.....

Today we had our usual Monday morning bread baking session and tried the Tang Zhong bread for the first time.  It's gorgeous bread - a lovely sweet nutty flavour with a beautiful texture.  I'd highly recommend it, (though it is a bit more fiddly than I prefer because it has the starter process and also needs a second rise).  It's not going to replace our staple Bible Bread, but it is definitely going on the favourites list!

Fresh bread is, I think, one of baking's greatest pleasures not least because it fills your house with such a gorgeous scent.  There's also something very virtuous about baking your own bread (not so much about eating half the loaf before the day is out though, which is what we ended up doing!).

Today also saw another first for our Thermomix - Almond Butter.  While the oven was on baking the bread I popped a tray full of almonds in to toast, then whizzed them up on Speed 7 for about 20 seconds.  The result was sensational - it's toasty, sweet and nutty and entirely delicious!

Tang Zhong Bread

250ml water
50g bread flour

Place in  locked and cook for 5 1/2 minutes, at 60 degress on speed 4.  Pour out and place in a bowl on the bench (or fridge if you're in a hot area) to cool to room temperature.

500g bread flour
160g TangZhong starter
200g water
2 tsp salt
30g sugar
2 tsp yeast
50g melted cooled butter
I also added my 90g of mixed seeds

Place all in  locked and mix on  corn for 15 minutes. (Yes, 15 minutes!!!! - Don't walk away, the Thermomix will walk off the bench otherwise!).
Allow to rise (I just left mine in the TMX) until doubled.  Then knead again on  corn for 2 minutes.  Pour into prepared bread tin and leave in a warm spot. Cover with a billowed plastic bag - it should rise above the tin.

Bake at 220C for 25 minutes. Remove from tin and bake a further 5 - 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

What's Cooking This Week

Saturday is Menu Plan day in my world.  I can't survive during school term without a menu plan - I'm just not organised enough to go to the shops more than once a week and if I had to stand around each afternoon wondering what to cook for dinner I'd never get anything done!  It's not the most exciting thing to do on a Saturday night but I like to get to the markets nice and early on a Sunday morning, so there's not a lot of choice really.

This week we're going to try out two new TMX recipes - Ravioli & Lamb Ragout and Pad Thai Noodles.  We're also having a couple of tried and true favourites - Chilli Con Carne, Barley and Vegetable Soup and Savoury Apple Cous Cous.

I'm also going to try Tang Zhong bread tomorrow when we do our weekly bread baking session, plus some Raspberry Friands with lemon curd filling, as requested by my little Menu Plan helpers!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chocolat Chaud

I came home from my demo tonight and went to pour myself a glass of wine while I sat down and did my paperwork.  It's cold here tonight though, and my people are still holidaying down the Coast so I'm home alone and I felt like a little more love and comfort than wine would provide.  The answer - hot chocolate.

One of my all time favourite hot chocolates is the gorgeous stuff they serve at Angelina in Paris -  It's so thick and chocolatey that they serve it with a side of cream, to cut it.  This recipe has a similar taste to that one, but is nowhere near as thick (and therefore somewhat less likely to lead you straight to hospital with clogged arteries).

I've got down on my "to try" list the Creamy Hot Chocolate recipe from Jo at Quirky Cooking -  I'm going to give that a go tomorrow night and compare it to the hot chocolate I made tonight.  I'll keep you posted!

Hot Chocolate (with a kick)

*  85g dark chocolate
*  150ml cream
*  1tsp coca
*  2tsp rapadura sugar
*  1 tbs honey
*  400ml milk
*  40ml Tia Maria (optional, but defnitely worth addding!)

*  Break chocolate into pieces, grate at Speed 9 for 10 seconds on Speed 8.
*  Add cream, melt for 2 minutes at 50°C on Speed 3.
*  Add all other ingredients, heat for 8 minutes at 80°C on Speed 5.

Easily serves 4-5: you can make it go further by adding more milk (esp. if you find it too rich).

Paulie likes this one spiced up a bit - I add some ground chilli to his, with a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg.  Delish!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Self Saucing Butterscotch Puddings

Tenina posted this recipe today and I thought I'd try it out tonight, reducing the quantities for one.  It was still enough for two, so my Mum scores tomorrow when I drop Louis off for his doggie holiday at her place.  I popped a square of dark chocolate in the centre of the puddings before pouring the sauce on - delicious!!!

Butterscotch Self Sauce Puddings (for two)

Ingredients - Cake
*  25g rapadura sugar
*  50g butter
*  1/2 egg (I whisk mine up, then pour half in and keep half for tomorrow's breakfast shake)
*  100g self raising flour
*  10g maple syrup

Ingredients - Sauce
*  50g rapadura sugar
*  1 tsp cornflour
*  150g boiling water

*  Preheat oven to 180°C and butter 2 ramekins or teacups

*  Place sugar and butter into bowl and melt together for 3 minutes at 100°C on speed soft
*  Add remaining cake ingredients and blend for 20 seconds on speed 5-6.
*  Scrape down sides of bowl and blend a further 10 seconds if needed.
*  Scrape into prepared baking dish and set aside.

*  Without cleaning bowl, place all sauce ingredients into Thermomix bowl and blend gently. 
*  Pour sauce over the back of a serving spoon onto the cake and bake for 15 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Monday, July 4, 2011


I've been trying to figure out how I'm going to balance Thermomix clients with the rest of my friends.  If I keep raving about recipes and ideas, my non-Thermomixing friends are going to be ready to put me in the machine and press the Turbo button!

So, I'm taking the step to the food blog (which of course means my Cupcake blog will now well and truly NEVER be updated - but it hardly is anyway!).   I'm hoping I can use the blog to publish what's cooking in my kitchen, but also share what other people are creating.

I'm home alone today, which is why I've finally pulled my finger out and managed to get the food blog rolling.  I've achieved a lot in the past day and a half - not hard considering there's only be the dog to trip over and no little people vying for my attention.  It also means, I'm cooking for one.  I'm going with Cyndi O'Meara's Yellow Split Pea soup and then, because I feel like it, I'm going to do Tenina's Butterscotch Self Saucing Pudding - for one!