Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Choc Chip Banana & Quinoa Cake

Choc Chip, Banana & Quinoa Cake
I've waxed lyrical previously about how much I love Quinoa.  It seems that quinoa's everywhere lately though - open any food magazine, look at a cafe menu and it seems that that quinoa is the new black.  For good reason too, it's good stuff!

This recipe evolved in some recent baking experiments.  I've been making a conscious effort of late to replace wheat with spelt in my baking but on this particular day I'd run out of spelt, so I decided to try this one out with quinoa instead.

The result is, if I do say so myself, super delicious!  It is beautiful served warm - the banana and the chocolate just ooze and are perfect for this cooler weather.  It has been featuring regularly in my boys lunchboxes and they love it, so it gets big kids thumbs up as well.

Choc Chip, Banana & Quinoa Cake


*  110g quinoa (see tips)
*  130g rapadura sugar
*  125g rolled oats
*  1/2 tsp bi-carb
*  2 ripe bananas
*  1 egg
*  60g butter
*  1 tsp vanilla essence
*  150g choc chips (see tips)


Pre-heat your oven to 170C fan-forced.

1.  Mill your quinoa for 1 minute on speed 9.  (If you put a piece of paper towel under the MC before you start milling you find that you stop getting bits of quinoa fly out while you're grinding.)

2.  Add the rapadura, rolled oats and bi-carb to the TM bowl.  Mix together for 5 seconds on speed 4.  Set the dry ingredients aside.

3.  Place banana, egg, butter and vanilla essence to the TM bowl.  Mix together for 20 seconds on speed 5.

4.  Add dry ingredients to the bowl and mix for 5 seconds on speed 4.  Scrape down, add choc chips and mix on reverse, for 3 seconds on speed 4.

Pour into a lined 27cm x 16cm slice tray and bake for 25 minutes.


Quinoa needs to be rinsed before you use it.  I soak my quinoa overnight with a bit of whey in the water to make them easier to digest and then dehydrate it in my oven and store it dried.  If you can't be bothered with all that (or just want to make the slice straight away), then you can rinse the quinoa, dry it well and grind it into a paste, rather than a flour.  If you do this you need to reduce the butter content by 10-20g to allow for the additional moisture in the mixture.

I am fortunate enough that I can get organic choc chips through my dry goods co-op (in Brisbane you can order them from Santos Trading).  I also love using the Lindt Couverture chocolate buttons which are available at good delis.  In Brisbane, one of the easiest places to get them is at the Zone Fresh gourmet deli at Windsor.

Monday, July 16, 2012

What's Cooking This Week

School holidays are almost over for us - we've got one more day left of bliss and then it's back to reality.  While we've been on holidays there's been no menu planning happening at our place - it's the only time I can fly by the seat of my pants and not feel like my entire week is disorganised (mind you, it does sometimes mean breakfast for dinner, but that's okay).

However, we're back to planning this week.  I go away on Friday for a few days (to the Hunter Valley with fellow Thermomixers for what promises to be a sensationally fun weekend) so I've planned some nice easy staples to get Mr WFK and the boys through.

I also recently started learning about Ayurvedic foods after attending a class with the very lovely Brenda Fawdon at Mondo Organics.  I've got a couple of dishes I'm working on converting this week including a hummus using chana dahl, a mung bean falafel and a mung bean dahl.  Don't roll your eyes at me just yet - they were all actually really very delicious and perfect for cold wintery days!

So, here's what you'll find happening in my wholefoodie kitchen this week:-

Monday:  Baking:  Bread, Apricot & Oatmeal Cookies, Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes, Cheese & Rocket Scones and Carrot Slice.  Dinner:  Be Sampi Curry from the Taste of Asia cookbook (in preparation for our Asian consultant cooking class this week).

Tuesday:  Coconut & Prawn Curry (yes, I know, I'm *STILL* working on it!)

Wednesday:  One of my husband's favourites, Moroccan Lamb Tagine.

Thursday:  Delicious Creamy Tikka Salmon from Quirky Cooking which utilises the amazing tikka paste from the Fast and Easy Indian cookbook.

Friday:  Mr WFK will start off his weekend of cooking with his signature Thermomix dish, spaghetti.

Saturday & Sunday:  The boys' weekend will continue with two of their favourite soups:  Quirky Cooking's Chicken & Brown Rice soup and then our new favourite pumpkin soup recipe as featured in this month's Newsletter.

Happy mixing everyone,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Decadent Chocolate & Hazelnut Brownies

Chocolate & Hazelnut Brownies
I've been on a bit of a baking bent of late.  Obviously, even when we're super busy, dinner still happens.  The thing that falls by the wayside when I'm busy though is baking and I find that if I go for more than a week or two without it, I really miss it (the actual process of it, not just the deliciousness that results!).

So when I had some spare hours at the beginning of the school holidays, we went to town making some truly decadent and delicious delights.

Top of the list were these brownies, which are an adaption of an old Family Circle recipe.  The original recipe called for the more traditional walnut ingredient but, given they aren't top of my Favourite Nuts list, I substituted with hazelnuts.

Chocolate & Hazelnut Brownies
(adapted from Family Circle)


250g dark chocolate
150g butter
175 rapadura sugar (milled for 6 seconds on speed 9)
3 eggs, beaten lightly
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
150g hazelnuts (toasted, with skins removed - see tip)
75g spelt flour


Preheat oven to  160° (Fan Forced).

1.  Place chocolate in TM bowl and grate for 5 seconds on speed 8.

2.  Add butter and melt for 3 minutes, on 50° on speed 2.

3.  Add sugar, eggs and vanilla bean paste and mix for 10 seconds on speed 2.

4.  Add hazelnuts and flour and mix for 8 seconds on speed 4.

Pour into a 20cm square tin and bake for 40 minutes.


To easily remove the skins from the hazelnuts pop them into an old tea towel when you remove them from the over.  Rub the nuts in the tea towel and the skins come off easily (you just might need to take the tea towel outside to shake it clean!).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cook-A-Long with Brooke-A-Long: Edition 9

Yoghurt, Strawberries & Coulis
I've been asked a few times lately about how I make yoghurt.  My boys go through at least 1kg of yoghurt a week, so it's well worth my time making the yoghurt rather than buying it.

In terms of cost effectiveness, the yoghurt I was buying was the Jalna Organic Biodynamic Natural, which is about $6 per kg.  I now make double that quantity for almost half the price.  I buy 2L of organic milk through a diary co-op and, factoring in the price of my culture, 2kg of yoghurt costs me around $4.

There is a recipe in the EDC which works perfectly fine for a lot of people.  I didn't want to use powdered milk though, so I scanned a few recipes and in the end, this is the one that works best for us.

Try it out and see how you go.  If you need to source good culture, I've used both Cheeselinks and Nick's and been very happy with their service and their culture.  The one we use all the time now is the Type C abY Yoghurt starter from Cheeselinks.   If you don't use a dried culture, you need to use a very good quality live organic yoghurt - the Jalna one is okay, but either Barambah or Paris Creek is better.



2L organic full cream milk

1/8 tsp yoghurt culture or 1/2 cup yoghurt starter


1.  Measure milk into TM bowl and cook for 15 minutes at 80° on speed 2.  This kills off any unwanted bacteria.

2.  Allow the milk to cool to 37°.  (Warning:  this can take forever!!!  Don't think to yourself "oooh, we're out of yoghurt, I'll just make some now before I go to bed" at 10pm one evening, unless you're not planning on going to bed until midnight.)

3.  Once the milk has cooled, add in the starter culture or yoghurt.  Mix through for 1 minute at 37° on speed 1.

Pour into Thermoserver and leave, undisturbed, for at least 12 hours before placing into the fridge.  As tempting as it is to open it up and see how it's going, it's really important not to disturb it for as long as possible.
I personally find the easiest way to set my yoghurt is to put my Thermoserver into my oven and turn the oven on to 35°. 

I tend to leave it in there for about 15 hours and then place it into the fridge.  If your oven doesn't go that low, try putting it into an esky and pack it down with towels - the key to getting it to set well is to keep it warm for as long as possible.


Once set, if you want to sweeten your yoghurt the easiest way to do that is by making some fruit coulis and stirring it through. 

I use the recipe from the EDC (reducing the sugar content), bottle the coulis and just add it as a sauce to the yoghurt when I'm looking for an extra hit of sweetness.

To make labna (a yoghurt cheese similar in texture to cream cheese), strain your yoghurt through a cheesecloth.  The longer you leave it to strain, the thicker it will become.  It's beautiful then used as a dip base and in cheese balls.

Chicken Stock Paste

Someone recently put a post on the Recipe Index page asking for the recipe for chicken stock paste. 

I'm happy to share with you the recipe as adapted by beautiful Jo Whitton at Quirky Cooking from one of my favourite Thermomix cookbooks, My Way Of Cooking.  You'll also find the recipe on the Thermomix app alongside lots of other fabulous recipes from that cookbook.

Chicken Stock Paste
(from Quirky Cooking)


300g raw chicken
300g vegies (leek, onion, shallots, carrot, garlic, celery etc.)
Few sprigs herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley)
150g coarse sea salt
1 bay leaf
50g white wine
1 clove
5 coriander seeds


1.  Mince chicken (from frozen cubes - or fresh but placed in the freezer for 10 minutes to harden up) by locking the lid and pressing the turbo button a couple of times.  It's minced when the machine no longer shakes.

2.  Add vegies and herbs and chop on speed 6 until all finely chopped, using spatula to push it into the blades.

3.  Add remainder of ingredients. Cook for 20 mins, Varoma temp, speed 2, with simmering basket on top instead of cap.

4.  Replace cap and blend 1 minute, speed 10.

Use 1 tsp in 500g water for chicken stock.

Farewell MLT, hello WholeFoodie Kitchen!

So, My Little Thermomix is no more.  It's been a cute name, a good name, but it's time to thank it for it's services and send it on it's way. 

As Thermomixes become more and more popular, Thermomix has to obviously take great care with brand association.  Given that any Tom, Dick or Harry can have a blog and put recipes up for unsuspecting bystanders to try out, Thermomix needs to know that the recipes which carry it's name are tried, tested and true (and we all know that I'm guilty of leaving ingredients or recipe steps out as I transcribe from my trusty notebook to the blog).

Contrary to popular opinion, I'm not bothered by the change.  It's a fair call on Thermomix's behalf and, apart from the inconvenience of having to get new business cards printed, it's not been a issue for me.  It was fun to see everyone's name suggestions on Facebook - unfortunately ximomreht (Thermomix spelt backwards) did not get my vote (much to Jackie's despair - he thought it was the best suggestion!).

In the end, I settled on WholeFoodie Kitchen for a couple of reasons but mostly because it most accurately describes what cooking is about in our kitchen - whole food that is delicious and special. 

I bought my Thermomix for all the cool cheffy tricks, not realising just how much time it would save me with lunch, breakfast & dinner.  I've gone through a huge learning curve in the last eighteen months and learnt enormous amounts about different foods and their benefits.  I've learnt to soak grains and nuts, I make our yoghurt, I have sourdough bread down pat, am at the markets at 6am every Sunday, have about 4 different co-ops to source all our food requirements and only go to the shops for toilet paper and cleaning stuff.

I feel that I've combined all the knowledge I've gained about traditional eating and wholefoods and joined it with all the foodie knowledge & habits I already had.  The result is, I'm a bit of a WholeFoodie.  (A friend described me as a Yippy: a yuppy who's pretending to be a hippy.  Hilarious, but Yippy Kitchen just didn't have the same ring to it!).

Therefore, WholeFoodie Kitchen seemed to me the obvious choice for my new name.  I love my Thermomix and the journey that our family is making with it.  I love taking wholefood recipes and putting a little bit of foodie love into them or, alternatively, taking foodie recipes and putting a bit of wholefood goodness into them. 

I'm always so grateful when people tell me they've tried something and love it.  Sharing recipes and tips on how the Thermomix can help everyone is really rewarding - there's a lot to be gained from sharing a bit of WholeFoodie love!!!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Melting Moments

Mmmmmmmelting moments
Everyone loves a Melting Moment.  What's not to love?  They're sweet, but not too sweet, buttery bites of goodness.  They are my preferred "get it at the school fete cake stall" biscuit too, because they're actually pretty hard to get wrong!

I do have one little niggling thing about them which is that I don't overly like it when they've been made with custard powder.  It's usually pretty easy to pick - they're very yellow to start with, and just have a bit more of a chalky taste.

Of course, with our ability to make ad-break custard (as Mr MLT refers to it) whenever we like, those of us in Thermomixing Land have no need for custard powder.  In fact, I don't have any in the cupboard even if my recipe did ask for it.  It doesn't though - this is one of the those tried and tested Womens Weekly recipes from one of my first cookbooks "Sweet Old Fashioned Favourites".

Melting Moments
(adapted from AWW Sweet Old Fashioned Favourites)


*  125g butter
*  1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
*  30g icing sugar (premilled in TMX)
*  125g plain flour
*  40g cornflour

*  100g butter
*  150g icing sugar (premilled in TMX)
*  1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste



1.  Soften butter for 2 minutes, at 50° on speed 2.

2.  Add sugar & vanilla and cream for 10 seconds on speed 3.  Scrape down and repeat.

3.  Add flours.  Mix for 10 seconds on speed 3.  Scrape down and repeat.

4.  Roll mixture into balls and flatten lightly with a fork,

Bake at 160° (Fan Forced) for 10-15 minutes (until golden).
Before sandwich stage


1.  Add all ingredients to TM bowl.  Mix for 10-20 seconds on speed 4.

When biscuits are cool, organise into pairs.  Pipe icing onto bottom biscuit and sandwich together.

This recipe makes about 16 good size biscuits, equalling 8 delicious melting moments.