Tuesday, 30 July 2013

{savoury and sweet pizza with hermie}

I love eating pizza. It's one of those meals that is so simple, starting with the dough base and then is transformed into something fabulous just from the toppings that adorn the top. Today, I've tried my hand at a classic meatball pizza and then with the dough left over, a chocolate and pistachio dessert pizza.


250grams lamb mince
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 sprig rosemary, leaves only
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil for frying

Tomato Sauce
400grams tin of crushed tomatoes
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

onion jam from the "Everyday Cooking" Thermomix cookbook
If you don't have this, then finely slice 2 brown onions and caramelise in a frypan.

1-2 cups sliced mozzarella cheese
handful of grated parmesan

Pizza Base
1 portion of the pizza dough from the "Everyday Cooking" Thermomix cookbook. 
2. Make the pizza dough as per the instructions in the cookbook. Set aside.
3. Place garlic & rosemary in TM bowl to chop 3secs/ speed 6. Scrape into extra bowl.
4. Add mince, salt & pepper into extra bowl with garlic & rosemary. Mix with hands and form small meatballs.
5. Place tomatoes, salt & pepper into TM bowl. Cook 10mins/ 100C/ speed 1. Once they are cooked, blend 10secs/ speed 7.
6. Preheat oven to 200-220C.
7. Fry meatballs in frypan until cooked through. Set aside.
8. Rollout enough dough to cover your pizza pan. Oil and lightly flour the pan and place base on top. 
9. Spread tomato sauce over pizza base. Add remaining toppings. Place pizza in oven and cook 12minutes or until cheese is melted and base is cooked through.

Serves 2.5 hungry people 

Lamb meatball pizza


This dessert pizza is a great follow to a savoury pizza. It's even better that it's made with everyday pantry and fridge items. It's inspiration is taken from the dessert pizza available from Melt in Adelaide. The pistachios used are one of the few nuts Mr S can eat but can easily be replaced by other nuts such as hazelnuts or almonds.

Extra piece of dough (depending on how large you want this pizza)
2 handfuls dark chocolate drops
1 handful crushed pistachios
cream & icing sugar for serving

1. Roll dough out as per previous instructions.
2. Place chocolate & nuts on top.
3. Dust a small amount of icing sugar over the top.
4. Place into pre-heated oven for 10minutes.
5. Serve with extra icing dusted over the top and a dollop of thick cream on each serve.

Chocolate & pistachio pizza

Serves 2.5

Bon Appetit xx

Friday, 26 July 2013

{self-saucing chocolate pudding in hermie}

So, I've made the sticky date pudding to death now and the family is wanting something else. Firstly, chocolate comes to mind. Who doesn't like chocolate? I've been looking through my recipe books and have come across one such recipe that ticks all the boxes. 
Easy? Yes. 
Quick? Yes. 
Chocolate? Yes. 
Yummy? Yes...

The recipe is from the "Australian Gourmet Traveller - Chocolate" book and I have tweaked and converted it to be made in the Thermomix. It's a great recipe that can be made with standard pantry and fridge ingredients. I don't find it too chocolately and for those chocoholics out there, you could make it richer by adding pieces of chocolate throughout the mixture before baking in the oven.

80 grams butter, softened
150 grams self raising flour
15 grams cocoa + 15 grams cocoa
70 grams raw caster sugar
125 grams milk
1 egg
100 grams brown sugar
300 grams hot water

extra butter to grease ovenproof dish
pouring cream to serve

1. Pre-heat oven to 170C.
2. Place brown sugar and 1 lot of cocoa in TM bowl. Mix closed lid position/ 2-3 times turbo button. Place aside for later.
3. Mill sugar 3 secs/ speed 9.
4. Add flour and other lot of cocoa. Mix closed lid position/ 2-3 times turbo button.
5. Add egg, butter and milk. Mix 5 secs/ speed 5.
6. Spoon into dish. Sprinkle over reserved sugar and cocoa mixture.
7. Gradually pour over the hot water , over the back of a spoon, onto pudding.
8. Cook in oven for 40 minutes or until sponge top is cooked.
9. Serve immediately with a good amount of cream.

Serves 4-6 depending on how greedy you are :-)

Bon Appetit xx

Tips: If you want to make this a mocha pudding, add a double shot of coffee at step 7 to infuse the chocolate sauce.

Monday, 22 July 2013

{'claypot' chicken, mushroom & fu chuk in hermie}

Whenever I go overseas, I like to look in local book shops for recipe books from that country. This recipe is from one of those such books that I acquired when in Singapore from the famous Kinokuniya book shop. The book is full of claypot dishes that are overflowing with delicious, saucy dishes that are perfect served with a bowl of steamed rice. However, until now, I had only tried one of these dishes because I never got around to buying an actual claypot! 

Now with Hermie, I've decided to give a few more a go and this time round I have been really happy with the results... I'm not sure that I really need a claypot anymore. The original recipe is for a chicken and liver claypot however, I'd rather eat fu chuk (beancurd) and therefore replaced the liver.

fu chuk (beancurd) & dried chinese mushrooms
4 dried chinese mushrooms
4 fu chuk sticks (or as many as you want to taste)
good thumb of ginger, peeled
2 spring onions cut in 10 cm lengths
400-500 grams chicken thighs (5-6), cubed in 4cm

seasoning A:
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornflour

seasoning B:
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1. Soak mushrooms & fu chook sticks in Thermoserver with hot water.
2. Place ginger & spring onions in TM bowl. Chop 3 sec/ speed 6
3. Marinate chicken in seasoning A in a spare bowl.

4. Remove mushrooms from server, chop off stems and cut in half. Remove fu chuk from server and cut into about 8cm pieces (or however long you would like to eat them). Set aside.
5. Saute spring onion & ginger 2min/ varoma/ stir speed/ reverse. Add mushroom. Cook a further 2 mins / varoma / stir speed / reverse.
6. Add chicken & seasoning B. Cook 17min/ 100C/ stir speed/ reverse. Add fu chuk and stir through with spatula. Stand 5 minutes and then pour into thermoserver to keep warm until serving.
7. Serve with steamed white rice and asian greens for a complete meal.

Serves 4-5 as part of a shared meal.

Bon Appetit xx

Tips: Fu Chuk and dried chinese mushrooms can be found in all good Asian Grocery Stores. 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

{black glutenous rice dessert (pulut hitam) in hermie}

This sweet dessert brings back memories from my childhood of when my grandparents would visit from Malaysia. When they were here, my family would go and see them for hours every weekend and my sisters and I would play with my cousins all day. More often than not, these visits included afternoon tea and this is where this dessert would make an appearance. It is sweet without being over the top and the rice provides the texture with the right amount of 'bite' to the dish. Some people prefer this dessert soup to be thin and others a thick consistency. I like mine just in the middle but whatever you prefer, just make sure you cook it for either a bit more or a bit less. 

The recipe below is very simple and was given to me when I did a cooking class at the 'at-sunrice' cooking school in Singapore. Unfortunately, they are not performing these 'leisure' cooking classes anymore but hopefully they will resume soon. The spice walk through the garden is very informative especially seeing the spices growing in their natural states and using them straight in the dishes just don't forget your mosquito repellant!. Anyway, I digress. The advantage of cooking this in the Thermomix is that with the continual stirring, you definitely won't have any rice stuck to the bottom of the bowl and burning. Happy cooking!

200 grams black glutenous rice
1250 grams water
2-3 pandan leaves, knotted
110-120 grams palm sugar
125 grams coconut milk (the clear milk)

coconut cream to serve (the white milk)

1. Put butterfly in TM bowl. Place rice, water and pandan leaves in bowl. Cook 40mins / 90C / stir speed/ reverse. (Do not cook at 100C as it will boil and potentially spill out the top. I learnt this the hard way).
2. Check to see if rice is al dente and how much liquid is left. I continue to cook for a further 30mins / 90C / stir speed / reverse with the MC removed to reduce the liquid.
3. Add sugar and coconut milk. Cook 10 mins / 70C/ stir speed/ reverse.
4. Ladle into bowls and drizzle extra coconut cream to serve.

Serves 6

Bon Appetit xx

Tips: I prefer to use the Chef's Choice or TTC full cream coconut milk. This comes in a can and contains the clear and white milks of the coconut. To separate more easily, put it in the fridge before use as the white part will solidify more and will be easier to scoop out.

Friday, 12 July 2013

{mapo tofu in hermie}

People often say that eating tofu is boring and tasteless however, I have grown up eating it in it's many forms and have never thought this. When I married my hubs I wasn't sure what he was used to eating for dinner and when I made this for him, he thought it was 'the bomb' (his words... not mine). It has a bit of everything from texture, spiciness, silkiness and sauce. It's so yummy that Miss I loves to eat it with steamed rice soaking up all the tasty sauce.

2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
10 grams vegetable oil (I use canola)
250-300 grams pork mince
400-500 grams silken tofu, cubed in 4 cm pieces
150 grams of 'char choy', soaked for 1 hour, rinsed and cut into small fat sticks (optional)
3 tablespoons chilli bean sauce
1 heaped teaspoon cornflour
75 ml cold water
300 ml hot water
2 spring onions, chopped into 1 cm pieces

1. Add garlic cloves to TM bowl, chop 3 sec / speed 7.
2. Add oil and pork mince. Saute 6 mins / varoma / stir speed.
3. While the mince is cooking, place tofu in a dish that will fit into the varoma. I use a 6 cup capacity pyrex rectangular dish. Place into varoma for later.
4. When the mince beeps, scrape down sides, add the char choy (if applicable) and saute  4 mins/ varoma/ stir speed / reverse.
5. Add chilli bean sauce to TM bowl and saute 2mins / varoma / stir speed / reverse.
6. Scrape sides of bowl. Mix cornflour with cold water in MC and add to TM bowl.
7. Add hot water to TM bowl and mix with spatula. Place varoma on top of TM bowl.
8. Cook and steam tofu for 10mins/ speed 1/ varoma / reverse.
9. Place spring onions into bottom of thermoserver. When tofu is steamed hot, add to thermoserver.
10. Check the mapo tofu sauce. If it is still a bit runny, reduce by cooking a further 5mins/ speed 1/ varoma/ reverse. Sit for 5 minutes and pour over the tofu. Mix through before serving. Serve with steamed rice.

Mapo Tofu served with steamed rice & bak choi
Serves 6 as part of a shared meal.

Bon Appetit xx

Note: 'Char Choy' is the name of the mustard green vegetable that has been preserved using a salting method. It can be found in packets in all good Asian grocers along with the  Chilli Bean Sauce (which is also known as toban jan). I use the below brand as it does not have MSG added. 
Chilli Bean Sauce (Toban Jan)

Mustard Green Salted (Taiwanese)
Tips: This can very easily be made on the stove the traditional way and it tastes just as good. I know it's not traditional but I also sometime add cubes of eggplant at step 4 to add more vegetable to the dish.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

{choc chip biscuits in hermie}

One of the simple things in life is to sit down for a break in the afternoon with a yummy biscuit and a cup of tea. These chocolate chip biscuits are my absolute favourite and are a recipe from the classic Women's Weekly books that I remember my mum having in the kitchen when I was growing up. It has the perfect ratio of sugar and butter so that when the biscuits are baked and warm, the outside is crispy and the inside is chewy.... just the way I like it. I was determined to be able to make these in the Thermomix and we finally have success the second time round. Happy baking x

125 grams softened butter, chopped in 2-3 cm cubes
100 grams caster sugar
100 grams brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg
260 grams self raising flour (I sometimes use wholemeal flour)
120-150 grams dark choc bits

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
2. If you're disorganised like me and use butter straight from the fridge, put the butter in the TM bowl and melt 1min / 40C/ stir speed. Otherwise, skip this step.
3. Add butterfly. Add sugar and essence to bowl and mix 1min / speed 3/ reverse. Keep the butterfly going and add the egg through the MC hole. (This is effectively 'creaming' the butter and sugar together)
4. Remove butterfly.
5. Add flour and choc bits. Mix 10sec/ speed 3 or until combined.
6. Scoop teaspoons of dough onto silicon mats or baking paper and bake for 13-15 minutes until lightly golden.

Teaspoons of biscuit dough waiting for the oven
7. Cool on trays for 10 minutes and then eat straight away!

Makes 50 biscuits

Bon Appetit xx

Serving suggestion: Follow the recipe to make a yummy chocolate ice-cream then sandwich a scoop between 2 biscuits... it's so delicious you won't be able to stop at one!

Choc-chip ice-cream sandwich
Tips: Do not overmix this dough. It will end up with overworked batter and biscuits that are flat. They still taste good though. Also, it is very tempting to double the quantities (as the biscuits don't last long) however, it ends up in overworking the dough. Lastly, leave some for the next day :-)

Variations: Instead of adding dark choc chips, try white choc chips and dried apricots. Thanks to my friend Georgia for this version xx

Monday, 8 July 2013

{chocolate ice-cream in hermie}

I love chocolate in all forms especially ice-cream. The one below just a variation on the yummy everyday vanilla ice-cream recipe. It's a great dessert after any main meal and it's not too sweet due to the high cocoa content in the chocolate used. I also like to serve it wedged between 2 choc chip biscuits for more chocolatey goodness.

100 grams dark chocolate, broken into small pieces (I used 70% Lindt)

1. Put chocolate in TM bowl and grate 10sec / speed 9.
2. Follow recipe from everyday vanilla ice-cream. Alternatively, if you want chocolate flakes throughout the ice-cream, reserve 1/3 of the grated chocolate and proceed. Add chocolate flakes at step 3 when you do the final churn of ice cream in the Thermomix.

Makes 600 ml (approximately)

Bon Appetit xx

Tips: This is quite a hard yet creamy ice-cream due to the addition of chocolate. So that it is easy to scoop out, I leave it out on the bench before we eat dinner or do a quick blast in the microwave for 15 seconds.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

{homemade baby food in hermie}

Apple & Blueberry Puree
I have 2 beautiful daughters who are 6 1/2 months and 3 1/2 years old. With Miss A, we have just delved into the world of baby food again and using a Thermomix second time round has made it just that much easier. With Miss I, I used a pot, stick mixer or fork which work well but there's just more to clean up. Also, I find that if I make Miss A's food before our own dinner, the cleanup is even more efficient.

Below, I've listed a small sample of fruit and vegetables that can be used in combinations to make up a large variety of baby foods  for bubs. Make sure you progress trying new foods according to what your baby can handle eating and keep an eye out for any signs of allergies when trying new foods.

Fresh (raw)
This is great for 'on the go'. All you need is a portable bowl, and a fork to mash. No need to heat up.

Cooked (and then frozen for reserves)
I usually pair the vegetables together for different flavour combinations. For the fruit, I usually combine these with one of the dried fruits to be used in addition to porridge or weet-bix as a breakfast.
Sweet Potato
Spinach (frozen ones available in handy segments)

Sweet Potato, Pea & Spinach Chunky Puree

Dried fruit is quite sweet from the natural sugars in them already so I only use a couple of pieces (max) in combination with something less sweet such as apple or pear. Also, I stay clear of dried fruit that has sulphites added as a preservative. I personally get extremely itchy from this and if you search hard enough, you can find preservative free fruit. In Adelaide, you can find the Sultanas and Prunes in Coles supermarkets and the Mango and Apricot at either Goodies & Grains in the Central Market or the Queen Street Grocer.


With Miss I, I used other rice biscuit snacks however, they do have sugar and salt added. At such a young age, I'm trying to stay away from these unnecessary additions to Miss A's diet so, below are a couple of things I have found that have the same 'dissolve' in the mouth feel that are 100% additive free. I have also listed below some dairy options so your little one gets their calcium intake. Note, a lot of dairy products have an addition of 'natural colouring' which may be annato or 160b. This has been linked to head banging in children and I personally avoid it just in case. You can read more about it here.

Corn Puffs
Rice Puffs
Hard Cheese, easily grated and added to avocado

Bon Appetit little Bubbies xx

Thursday, 4 July 2013

{shanghai pancakes with red bean paste in hermie}

I first tried these pancakes not that long ago in one of our favourite restaurants (Hai Tien Lo) in Singapore and loved them. I am a bit biased though because I like anything that has red bean in it and these pancakes take it a step further with a crispy fried exterior. When looking for a recipe to try, I went to my collection of Malaysian cookbooks for reference. The recipe below is from "Cook Malaysian" by Lee Sook Ching and is super easy. I have adapted it to use the Thermomix but you can easily make it without (just a bit more mess). 

Red bean paste, enough to fill 4 pancakes
pinch of salt
1 egg
250 grams water
130 grams Plain flour

Vegetable cooking oil to fry
sesame seeds for decoration

1. Place egg, half the water and salt into TM bowl. Mix 3 sec / speed 3.
2. Add flour to bowl and mix 45 sec / speed 2. Scrape down flour from sides of the bowl, add the rest of the water and mix 1min / speed 1 / reverse.
3. Let the batter stand for 30 minutes before frying. Note, this batter is very runny so don't worry if your think it's too thin.
4. Fry pancakes in a hot, greased fry pan until they are browned on both sides. Turn pancakes out onto a plate, spread bean paste on it and fold the top and bottom over to get a long, rectangular shaped cake that completely covers the bean paste.
5. When filled and folded, heat more oil in the frypan and refry each pancake until well browned and crispy.cut each pancake into 2.5 cm pieces and server sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Makes 4 pancakes.

Bon Appetit xx

Notes: I've also seen a number of recipes that use shortening and assume that this produces a flakier pastry. I'll have to try one of those and do a comparison. The above recipe's pastry actually reminds me of the "Bing Boy" pancake that they use to wrap all their fillings in... just crispy. 

Tip: If you don't like to use commercial red bean paste, it can be made using the recipe from the "Taste of Asia" Thermomix cookbook. Lotus bean paste can be used too. Also, if you make these beforehand and want to keep the crispiness of the pancake, put them in the oven before you cut them up  for 15 minute @ 200C. They should be crispy but if not, change to the grill for 5 minute increments.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

{sticky date pudding in hermie}

I love a good dessert and I love it even better when I find one that is easy and delicious. So much so that this sticky date pudding is going to make it on the menu at my next dinner party. It is sticky, sweet (but not too sweet) and the sauce is the perfect accompaniment without being sickly. My husband does not have a sweet tooth and he loves this which means it must be good! Personally, I would say that it would be the best recipe that I have tried so far from the "Everyday Cooking" cookbook by Thermomix. Here is it below with a few tweaks.

200 grams pitted dates (like Medjool Dates)
300 grams hot water
2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
170 grams raw sugar (I use 150 grams)
60 grams unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
170 grams wholemeal SRF
cream for serving

125 grams full fat pouring cream
100 grams brown sugar (I use 80 grams)
65 grams unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease a 20cm square cake tine and line base with baking paper.
2. Place dates in TM bowl and chop 8sec / speed 7. Scape down sides.
3. Add water and mix 10sec / speed 4.
4. Add bicarb soda and mix 3sec / speed 2. Set aside. Clean and dry TM bowl. If you are lucky enough to have a second TM bowl, just use that.
5. Place sugar into clean TM bowl and mill 10 sec / speed 9. If using rapadura, skip this step.
6. Insert butterfly. Add butter and mix 10sec / speed 4. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix until creamy (about 1 minute). While butterfly is still rotating, add eggs through the MC hole. Remove butterfly.
7. Add vanilla, flour and date mixture.
8. Pour into prepared cake tin and bake for 50 minutes or, until golden brown. Remove from oven and sit for 10 minutes. 
9. Slice into 9 square serves and top with sauce and cream.

To make the sauce, add all ingredients to TM bowl and cook 5-7mins/ 80C/ speed 4. This produces quite a runny sauce so I cooked this for a further 2mins with the MC removed.

Serves 9 (the book states 12 but we love big slices)

Bon Appetit xx

Tip: We're only a little family so we did not eat this in 1 sitting. To reheat, place 1 serve topped with cold sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds. Test if it is hot enough and blast in 5 second increments until hot enough. If you don't want to use the microwave, reheat using steam in the Varoma until piping hot while you are making your dinner in the Thermie.