Over a week ago I was told I was getting a Thermomix for my kitchen. I researched recipes, talked with other owners, read forums, watched the #thermomix twitter feed and was SO eager to try it. It arrived Sunday morning neatly tucked in a box and delivered by the nicest lady. She wanted me to try it and then blog about it. I told her it would take me a long time to test it but it hasn’t!
After about an hour of showing me what all the buttons do and making some lemon custard (that honestly looked like barf – light colored barf) she left me to do my best. First I got out those frozen mango cheeks that I’ve been wondering what to do with, a bit of raw sugar, an egg white (left over from the custard) and some ice. I put the raw sugar in and whizzed it for about 9 seconds and it was icing sugar. Popped in the mango cheeks and processed for 3 seconds and then a cup of ice. When that stopped making the baby bounce I added another cup of ice. In less than 6 minutes I had the best tasting mango sorbet. Six minutes! Did I take photos? Uhh.. no. I figured I’d make an oops (I did) and you really didn’t want to see that. I’ll show you another oops in a minute. keep reading
I was on a roll. I cleaned out the bowl and decided to try the concentrated veggie stock that the Thermomix folks on the forums said was a must. The woman who showed me the ropes on the machine told me to use half the salt recommended. She’s a medical doctor who really believes in this machine because when her daughter was born the baby was allergic to gluten and dairy and suffered failure to thrive. After getting the amazing machine she was able to control everything she ate so that her breast milk was just what her daughter needed. So… less sugar and salt were her recommendations.
Since I didn’t know what was in the stock before she arrived (the recipe is in the book she left) I rummaged through the fridge and had nearly everything. It called for celery, carrots, onion, zucchini, tomato and a bunch of parsley and a clove of garlic. I was out of zucchini so I added a few grape tomatoes and a couple of broccoli florets. Blitzed everything for a few seconds, added water and half the salt as was recommended and cooked it for 20 minutes.
Now the thing about it is, if you were making a thick anything on the stove you’d have to stand there and stir it. In the Thermomix? It cooks and stirs for you so while I was making the stock, I folded laundry, gazed longingly at a cupcake photo on Pinterest, threw the ball for the dog — you get the idea. When the timer went off, there it was, thick, orangey and a bit salty. It looked great. I put it into jars and put them in the fridge.
I had a Thermomix bowl of stock scrapings and who wants to waste anything? I cut an onion into 4 pieces and popped them in the bowl. Blitzed for 3 seconds, added some oil and sauteed the onions for 3 minutes. While that was happening I peeled a butternut squash/pumpkin that was nearly past its use-by date and cut it into chunks the size of ice cubes, maybe a bit bigger. When the onions were done, so was I and in the pot they went along with a carrot and a purple sweet potato. Whizzzzz! I added chicken stock and set it cooking. Again I did chores and in 20 minutes it was finished cooking. I added a bit of cream and turned the machine on high and bam.. it was almost the best soup ever. Reducing the salt in the stock left me really bland. I added some mild curry powder and a bit of salt and then it was the best soup ever. Lunch!
No dinner that night as it was a girls night out at a local restaurant. I ate too much, drank too much and had the best time. I should do that more often.
Yesterday I got up and decided I’d procrastinated long enough (one day?) and that it was time to make some bread. I’d read so many comments about how easy it is to make bread in this machine. Like most of you, I have a bread machine and a Kitchenaid mixer and every other kitchen toy that comes with a plug but I was skeptical about this bread stuff. How could bread be good coming out of what looks like a big blender? I was wrong.
In anticipation of its arrival I purchased some spelt wheat grains. The Thermomix comes with a built-in scale so I weighed the grain and in one minute I had spelt flour. I added the other ingredients and in 5 seconds the bread was mixed. In 2 minutes it was kneaded. I said to myself that it couldn’t be good with just that short amount of time. Wrong again.
I let the bread rise for 25 minutes and then put it in the clay baker to rise again for another 25 minutes. I was still thinking it wouldn’t be as good as a nice slow knead by hand or by dough hook but… the bread felt perfect as I was shaping it.
I baked it for about 45 minutes and *face drop* it was lumpy on top. Bugger. A chef in Melbourne told me that I hadn’t gotten out all the air pockets when I shaped the bread and to try again. Bingo. It wasn’t the machine, it was me. I can always fix me but if it was the machine’s fault then my initial apprehension was correct.
I know, there’s a blue tint on the photo. I’ve got a white balance problem that I’m working on. Alas, I’ve spent too much time cooking and perusing recipes.
So here you see it. Bread that I spent only a few minutes making. The best bit is that it tasted DIVINE! It was light and tender and delicious. What it wasn’t was crusty on top andthe husband says, “no crunch??” Practice makes perfect.
I’ve gone on to make the gravy from the directions in the book but I didn’t like it. I used it so I would know the process. The recipe called for brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, etc. It just wasn’t to our taste but it certainly was creamy and I’ll admit that it tasted just fine in the chicken pie we had for dinner.
Today? I’m going to crank up the camera and make something but I don’t know what yet. It could be fruit bread or blueberry bagels, or rough puff pastry filled with something decadent or brioche filled with vanilla custard and brown sugar – stop me before my brain explodes.
I think it’s nuts that these wonderful German machines aren’t available for sale in the US because they are really popular in Australia, UK and the rest of Europe. I had one guy tell me that the Thermomix was a cheat way to cook and nothing compared to doing it by hand. I asked him if he cooked over a wooden fire with a stick? We all use tools in our cooking and this is just another one. One that replaces most of the gadgets in your kitchen. How many of us have overcooked something because they were busy doing cooking and something else and forgot to check the stove? I can’t be the only one.