Category Archives: Recipes

Recipe – Carrot Falafel

Time – 1 hour – unless you want to soak your own dried chickpeas – then allow another 8 hours for soaking.

Serves – 6 (I made about 25 falafel balls)

Carrot Falafel

Zest of 1/2 lemon, peeled into long strips

20 grams rice, any variety, depending on preference

150 grams dried chickpeas (soaked for 8 hours) or 2 cans (total 800 grams) washed and drained chickpeas.

200 grams carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

1 shallot, or 1/2 a red onion

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon baking powder

handful of parsley leaves

salt and pepper, to taste

vegetable oil, for frying

Place the lemon zest in the TM bowl, along with the rice.  Process for 20 seconds/speed 10.  Add the drained chickpeas, carrots, shallot or onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, baking powder, parsley leaves and salt and pepper, and blend for 10 seconds/speed 6 to form a coarse paste.

Form the falafel mixture into golf ball sized spheres and place them on kitchen paper to dry out for 20 minutes or more.

To cook the falafel, heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan or fry pan.  (Deep or shallow fry are both fine). Cook the balls from a few minutes until crisp and golden brown.  Drain on kitchen paper before serving.


100 grams carrot, peeled

100 grams fennel

100 grams very crisp pear (no need to peel)

20 grams honey

1 teaspoon fennel seads

handful of mint leaves

30 grams olive oil

20 grams lemon juice

salt, to taste

30 grams currants

100 grams baby spinach, or other salad leaves

Place the carrot, fennel, pear, honey, fennel seeds, mint leaves, olive oil and lemon juice in the TM bowl.  Season and chop for 2 seconds/speed 5.  Scrape down and chop for a further 1 second/speed 5.  Place win a bowl and toss with currants and salad leaves.

Tahini Dressing

200 grams sesame seeds

200 grams Greek Yoghurt

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper, to taste

Mill the sesame seeds in the TM bowl for 30 seconds/speed 10.  Scrape down, then add the yoghurt, lemon juice and 50 grams of water.  Mix for 30 seconds/speed 3.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and add more lemon juice or water, if desired.


Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Main meals, Recipes


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Carrot Falafel

I had a weekend away and for only the second time I didn’t bring my thermo-baby with me…!  Consequently I suffered major thermomix withdrawal all long weekend, so I had to make up for it today.

The Carrot Falafel appealed to me as I thought it might be a away to get my son to eat chick peas – I’d tried him on falafel before and he screwed his little face right up, but he’s a carrot fan, and I thought it might be a way of making it more appealing for him.  It didn’t, but that’s another story…

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I made the falafel mix this morning about 9.30 and used tinned chickpeas.  I rolled them into balls almost straight away and left them to dry out on the bench for the rest of the day – which they really needed.  I’m not sure if it was the tinned chick pea factor, but it made a fairly wet mixture – and I did over process it, while I was trying to cut down some chinks of carrot that I couldn’t get rid of.  I’ve discovered a trick though – rather than cutting the carrots into chunks, if you cut the carrot in half length ways, and then cut into chunks, it makes for a much more even grate.

I fried them falafel just before my son was due to have his dinner at 5pm, but they were still a little wet and not crunchy, so I popped them in the oven at about 100 degrees for about an hour.  By the time I got to my dinner, they were beautifully crisp and a lovely toasted brown.  I’m wondering if Master 3 might eat them tomorrow – – – I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

I’m a bit of a salad dogder, well – actually, more a fruit dodger to be honest, and the thought of fruit of any description in a salad usually turns me right off, but I was brave and tried the salad with both the pear and the currant.  It was absolutely beautiful, lovely and sweet, but with the tang of fennel also.  I had let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so and I don’t think it did it any harm at all.

The tahini dressing is gorgeous, almost mousey in it’s consistency.  I made the dressing about midday and kept it in the fridge, so it’s a good one to prepare earlier.  I still have quite a bit left, so I’ll see what I can use it on over the coming day or so.  When you scrape down the bowl after blitzing the sesame seeds, make sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl as well, especially around the edges, as when I’d mixed it in and then poured it out, I found a few bits of sesame paste that hadn’t incorporated properly.

All in all, this is a really satisfying dish, which tastes great.  Next time I’ll try with dried chickpeas and soak them for 8 hours before I make it –  and see if that helps the crisp factor.  These would be a great prepare ahead snack for a drinks party, too.

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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Main meals, Recipes


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Recipe – Crumpets

Oops, just realised I wanted to share the crumpet recipe and hadn’t.  I’m only posting recipes here that are generally available on the internet – I’m not on commission – but I think that Dani’s book is so lovely everyone should buy a copy!

Time required:  50 minutes, plus 1 hour proving.

Makes: about 16

375 grams baker’s flour

1/2 teaspoon caster sugar

5 grams dried yeast

300 grams milk

200 grams warm water

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda



Place 1 tablespoon of the flour, the caster sugar, yeast and 100 grams of the milk into the TM bowl.  Set to mix for 5 minutes/37 degrees/speed 2.  The mixture should start to become frothy.

Add the remaining flour and milk, plus the warm water, egg and salt.  Mix for 10 seconds/speed 7 to form a thick batter.  If your batter looks more like bread mix, add a little more warm water, and mix again for 5 seconds/speed 7, until the consistency reaches that of a thick batter.  Then mix for a further 8 minutes/37 degrees/Speed 1.  

Leave the mixture in the TM bowl to prove for about 1 hour, or until it bubbles.

Once the mixture has proved, add the bicarbonate of soda and gradually increase the speed to beat for 2 minutes/speed 5.  

To cook the crumpets, oil 4 egg rings and a fry pan.  Place the rings in the pan and heat for a minute on medium to high, the turn down the heat a little.

Pour about 1.5 cm of batter into each ring and cook for 5 minutes, or until the surface has dried and is full of holes. You may need to play with the pan temperature to find the right balance between a golden base and plenty of bubbles.  If the pan is too hot, the bast starts to smell burnt before any bubbles have formed, and if it’s too cold, the surface slowly wrinkles rather than breaking into bubbles.  (You can also puncture a few holes with a skewer or chopstick for visual effect if you like).

When ready, lift off the rings and turn the crumpets to cook on the other side for a minute, or until golden.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Clean the rings, oil the rings and fry pan again, and repeat the process until all the batter has been used.

Serve the crumpets warm, with butter and your favourite topping.

In the unlikely event of leftovers, the crumpets can be layered with baking paper, frozen and toasted straight from the freezer.

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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Recipes


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Recipe – Onion Jam Flan

Time taken:  1 and a half hours

Serves 8

Onion Jam

550 grams of red or brown onions, peeled and halved

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

10 grams salt

25 grams vegetable oil

15 grams soy sauce

25 grams vinegar, any variety

50 grams sugar

Place onions, garlic, salt and oil in the TM bowl.  Process for 4 seconds/Speed 5.  You don’t want it too smooth.

Cook for 8 minutes/100 degrees/Reverse/Speed 1.  Add the soy sauce, vinegar and sugar, and mix for 2 seconds/reverse/Speed 2.

Cook for 14 minutes/100 degrees/Reverse/Speed Soft/MC off.  Store in the fridge where the flavours will develop.


100 grams wheat kernels

100 grams flour

50 grams cheddar, chopped

70 grams cold butter, chopped

Quarter teaspoon of salt

50 grams of ice cold water

Make wholemeal flour by placing the wheat kernels in the TM bow and milling for 30 seconds/speed 8.  Add the other flour, cheese, butter and salt to the bowl.  Combine the flour mixture for 10 seconds/speed 6 while adding the ice cold water through the hole in the lid. Knead for 20 seconds/interval speed to form a dough.  Turn the dough out, form into a ball and cover it tightly with cling wrap.  Set aside in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 195 degrees/Gas Mark 5-6

Lightly grease a large flan tin or pan about 30cm in diameter.  On a silicon mat or floured bench, roll our the dough to about 3mm thickness.  Gently lay the pastry in the tin, ensuring it is right up to the edges, and prick it all over with a fork.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes (you can make the filling while the pastry is cooking).  Remove the tin from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 190 degrees/Gas Mark 5.


10 grams parmesan

200 grams of cream cheese or yoghurt cheese

3 eggs

50 grams milk or cream

400 grams caramelised onions

a pinch of pepper

1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)

Place the parmesan cheese in the TM bowl and mill for 10 seconds/speed 8.  Add the cream cheese, eggs and milk.  Mix for 6 seconds/speed 5 or until smooth.

Spread the pastry crust with the caramelised onions.  Pour the filling over the onion base.  Sprinkle with pepper and caraway seeds, if using.


20 grams parmesan

50 grams gruyere, cubed

100 grams cheddar, cubed

100 grams pitted black olives, coarsely chopped

Place the parmesan cheese in the TM bowl and mill for 10 seconds/speed 8.  Add the gruyere and cheddar and grate the cheeses for 5 seconds/speed 5.  Distribute the cheese over the flan and sprinkle with the olives.  Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let the flan sit for 10 minutes before cutting.

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Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Recipes


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Recipe – Chocolate Crumble with Lemon Butterscotch Sauce and Hazelnut Parfait

Time required:  1 and a quarter hours, plus 30 minutes crumble chilling, 2 hours chocolate cream chilling, 6 hours parfait freezing.

Serves: 8 (or 6 greedy family members!)


75 grams butter, cubed

75 grams demerara sugar

25 grams almond meal

55 grams flour

15 grams cocoa powder

a pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 170 degrees/Gas Mark 3

Place all ingredients in the TM bowl.  Mix for 5 seconds/speed 5 to a breadcrumb texture. Transfer into a bowl and reserve in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes before use.  Sprinkle evenly into a 20cm lined tart ring or cake tin and bake for 9 minutes.  Remove it from the oven but leave the tart ring in place.  Carefully place the 18cm ring on top of the crumble, leaving a border around the edge. Without cutting through, press the tart ring down gently into the crumble.  Set aside to cool.

Chocolate Cream

155 grams 70% cocoa dark chocolate buttons, or chopped to button size

165 grams whipping cream

70 grams milk

1 egg, beaten

Put the chocolate in the TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds/speed 6.  Add the cream, milk and egg and cook for 5 minutes/80 degrees/speed 3.  Pour into the 18cm ring on top of the crumble base and leave to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Caramel Hazelnuts and paste

400 grams hazelnuts

120 grams sugar

a large pinch of salt

Place the hazelnuts in the TM bowl and crush for 1 second/speed 6.  Sieve to remove powder, retaining the crumbled pieces and setting the powder aside.

In a large pan, bring the sugar and 40 grams of water to a thick boil, around 115 degrees.  Gently fold in the crumbled hazelnuts and salt.  Mix until the hazelnuts are completely coated in the caramel then pour into a greased tray to cool.

When cold, set aside half the mixture for the final garnish and turn the remainder, plus the sieved hazelnut powder, into a paste by blitzing from 20 seconds/speed 7.  If continuing immediately, leave the hazelnut paste in the TM bowl and proceed with the parfait recipe below. Otherwise, set the paste aside in a sealed container.

Hazelnut Parfait

6 egg yolks

80 grams sugar

350 grams milk

150 grams double cream

prepared hazelnut paste

Pour the egg yolks, sugar, milk and cream in the TM bowl with the hazelnut paste.  Mix for 30 seconds/speed 5, then cook for 10 minutes/80 degrees/speed 5.  Pout the parfait mixture into a bowl that’s sitting over iced water to cool it quickly.  Once cool, place it in a container and freeze, stirring it with a fork every few hours. (An ice cream machine can also be used here.  This recipe makes about 1 litre, and, of course, it can be made and enjoyed without the chocolate tart)

Lemon Butterscotch Sauce

zest of two lemons, peeled into strips

75 grams lemon juice

180 grams whipping cream

75 grams glucose syrup

150 grams sugar

Place the lemon zest in the TM bowl and blitz for 20 seconds/speed 9.  Scrape down and blitz again for 40 seconds/speed 9.  Add the lemon juice and cream to the TM bowl.  Heat for 4 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.

While it’s heating, place 20 grams of water, the glucose and the sugar in a small saucepan and store over medium heat to create caramel.  Once it’s blond in colour, take it off the heat.

Bring the lemon juice mixture back up to 100 degrees, if necessary, then continue to mix at speed 3 while adding the caramel mixture.  It should be amber yellow in colour. Transfer to a container and reserve in the fridge to set.


Ease off the tart rings, using a blowtorch if possible to gently warm the 18cm ring. Cut the tart into wedges and east onto dessert plates.

Drizzle the lemon butterscotch sauce over the top, spangly with caramelised hazelnuts and serve with a rectangle or scoop of hazelnut parfait.

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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Recipes, Sweet Things


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Chocolate Crumble with Lemon Butterscotch Sauce and Hazelnut Parfait

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Well, this recipe is well worth the time and the trouble – it is absolutely beautiful.  I’m not sure what possessed me, but I made this for dinner last night, although I started it on Saturday afternoon.  And I thought Mothers’ Day was a day for resting and being waited upon!

This recipe is by Benoit Blin.  He is one of Europe’s leading patissiers, and if this recipe is anything to go by – it’s little wonder.  It was worth the trip to South Melbourne to find the tart rings – I’d do it again in a flash.  I felt like a bit of a food fraud asking for tart rings, as I had no idea what I was looking for – as it turns out, they are like big egg rings – and I’d never seen or heard of them before in my life.  So, in theory you need one 18cm tart ring and one 20cm tart ring, but they only had the 18cm ones in stock, so I had to improvise and use a cake tin for the 20cm part – which actually worked quite well. I’ll keep my eye out for a 20cm ring though, as I think it would make life a little easier next time I make it – and there will be a next time!

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The recipe is in a few different elements – which you don’t necessarily have to do in the order that is in the recipe.  I did the crumble first, the caramel hazelnuts second, the chocolate cream third, the parfait fourth, and the butterscotch sauce last.

The crumble is a cinch to make.  Butter (make sure you cube it first or at least chop it into smallish bits), demerara sugar, almond meal (I used some left over blitzed almonds from a slice I had made a while ago and while it could have been much finer, I really liked the almondy crunch!) , flour, cocoa powder (I used some of the cocoa powder I had used for the kirsch ganache – it’s a Dutch cocoa), and a pinch of salt. It makes a rough breadcrumby kind of dough, that you then put in a dish and chill for half an hour before pressing it into a 20 cm tart ring – if you have one.  As I couldn’t get a 20cm tart ring, I bought a gadget called a Profiline Push Pan that happened to be on special at one of the kitchen shops at my local shopping centre.  It’s quite nifty.  What I didn’t do was read the recipe properly and I should have lined the tray or ring, but all things considered it worked pretty well and came out pretty cleanly.  The demerara sugar makes a difference in the taste of the base, so it’s worth buying a bag at your supermarket to have on hand.

The base ended up being about a centimetre thick, and it’s important to have it that thick as you have to press down the 18cm tart ring into the fresh-out-of-the-oven base.  I did, and left the imprint, but then took the ring out, which in retrospect was the wrong thing to do.  I let the base cool for a few hours, and then put the ring back in, which I think was the cause of my chocolate cream leaking out a little.  It wasn’t the worst thing in the world to happen, but it didn’t look as pretty as the one in the picture 😦

I made the base and the chocolate cream on Saturday for serving on the Sunday evening.  I didn’t want to run the risk of a runny chocolate cream, and it set beautifully.

The chocolate cream is very easy to make – I used Lindt 70% cocoa and it worked really well.  The mixture does get a little frothy and I was concerned about the little bubbles in the mix, until I looked closely at the picture in the book, and there was some on that one too – so I didn’t stress!!

The caramel hazelnuts are so easy to make.  Don’t get over enthusiastic when you blitz the nuts – it really is a one second job.  Use a sieve and shake through the powder and set it aside.  In a pan on the stove top, you bring some water and sugar to a rolling boil to make the caramel, then tip in the hazelnuts and coat them with the caramel.  I did find this made loads more hazelnut that I needed for the recipe, so if you’re a bit short on hazelnut, don’t despair.  I’m pleased to report I now have a candy thermometer, which I didn’t get till after I’d made the caramel, so next time there will be no excuses for poor caramel quality!

Making the paste just requires half of the caramel hazelnuts and the hazelnut dust to be blitzed up, which is a quick and easy job.  You use the paste as the basis for the hazelnut parfait.  While I was cooking the parfait (well, while the thermomix was cooking the parfait), I got another bowl, filled it with ice cubes and cold water, and put another bowl on top to pour the parfait mixture in.  Doing it early meant the bowl was nice and cool before I poured the parfait mix in, and chilled it down pretty quickly.  It cooled down within a short period of time, and I then poured it into a sealable tray to freeze.

The recipe calls for you to stir the parfait every couple of hours, and I made this on Saturday night.  I wasn’t prepared to wake up every few hours to stir it, and I’d left my ice cream maker down at the beach, so I was a bit lazy and only stirred it once the next morning, when it was well and truly frozen.  When I went to serve it, it was pretty hard, and I should have taken it out of the freezer 10 minutes or so before I needed to use it, but I microwaved it for 20 seconds, then put into the TM bowl and blitzed for a few seconds until it was beautifully smooth.

The butterscotch sauce was my downfall. but I managed to resurrect it!  I still can’t believe I completely left out an ingredient!!  I wasn’t concentrating – clearly – and put everything in put everything that was supposed to be in the bowl in the bowl, and the set about the toffee-ish part – the glucose and water.  Hmmm, forgot to add the sugar, but of course I didn’t realise that till much later.  So, I added the hot glucose syrup into the hot lemon and cream mix in the thermomix bowl, and did what I was supposed to do – put it in a container to cool in the fridge.  It just looked wrong, and on tasting it was really, really lemony and quite yellow – not the amber colour Dani had written about.  What had I done wrong?  So, I read the recipe again – and realised – to my horror – that I hadn’t put the sugar in.  Epic Fail!!  I did think about starting the whole thing again, but thought I’d try and salvage my disaster first, and then if that didn’t work, make it again.  So, I need up heating the mixture up to 100 again in the thermomix, and as that was happening, just melted down some sugar to near toffee – and then poured it in to the hot lemon mixture… and it worked!!!

The plating up is the challenge – and it was hard to get the 18cm ring out, especially as my chocolate cream had leaked a little.  I ended up leaving it to warm up a little, and then ran a hot knife around both edges, and then pulled up the ring.  Dani mentions you can use a blowtorch, which would have been perfect, but alas the one I received as a gift didn’t come with the butane, and the shop that sells it was closed on Sunday!

I’ll definitely make this again, especially next time I want a dessert to impress!!


Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Recipes, Sweet Things


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Recipe – Quince Paste

Time:  1 and three quarter hours, plus overnight cooling.  Makes 1 25 x 35cm tray.


1.5 kilograms quinces

800 grams sugar, approximately


Wash the quinces, then peel and core, reserving both.  Place the peel ad cores in the TM bowl and chop for 10 seconds/Speed 5, using the spatula to push down the peel, if necessary.

Cut the quince flesh into chunks and place in the Varoma tray. Add 600 grams of water to the TM bowl, place the Varoma in position, and steam for 25 minutes/Varoma/Speed 1

Remove the Varoma tray and set aside.  Over a separate bowl, strain the peel and core mixture (you can use the TM basket to do this) and collect the liquid.  Dispose of the pulp, clean the TM bowl, and weigh the liquid and pieces of quince in to the TM bowl.  Note the weight.  Blend for 10 seconds/Speed 5.

Add about three quarters of the weight of the steamed and blended quince in sugar to the TM bowl.  Mix for 15 seconds/Speed 5.  Cook for 50 minutes/Varoma/Speed 5/MC off.  (To reduce splatter, place a kitchen cloth or similar over the opening and place the TM basket on top)

Once cooked, allow the sticky mixture to cool for about 5 minutes, the pour it into a tray greased with oil or lined with cling wrap.

Allow the tray to cool before covering and storing in the fridge.  Once set, the paste can be cut into pieces and layered with baking paper or cling wrap in an airtight container.  It keeps for months in the fridge.


Posted by on May 5, 2012 in Recipes


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