Tag Archives: cumin

White Chocolate Crisps, Cumin and Cream

White Chocolate Crisps, Cumin and Cream

So, I’ve finally got some time on my hands.

Not that I needed much to whip up these little lovelies.  I’ve stared admiringly at the picture of these in the book and finally got organised enough to make them to go with coffee last night.  Well, I thought I’d got myself organised.

You see, I’d bought some white chocolate.  I know that technically white chocolate isn’t chocolate at all, and I hadn’t seen any really GOOD white chocolate that I wanted to use in this recipe, so I bought a few blocks of the Lindt White Chocolate at the supermarket.  All good.  Except when I went to open it last night and I discovered that in my semi exhausted state I had mistaken milk chocolate for white chocolate… doofus!  I was so intent in getting this recipe made and off my list that I bent to the circumstances and made it – but only used the White Chocolate Melts, which aren’t all that great for recipes like this.

Because I wasn’t working with premium chocolate I must admit I didn’t go the whole hog and make pretty shapes with the chocolate, but the result was actually pretty reasonable even with the dodgy chocolate used. The upside of using the melts was that the chocolate wasn’t quick to melt after the dessert had been assembled, so that was a bonus.

The recipe comes from the amazing Sat Bains.  I’ve been watching him on Great British Menu and I love the way he thinks about food.  Next time I’m in England, I’m going to try and get to his restaurant in Nottingham.  This last trip I managed to get into Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck and it was spectacular – everything I hoped for and much, much more.  Such fabulous memories, I can’t wait to try my luck and see if I can manage a sitting at his Melbourne Pop Up later this year.

Really the recipe couldn’t be easier.  Bung in your cumin seed, and the chocolate.  Melt it and whiz it around a but, and then scrape it down a bit.  Pour in onto a silicon sheet or baking paper – I used baking paper on a baking sheet.  Smooth it out with your spatula – as it cools down it gets easier to put nicer patterns on it.

The tricky part comes next – you refrigerate it until it’s just set enough to make an indentation with a cookie cutter that will actually stay – so timing is crucial.  I attempted to fridge a few times before I gave up in disgust at my lack of success and then reverted to just leaving it on the bench so I could keep an eye on how set it was becoming.  Because I was running out of time and figuring I hadn’t used great chocolate for it, I decided to give the fancy shapes the flick and just ran a knife through it to create some rectangles and a few triangles.  Then I refrigerated it to make sure it was set, and because I heeded the warning that it melted rather quickly in the recipe!

I had some great cream in the fridge – it’s the Gippsland Dairy Double Cream.  It’s so thick and luscious I didn’t see the need to whip it – I just used a butter knife and slathered it in between two discs of chocolate and arranged them (very hurriedly) on a plate.

Well, these were quite a delightful little treat.  Certainly something I’d serve again with coffee.  Here’s the thing – I was trying to be good and thought I’d put the merest hint of cream between some of the discs, but I’ve got to say the more cream, the more the flavour of the cumin comes through.  So now you have that on my good authority – go for your life!

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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Sweet Things


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Cauliflower Sausages with Cauliflower Couscous and Curry Oil

When I walked into the greengrocers the other day, I saw the most beautiful looking cauliflowers that I have ever seen…so I bought one and then came home and wondered what I could do with it!  The answer was Ryan Flaherty’s Cauliflower Sausages.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, Dani gave me some maltodextrin, which I used for the Pine Nut Crumb, and some Metil Methylcellulose, which I used in this recipe.  Both these ingredients can be hard to get and pricey at that, so it would be a perfect opportunity to share the purchase with another thermomix or foodie friend.

Metil Methylcellulose is like a jelly that sets as it heats up. You only need 15 grams of the actual Metil Methylcellulose, and it makes about 4 times what you actually need for one batch of the recipe. The Metil mixture – once it’s made up into a liquid – keeps for a week in the fridge, but I don’t think it would freeze all that well.  You need to mix it up and prepare it first, and let it cool for 4 hours, so this is a recipe that you need some time to prepare. The cauliflower puree also needs some time to cool, and the dried cauliflower needs to stay in the oven overnight, so I actually prepared this recipe over a few days. First I made the Metil mix, then the curry oil, then the dried cauliflower, and finally the sausages and the cous cous.

Having said that, it would be a great dinner party entree although very rich, so you’d want to serve it with something fairly light as a main course.

Cauliflower Sausages

The first step in this recipe was the preparation of the Metil Methylcellulose.  You do this part in a bowl – not the TM bowl.  You add the water and mix it – well, as much as you can mix it – it’s sort of like wallpaper paste in consistency. Once you’ve got it fairly lump free, you add the mix to the TM bowl and blend and heat it.  It froths up quite a bit, and when I opened the bowl after it had finished mixing, there was quite a layer of foam on it, which does subside (but not completely) while it’s cooling.  When it’s cool, it is almost jelly like in its texture, and when I used it later I avoided the foamy white part at the top.

Next, I made the mix for the cauliflower sausages.  They were pretty easy to make, although the first time I did them, I forgot to take the bunch of thyme out before I blended it – so I started over.  Not sure it actually made that much difference, as although you tie the thyme in a bunch so you can pull it out later, the bunch that I actually got to pull out was a pathetic shadow of it’s former self – so much of the thyme comes off during the cooking, and by the time you’ve pureed it, I don’t think much of the thyme stalks would remain. The second batch I made was a lot less green than the first batch.

When I was blending the cauliflower mix, I put it on 50 degrees as was listed in the recipe.  The friction of the blades going at speed 10 for 12 minutes gives you a headache as it takes a surprisingly long time for the noise to change to that ‘pureed’ sound if you get what I mean, and the temperature remained above 50 degrees the whole time.  Make sure you don’t forget to add the toasted cumin and the chopped chervil. (Which I now grow in plentiful supply in my garden since I had such a hassle finding it last time I needed it!)  I actually found the cumin too overpowering in the final product, so next time I’ll reduce the cumin quantity a little.

Once you cool the puree you can add the Metil mixture.  It’s really, really like wallpaper paste, so you need to make sure that you measure out the required quantity of the Metil mix and the cauliflower puree – I had a little over what I needed for the ratios, so chances are you will too.  So, if you’re a little short on cauliflower, don’t stress for the puree part.  I mixed it through just using a spatula, which worked fine. And then it was on to the difficult part – or the part I had thought would be difficult – making the sausages…

I followed Dani’s instructions in terms of the size of the sheet of glad wrap that I used, and it was a great size.  If you are serving this for a dinner party, you’d probably want to me a little more consistent than I was with the amount in each sausage, smaller is easier to manage in terms of wrapping and then tying off the ends.  The wrapping and typing process is actually surprisingly easy – I had no disasters at all.

Dried Caulifower

The dried cauliflower looks amazing!!  It’s really worth the wait to do it – it takes overnight in a very, very, very low oven to prepare it.  I didn’t trust my knives or my knife skills to slice it so thinly so I used the mandolin on the very thinnest setting, which worked beautifully. I put it in the oven at the lowest setting mine would go to (50 degrees) and after a few hours I sneaked a peek, and it didn’t seem to be drying as well as I thought it would, so I turned the heat up to about 65/70 degrees and left it for a few more hours, which was perfect. Next time I’ll throw some salt and pepper on it before I cook it.

Cauliflower “Cous Cous” 

The cous cous is easy to make, but I think mine was a little too moist.  To me, it should have been drier, but I think I’ll blame myself for that.  I drained it on the kitchen paper after cooking the butter through it, but it was still quite wet, and I fancied it a little drier.  Hmmm, next time I might cook it longer and see if that dries it out a little.

Curry Oil

The curry oil also needs several hours (or a couple of days if you have the time) to mature flavours, and it’s really aromatic. It takes quite a lot of bottled spices to make, so next time I’ll buy my own whole spices and mill them down in the thermomix, which will make it even more aromatic I think (and maybe even cheaper)  I strained the oil after a day or so, using coffee filter paper,  and ended up with about 60 mls of the oil.  I’ll use the rest on Middle Eastern Pizzas in the next week or so.

Plating it up

You serve the sausages as soon as you’ve taken them out of the varoma.  They are very hot, as you’d expect, and you need to leave them for a few minutes to set properly.  Once they are set, you  can just cut the ends off and unwrap them – easier said than done when you’re trying to find the end of the glad wrap!!  I ended up just cutting down the whole length of the glad wrap, and it didn’t have any ill effects.  There will be a little water around, so don’t unwrap them on the plate you are planning to serve them up on.  I’m pleased to say mine unwrapped perfectly!

Overall, this is a lovely, impressive dish.  The sausages are rich and very creamy – the dried cauliflower provides a real textural contrast.  And the curry oil is just lovely!!

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Posted by on July 1, 2012 in Entrees


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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…

Want the recipe?  Check the recipe tab!

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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