Sunday, September 11, 2016

How to Make the Perfect Thermomix Fruit Scones

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Thermomix Rich Fruit Scones

Making scones in a Thermomix is totally different to using either your hands or a food mixer. The liquid content along with the other ingredients usually all go into the jug to be mixed at exactly the same time. It's a very strange concept compared to rubbing the butter into the flour and then adding the liquid cautiously until the correct consistency is achieved, but it's always far better to be cautious and add the liquid in a steady stream until you are happy with the dough.

I've tried a few scone recipes that have been especially written for the Thermomix but I've returned to my own favourite which I've converted for the Thermie. My recipe is a rich dough made with a mix of egg and buttermilk (for lightness) and it works for me! I'd definitely recommend using a straight sided cutter though, and not the crinkled cutter I used, because you'll get a far better rise.

Instructions for making the scones conventionally are included in the blog post too.

Step by step photographs........Instructions below 7 - 10

Scone Dough


Folded Scone Dough


Second folding of scone dough


Scone Dough Ready for the final rolling


Scones that have been cut out and tops brushed with buttermilk

Conventional instructions in Italics

Makes: 8

You will need:  A large floured baking tray and 5cm pastry cutter

200g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of cream of tartar
50g salted butter, cubed
15g golden caster sugar
1 large egg
60g buttermilk
100g sultanas

1.  Preheat the oven to 230°C/Fan 210°C.
2.  Mix the egg and buttermilk. Reserve a little for glazing the scones.
3.  Add all the ingredients except the sultanas and egg/buttermilk mix to the TM jug.
Add the Self Raising Flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, pinch of salt and cubed butter to a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles breadcrumbs. 
4.  TM20 Secs/Knead setting - pour the egg/buttermilk mix into the jug in a steady stream whilst checking to see if the dough has come together.
5.  Scrape down the jug.
6.  If the dough hasn't come together now add a little more buttermilk to the jug along with the sultanas TM10 Secs/Knead.
Stir in the caster sugar.and sultanas. Add most of the egg and buttermilk mix gradually to make a soft sticky dough.
7.  Remove the dough onto a lightly floured board and shape into a round, don't worry if it's a little sticky the flour should take care of that.
8.  Fold into three and gently roll out.
9.  Now fold into three in the opposite direction.
10.Roll out to 1cm and using a floured 5cm plain round cutter. place onto the tray. Brush the tops with the reserved egg and buttermilk mix.
11. Bake for approximately 12 minutes until well risen and golden.
12. Place the baked scones onto a cooling rack and cover with a clean tea towel.
13. Eat now spread with butter or freeze for later.

Note: On the sconeometer the Thermomix makes the most delicious scones!

You may also like these scone recipes:
Raspberry and Coconut 
In Search of the Perfect Scone
Fresh Berry

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Heston Blumenthal 5 in 1 Digital Thermometer - Review

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Heston Blumenthal 5 in 1 Digital Thermometer

We like kitchen thermometer's in this house, I think this is mainly due to hubby being an engineer. When I was offered this Heston Blumenthal product for review it was hubby who eagerly opened the parcel and set the thermometer up.

The reason he was so enthusiastic is that there are two sensors in one probe - at the bend it has an oven sensor to measure the oven temperature and at the end a probe sensor which is inserted into the meat.

The thermometer has 3 pre-programmed temperature modes of operation and a manual setting.

1. Roasting for various meats, fish and poultry which includes a countdown timer for finish cooking.
A handy pre-programmed chart is built in with recommended temperatures by both Heston and USDA.

2. Confectionery giving 8 set temperatures, soft ball through to dark caramel.

3. Oil temperatures for deep frying, poultry, potatoes doughnuts and seafood.

The intelligent sensor means that the oven temperature and food can be measured at the same time and provide a count down timer for the finishing time when roasting.

We decided to sous vide a piece of beef using the oven - yes, it's definitely possible, and with a little online research a perfect piece of beef can be achieved, The meat is cooked in a casserole which is used as a water bath.

The photograph shows a very basic set up for oven sous vide......

Heston Blumenthal 5 in 1 Precision Digital Thermometer

For our sous vide beef the thermometer was used in manual mode, giving two distinct advantages over other types of thermometer. Firstly, the temperature of the oven is monitored by the bend sensor and the temperature of the water is monitored by the probe sensor simultaneously. Because the oven temperature needs some adjustments as the meat heats up, the second advantage over many probe thermometers is that the read-out on the probe is to 0.1 deg C for the water temperature so it is easier to track the temperature whether it is going up or down within a narrow temperature band. An alarm can be set for the target temperature of the probe sensor giving visual and audible alarms.

The resulting control of the sous vide temperature using the manual mode with some manual adjustments of the oven temperature gives a very good result of the water bath temperature.

The thermometer comes with it's own fixed stand which folds for storing the probe and wire which can be neatly stored away at the back of the unit.

Heston Blumenthal 5 in 1 Digital Thermometer being tested

A few more features:
Heston's and USDA Government recommended temperatures are programmed into the product.
Long 14.5cm probe.
Pan clip for confectionary cooking & deep frying.
Large LCD.
Loud beep.
RRP £49.99
Stockists: salterhousewares.co.uk
Will make a fabulous gift.

Disclaimer: The product was sent to us for review purposes.


Monday, September 05, 2016

Nature's Path Organic Granola - Review

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Nature's Path Organic Granola's

Nature's Path, who are well known for gluten-free products, have now ventured into the mainstream market and introduced four new granola's (which aren't gluten-free). They are all amazingly tasty and can be served simply with milk, or my choice is milk and a dollop of home made yogurt. The two 'nobbly' varieties are traditional clumps of oats and 'crumbly' is a finer texture.

Nice and Nobbly Honey & Almond - baked rolled oats with clover honey, chia seeds and crunchy almonds - hubby really likes this flavour combination and decided this was going to be his cereal of choice for a few days.

Nice and Crumbly Coconut & Chia Seed - baked rolled oats with coconut flakes and wholesome chia seeds - presently I'm happily eating this for breakfast and it also makes a very moreish snack.

Nature's Path Organic Granola's

Nice and Crumbly Pumpkin and Flax Seed has a delicious crumbly crunch and will make beautiful home made granola bars or is equally delicious sprinkled over yogurt.

Nice and Nobbly Fruit and Nut is a high fibre granola with a scrumptious mix of baked rolled oats, raisins, dried cranberries, nuts, seeds and cinnamon - Christmas in a box.

Extra Info:
Nature's Path is a family run company and their cereals are organic and GMO free.
RRP £3.00 for a 325g box.
Where can I buy them? All four are available from either Ocado or Amazon.
The two Nice and Crumbly packs are also available from Waitrose stores nationwide.

Disclaimer: We were sent the products for purposes of this review.