31 Jul 2016

Thermomix Seeded Bread Rolls

Seeded Bread Rolls on a baking tray

Bread making in the Thermomix is so easy and homemade bread is one of my life's pleasures.  I'm never going to knead and pummel bread dough by hand it's just too hard work and I like to let one of my kitchen gadgets do all the hard work.

I made these bread rolls with fresh yeast and here again the Thermie comes into it's own.  Using fresh yeast can sometimes be a faff but all you have to do is put the fresh yeast along with water into the jug and in a couple of minutes time it's lukewarm and mixed perfectly for the next stage. I asked at the bread counter for my yeast and then broke it into 20g pieces, wrapped them in clingfilm and popped them into the freezer for another day. When you want to make bread simply thaw still wrapped in the clingwrap.

Some recipes recommend kneading in the TM for 2 minutes but I find 4 minutes is perfect to get to the windowpane stage.

After mixing and kneading all you have to do is turn the jug upside down, twist the handle away from the base and the blade falls out with the dough.

Seeded bread dough

Divide the dough into 12 and shape into bread rolls.

Seeded bread rolls before proving

Cover the rolls in clingwrap and prove until double in size. Brush the rolls with water and sprinkle with seeds.

Bread rolls after proving

There's nothing quite like seeing a cooling rack adorned with freshly baked bread rolls.

Seeded bread rolls cooling down

Conventional Method in Italics

Thermomix Recipe (slightly adapted)

Makes: 12

20g olive oil
small sprig of fresh rosemary
300g water
20g fresh yeast
1 tsp salt
500g strong white bread flour
100 g mixed seeds

You will need: a large shallow baking tray

1  Place the sprig of rosemary into the olive oil to infuse. Lightly flour the tray. Add the fresh yeast (defrosted to room temperature if previously frozen) to the jug with the water 2 min/37°C/speed 1.
Rub the yeast into the flour.
2  Remove the sprig of rosemary from the olive oil. Now add the olive oil, salt and flour.  Knead 2 minutes. Add 80g of the seeds and using knead setting 2 minutes.
Measure out the water and heat to tepid. Make a well in the centre of the flour. Pour in the water, olive oil and salt. Place the dough hook onto the stand mixer and mix on slow until a dough forms. Continue kneading on a medium speed for 8 minutes until smooth. Add the seeds and continue kneading for another 2 minutes until the seeds have been worked in. Or alternatively, remove the dough from the mixer, add the seeds and knead them in by hand.
3 Turn the dough out onto a silicone mat. Break the dough into 12 equal pieces. Arrange the rolls onto the floured tray.  Cover loosely with greased clingfilm and leave to rise until double in size. Brush the tops gently with water and sprinkle with the remaining seeds. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
4  Bake the rolls 20-30 minutes until golden and risen. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.




24 Jul 2016

Summer Berry Tarts

Mixed berry tarts with lemon curd

The shops are full to the brim with summer berries and what better way to use them than a simple pastry tart topped with a lemon mascarpone filling, adorned with berries and blobs of luscious lemon curd.

Unfortunately my raspberries haven't done so well this year, my strawberry plants have done okay but need replacing next year, as ever my redcurrant bushes are bursting with little red berries.  Redcurrant bushes look after themselves so why the berries cost a fortune in the shops is a complete mystery to me.

Summer Berry Individual Tarts
The tarts still look pretty without lemon curd

Instructions for Thermomix pastry - food processor instructions in italics.

You will need: 6 x 10cm tins with a loose base, greased

225g plain flour
110g unsalted butter, cubed
pinch of salt
40g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2/3 tbsp cold water

For the filling:
250g light mascarpone cheese
lemon curd

Decoration:
Mixed fruits of your choice

Food processor instructions in italics

1. Add the flour, butter, sugar and salt to the bowl - Turbo a few times to turn into crumbs. Now add the egg yolk and water. Turbo until just mixed together. Only add more water if necessary to get the dough to cling together.
Add the flour, butter and sugar to the bowl of the processor. Pulse until fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk and water, pulse until the dough starts to come together.
2. Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a flat disc. Cover in clingwrap and refridgerate for 30 minutes.
3. Divide the dough into six and roll out on a lightly floured board. Place the rolled dough carefully into the tins.  Prick the base, place the tins onto a baking tray and chill for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC conventional.
5. Place squares of baking paper into each tin and fill with baking beans.
6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, remove the paper and baking beans. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
7. Place the baked pastry cases onto a cooling rack.
8. Add the mascarpone cheese into a bowl and beat until smooth.  Add lemon curd to taste, mix and place in the fridge to chill.
9. Place dollops of lemon mascarpone cheese into the cooled baked pastry cases, top with berries and blobs of lemon curd, if you like.

You may also like:
Summer Berries Pavlova
Berry Meringue
Mixed Berry and White Chocolate Cheesecake Slice




19 Jul 2016

Salad Bowl Recipe

A Salad bowl with avocado

One of the things I like about a salad bowl is that you can keep adding to it and it's also a great way to have a fridge clear.

If you enjoy looking at Instagram the hashtag #powerbowl and #saladbowl are inspirational and Pinterest is another great source where you're sure to get salad bowl envy. My only comment though is that the bowls are nearly overflowing and there appears to be enough food in them for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

There's no recipe as such - my salad consists of a base layer of mixed leaves, an oven cooked breast of chicken lightly coated in piri piri spices. Bulgar wheat with diced peppers and raisins, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, julienned carrot and courgettes. Lightly toasted pine nuts and a handful of sunflower seeds.

Mix a dressing of your choice to pour over the salad and lastly add a few slices of sliced avocado.

quick and easy salad bowl

We've just returned from a week away in Caernarfon, North Wales - this holiday we decided to rent a cottage overlooking mountains and coast. Salads were a great way to feed ourselves without spending too much time in the kitchen.

I'm missing this fabulous view from the holiday cottage already and I've only been home for a few days!

View in North Wales

Back soon!



7 Jul 2016

Christmas in July! Waitrose Press Show 2016 Revealed



Waitrose Christmas in July Press Show 2016
Spoilt for choice - which sweet treat would you choose?

The London reporter gets into the Christmas spirit and finds a culinary gift waiting for you this Christmas...

For any foodie, the Waitrose Christmas press show is a culinary highlight of the year. This is the key opportunity for them to show off how innovative, passionate and inspiring they are. You never leave without wanting to stock up for Christmas even though most of the goods won’t be available until September.

So let me give you a whistle stop tour of what we saw to whet your appetite.....

Chocolate chunk sour dough - possibly one of the more indulgent breads I’ve ever tasted, it’s moreish with all those chocolate chips packed in and probably best paired with a little butter for an even naughtier snack.

Cocktail olives - I tried some really zingy olives which had been marinated in lemon zest and limoncello. Sounds boozy and a bit wacky, but actually refreshing and full of flavour.

Mini goat’s cheese with cherry and port compote (as pictured in the collage) - A super indulgent cheese and compote pairing if ever there was one to be feasted on. Prepare to dazzle your guests!

Just some of the scrumptious food at Waitrose Christmas Press Show 2016
Waitrose finest foods waiting for you this coming Christmas

Three little pigs (as pictured in the collage next to the turkey) - These mini sausages are wrapped in bacon and are a playful take on the classic pigs in blankets. Do you think they got this right? Or could it have been one little piggy in lots of blankets? ;)

Eggnog custard tart - a first for me, this contains brandy, spices and nutmeg. Once you’ve eaten your mains, this will be just what you need for a token sweet kick with no effort required.

Deconstructed Pineapple and Macadamia Florentine - this rather grand sounding pot of nibbles is quite simply just that. It’s sweet and savoury and full of different textures and colours. For just five quid, this is the perfect gift!

We hope you’ve gained from this little sneak preview to help you plan ahead.

Disclaimer: We were guests of Waitrose. All thoughts are our own.

3 Jul 2016

Thermomix Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake

Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake

I've now learnt how to make cake successfully in a Thermie in 25 seconds and all you need to do is add everything to the jug and whiz, it's like magic, and no more curdled cake batter. My food processor makes cake in less than a minute, the stand mixer takes 2 minutes and I find they all give the same result. To be fair none of us need all this kitchen gadgetry to produce a cake and occasionally I use a wooden spoon and bowl which gives me some satisfaction to feel more 'hands on' when I bake.

I'm not sure that I should be making and eating cake after over indulging on holiday but I find lemon drizzle irresistible and after all there was a lemon in the fridge crying out to be used. I also add a dash of lemon extract and the zest to the cake batter for a wonderful hit of lemon.

Note: These ingredients and method are written specifically for the Thermomix TM5. To make in a food processor add all the cake ingredients to the processor bowl and whiz until just combined. For the stand mixer place everything in the bowl and mix for 2 minutes until smooth.

Ingredients:
180g granulated sugar (caster sugar if using a food processor or stand mixer)
180g self raising flour
180g softened unsalted butter
pinch of salt
3 large eggs
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon extract (optional)
zest of 1 lemon

For the icing:
50g icing sugar
3 tsp lemon juice

You will need: 900g loaf tin lined

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
2. Add the sugar to the TM bowl and grind 20 Seconds/Speed 8.
3. Add the flour, salt, softened butter, eggs, lemon juice, lemon extract and zest to the bowl. TM 20 Seconds/Speed 5.
4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  TM 5 Seconds/Speed 5.
5. Pour the cake batter into the lined loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes - test with a cake tester to ensure the cake is cooked through.

Just baked lemon drizzle loaf

6. For the icing: Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together leave to stand whilst you poke holes in the top of the hot cake.  Drizzle the icing over the cake hot cake which gives a crunchy topping. Leave the cake in the tin to cool on a cooling rack.

Icing poured over hot cake

7. Once cold can be frozen in slices.

You may also like:
Thermomix Banana Cake
Pecan Sponge Squares
Plum and Pear Slice