Monthly Archives: August 2012

Homemade: Wholemeal Fruit Bread

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I recently tried my hand at making my own fruit bread. It was absolutely delicious – the kids had two slices each with breakfast!

Ingredients

  • 15g fresh or dried yeast
  • 15g honey
  • 300-350ml warm water or buttermilk
  • Water and buttermilk weigh 1:1 so 350ml of water or buttermilk equals 350g when weighed in the TMX.
  • If your buttermilk is cold from the fridge, simply pour into TMX first and warm for 3min, 50C, Sp 1. Then pour out into a jug ready to use for your dough.
  • 250g wholemeal flour
  • 250g semolina flour
  • 15g pink salt
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 180g mixed dried fruit (loaf pictured was 120g sultanas, 30g currants, 30g cranberries)
  • extra flour and semolina flour mixed together for dusting

Method

  1. Place yeast, honey and half the warm water or buttermilk in TMX
  2. Mix 5 sec, Sp 7 with MC in place
  3. Leave in TMX for 5 min to allow yeast to react
  4. Add flours, mixed spice, cinnamon, then salt  and mix 5 sec, Sp 7
  5. Set TMX to closed lid position and knead for 1-2 min while slowly pouring in remaining water or buttermilk
  6. Add dried fruit and mix 10 sec, Sp 5
  7. Turn dough out onto floured bench or into large bowl with a handful of flour in the bottom
  8. Knead by hand for 30 seconds then leave to prove in a warm, draft-free spot for at least 40 minutes
  9. Punch dough to release the air, then turn out onto floured bench or leave in large bowl, sprinkle with a little flour and knead well for 3 minutes
  10. Place dough in lightly greased loaf tin and prove a second time for 90 minutes
  11. Bake at 220C for 20-25 min
  12. You can brush the top of the fruit loaf with milk before baking or with a sugar syrup when it’s hot from the oven to add to the delicious crust

I like to turn my oven onto 100C for 5 min then switch off and put dough in there to prove. I place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and place a tea towel across the top to stop any drafts.

Homemade: Thermomix Vegetable Stock Concentrate

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I always have a jar of this stock concentrate in my fridge and it is now just about the only stock that I use. It can completely replace any stock cubes, powders or pre-made liquid stocks you may already use and eliminate the harmful additives and preservatives they may contain. I do occasionally make a liquid chicken or fish stock myself, but most of the time this stock is all I need.

Simply add 1 tablespoon to your dish in place of a stock cube (for curries, casseroles etc) or mix 1 tablespoon with 300ml of water for a liquid stock (for risottos, soups, pilafs etc).

I follow the EDC recipe (p 17) but often throw in whatever bits of veggie I have leftover in the fridge. Ensure you put in the base ingredients of celery, carrot and garlic plus some fresh herbs and salt. After that you can add other veggies as long as you don’t have too much of any one vegetable. I have made this stock with leftover corn, pumpkin, capsicum, broccoli stalks, eggplant, leek and spring onion. I have replaced the tomato with a bit of left over tinned tomato or passata if I have them in the fridge.

I do use the full 150g salt but use pink salt. This amount of salt means the stock will keep well in the fridge for up to 6 months. Obviously it makes the stock concentrate very salty so when you start using it be sure to taste your finished dish before adding any extra salt.

The recipe will make 3-4 jam jars worth of stock so have some clean jars on hand. Wash the jars in your dishwasher or in very hot soapy water and rinse well before filling. Seal them while the stock is hot, allow to cool on the bench, then keep in the fridge.

I regularly give jars of this stock to friends and family. It is delicious, works with any dish, uses up any veggie remnants hanging around your fridge and will endear you to one and all.

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Sausage Rolls

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This is my sausage roll recipe, regularly pulled out for play group, play dates, birthday parties, afternoon teas, kids dinner – anytime really! Packed with vegies and easy to make, healthy homemade sausage rolls are a brilliant alternative to store-bought ones. You can use good quality sausage meat for these but I prefer to buy minced meat or mince my own in the TMX. Some of the mixed minces (pork & veal, beef & pork) that are available now work well. If you have the time you could try making your own puff pastry, but I haven’t done this.

Ingredients

  • 400-500g minced meat
  • 1 medium carrot, finely grated (100-120g)
  • 1/2 zucchini, finely grated (180-200g)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten – pour half the beaten egg into the meat mixture and save the other half to brush onto the pastry
  • 1tsp dijon mustard
  • 1tsp thermomix vegetable stock concentrate
  • season with pink salt & black pepper
  • 3 sheets store-bough puff pastry, defrosted

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 220C
  2. Place minced meat, grated carrot & zucchini, breadcrumbs, 1/2 beaten egg, mustard, stock, salt & pepper in bowl
  3. Mix well by hand
  4. Cut each sheet of puff pastry in half lengthways
  5. Divide mixture into 6 equal quantities
  6. Shape 1 portion of mixture into a long sausage and place  on bottom half of a pastry sheet
  7. Brush top edge of pastry with egg wash
  8. Roll pastry from bottom, over meat mixture and seal with seam on the bottom
  9. Slice into small sausage rolls, whatever size suits your needs
  10. Place on a lined baking tray, brush with egg wash and bake 20-25min

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Magic Bean Cake

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Last night I was searching for a dairy-free recipe to cook for morning tea. I stumbled across this one – Chocolate Magic Bean Cake – which I recalled reading about a few months ago. It was absolutely delicious and is also gluten free and wheat free. Easy to whip up, totally delicious and surprisingly nutritious. This cake is a moist, fudgy chocolate cake made with red kidney beans! Amazing, but true. Definitely give this one a go. It is not a healthy cake that tastes pretty good, it is a fantastic cake that happens to have some extra nutritious ingredients.

The “Magic Bean Cake’ Recipe is posted online in a few locations including the Official Thermomix Recipe Community and Forum Thermomix. The method and recipe below has been altered a bit by me and tested for the Thermomix. I haven’t tried it but I would imagine it would work just as well in a food processor as long as you allow enough time to whiz the kidneys beans up as much as possible.

Ingredients

  • 420g can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed or 110g dried red kidney beans soaked and cooked
  • 1 tbls water
  • 1 tbls vanilla essence
  • 5 eggs
  • 70g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt
  • 65g (1/3 cup) oil (rice bran or vegetable) or 125g butter
  • 180g sugar or rapadura

Ensure if you are going dairy-free that you use oil instead of butter and don’t use butter to grease your baking tin

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C
  2. Place red kidney beans, water, eggs and vanilla essence in TMX and blitz 2min, Sp 7
  3. Add all other ingredients
  4. Mix 20sec, Sp 4
  5. Pour into ring tin
  6. Bake 30 min
  7. Alternately spoon into patty pans and bake 20-25 min in 2tbls/40ml patty pans or 15-20 min in 1tbls/20ml mini patty pans

People have commented that they’ve replaced the kidney beans with butter beans and flavoured the cake differently i.e. lemon, orange, coffee. I’ll endeavour to do a bit of experimentation and let you know!