Tag Archives: thermomix

Spelt Hot Cross Buns

“Good Friday comes this month—the old woman runs
With one or two a-penny hot cross buns,
Whose virtue is, if you believe what’s said,
They’ll not grow mouldy like the common bread.”

~Popular ditty from 1733 A.D.

The humble Hot Cross Bun has been subject to some interesting superstitions over the years. One suggests that buns baked on Good Friday are said to last a year without growing mould, with the cross believed to ward off evil sprits. Another says that

sharing a Hot Cross Bun with someone ensured unbroken friendship for the coming year. You’re supposed to say these words: “Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be.”

Sounds like a good excuse to me.

I first made this recipe 15 years ago, though it has evolved considerably since that first baking. First to use spelt flour rather than the usual wheat. Then, the inspiration from Nigella Lawson to infuse the milk with orange zest and spices. Cardamom is my favourite spice—how could I resist? The result is a slightly sweet, delicately spiced bun, perfect for sharing with friends.

Hot Cross Buns

Spelt Hot Cross Buns

40g raw sugar + 1 tsp extra
600g white spelt flour + 1 tsp extra
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 heaped teaspoon mixed spice
1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
60g butter
zest of 1 orange
350g milk
3 cardamom pods
1 clove
30g fresh yeast
1 egg, lightly beaten
60g sultanas

Crosses:
1/4 cup spelt flour
1 tsp raw sugar

Sugar Glaze:
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 tablespoon hot water

1. Weigh sugar into TM bowl. Blitz on speed 9 for 3 seconds to make caster sugar. Place flour, salt, mixed spice, cinnamon and butter into the bowl. Mix on speed 5 for 8 seconds. Set aside.

2. Place strips of orange zest into bowl and chop on speed 8 for 10-15 seconds, or until finely grated. Use the spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add milk, cardamon pods and clove. Infuse spices at 50°C for 10 minutes reverse speed 1. Leave to cool until the temperature is 37°C.

3. Remove the clove and cardamon pods from the milk. Add yeast and 1 teaspoon each of sugar and flour, mix on speed 3 for 5 seconds. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes or until mixture is frothy.

4. Add egg, sultanas and flour mixture to the bowl. Mix on reverse speed 6 for 6 seconds. Tip the dough onto Thermomat or into a bowl, cover and leave in the fridge overnight.

5. The next morning remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit for 30 minutes or so to allow it to come back to room temperature. Preheat oven to 200°C. Knead for a minute or two on the Thermomat, or a floured surface until the dough is smooth. Cut the dough into 16 pieces and shape into buns. Place the buns on a lined baking tray and leave for about 20 minutes, or until doubled in size.

6. Pipe crosses (or any other pattern of your choice!) onto the buns. Bake for 20 minutes. Brush tops with sugar glaze while buns are still hot from the oven.

Crosses: Mix spelt flour and sugar with enough water to make a paste.

Glaze: Combine sugar with boiling water, stir until sugar is dissolved.

Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancakes

Prior to the robot’s introduction into my kitchen last year I would never have even considered making my own butter. It seemed altogether too much like hard work, and why spend all that time when it is readily available in perfectly fashioned blocks?

The answer is that homemade butter tastes incredible, and is quite unlike anything you will find on the supermarket shelf. In the Thermomix it only takes a couple of minutes to churn fresh cream into butter, leaving a bowl full of buttermilk perfect for making scones, cakes, muffins, or a batch of delicious fluffy pancakes.

These pancakes are wonderful served with some sliced fruit and little honey, Canadian style with bacon, eggs and maple syrup, or with cherry vanilla sauce as shown here.

Buttermilk pancakes with cherry vanilla sauce

Buttermilk Pancakes with Cherry Vanilla Sauce

Buttermilk Pancakes

125g brown rice
125g buckwheat grain
300g buttermilk
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1. Weigh the rice and buckwheat into the TM bowl. Grind on speed 9 for 1 minute to make flour. Add buttermilk and mix on speed 4 for a few seconds or until combined. Leave for 12-24 hours.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix on speed 4 for a couple of seconds or until combined.

3. Cook the pancake batter in a frying pan greased with a little butter or oil.

Makes 12-15 medium sized pancakes.

Variations: Use wheat or spelt grain in place of the brown rice if you are not gluten intolerant.

Notes:

You’ll notice that this recipe calls for the milled grains to be soaked for 12-24 hours. Kimi over at the Nourishing Gourmet has written a great post on why soaking grains is important but in the simplest terms, soaking increases the amount of vitamins and minerals our body can absorb from whole grains.

My recipe for Cherry Vanilla Sauce can be found over at the new Thermomix Recipe Community for Australia and New Zealand.

Festive Gift Idea #5: Fruit Cakes

With only a couple of days until Christmas, I’m sure there are those who would argue that it is far too late to even entertain the idea of making fruit cake. They would protest that the cake needs to ‘mature’ for at least a month, preferably longer.

Fortunately I happen to like fresh cake. If you prefer your fruit cake somewhat more aged, by all means start baking now for 2011.

I used my favourite Christmas cake recipe converted for the Thermomix, with a few of my own alterations.

I used panela instead of brown sugar and replaced the wheat flour with spelt as that’s what I had in the pantry.

The mixed peel I omitted. I despise the stuff, and have done since I was a  small child. It’s a mysterious hatred since I do appreciate other bitter flavours—I love bitter greens and Campari lime and soda is a favourite. But mixed peel along with the infamous brussel sprout remains on my no-go food list. Rest assured that the cake doesn’t suffer for lack of peel; the orange rind and marmalade provide enough aromatic bitterness to balance the sweetness of the other fruit.

Fruit Cake

Fruit Cake – Thermomix method

1. Weigh fruit into a non-reactive bowl on top of the TM. Mix with brandy and leave until the next day.

2. Cream butter and sugar on speed 3-4 until the sugar is dissolved, then slowly add the beaten egg until combined.

3. Add the sifted flours and spices and mix on interval setting for 30 seconds or until flour is incorporated. At this point I transfered the mixture to a large bowl to fold through the huge quantity of brandy soaked fruit.

4. The mixture makes one 24cm round cake or four 10cm round cakes. The smaller cakes took a little under 2 hours to cook.

Best served in small slices with a glass of fortified wine.

Festive Gift Idea #4: Cherry Conserve

With their glossy skins and rich ruby colouring, cherries must be the prettiest of the summer fruits.

Bowl of cherries

Organic cherries from Food Connect Adelaide

I was fortunate enough to get hold of some gorgeous organic cherries from Food Connect this week. But what to do with these sweet jewel-like morsels?

I decided on cherry conserve. Like jam, but with chunky pieces of fruit and a lightly jellied syrup. Perfect for dolloping on freshly baked scones, or perhaps spooned over thick yoghurt as a special breakfast treat.

I used David Lebovitz’s instructions for no-recipe Cherry Jam, which works for me since I rarely follow a recipe to the letter anyway.

Cherry Conserve

Cherry Conserve – Thermomix method

1. Weigh pitted fruit into a bowl on top of the TM. Then weigh three quarters of the cherries weight in raw sugar into the bowl (eg. I had 400g of cherries, so used 300g of sugar). Blitz on speed 9 for 3-4 seconds to make caster sugar. Set aside.

2. Put a quarter of the cherries into the the TM bowl. Press Turbo for 1 second to chop the cherries. Add the remaining cherries to the bowl along with lemon rind and juice. Cook on 100°C with the MC off for 5-10 minutes or until cherries are cooked and soft.

3. Add the sugar and cook on Varoma temperature for 15-25 minutes, or until conserve begins to gel. Stir through a tablespoon or two of kirsch and the hot conserve is ready to be poured into sterilised jars.

Festive Gift Idea #3: Play Dough

Play Dough

Thermomix Play Dough from the Everyday Cookbook

I used the play dough recipe from the Everyday Cookbook, with slight adjustments to the quantities of flour and oil as recommended by Forum Thermomix. The consistency was perfect—soft, squishy and oh so fun to play with for the young (and young at heart).

Inspired by some of the lovely natural play doughs available at the moment,  I also added a few drops of essential oil to the dough. Whilst I had originally intended to make play dough as a children’s gift, kneading the softly scented dough was so therapeutic that I’m tempted to whip up another batch for some stressed adults I know.

Play Dough

Mandarin, spearmint, lavender and lime scented play dough

Festive Gift Idea #2: Vegetable Stock Concentrate

Vegetable stock concentrate from the Thermomix Everyday Cookbook.

From raw ingredients

Onions, garlic, celery, carrots, zucchini, parsley, tomatoes, parsley, salt and spices

to bottled stock concentrate

Jar of vegetable stock concentrate

in less than 30 minutes, with just one bowl to wash up. The stock will keep for 6 months in the refrigerator, although it never lasts that long around here.

Festive Gift Idea #1: Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla sugar from the Thermomix Everyday Cookbook.

Vanilla Sugar

I use organically grown Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans from Vanilla Online.