Sunday 18 November 2012

Everyday Cookbook Tips and Tricks

Everyday Cookbook Tips and Tweaks

It's taken hours, check that - DAYS - but it's here:

 From the personal work of  Lush ThermosphereThermoFun and their facebook community comes a companion to your Every Day Cookbook (EDC) to help you enjoy even more success with your Thermomix. In this document you will find advice to accompany the recipes of the EDC, and links where they have been updated, or replaced with a more popular version. You will also find links to the most popular troubleshooting guides for mayonnaise, yoghurt and bread

Well, not to be too dramatic, but posting this labour of love feels like I am putting a little baby out in the ocean.


General Advice:

§  For a great read of basic hints, go to Simone’s Thermomix Essentials tips guide.
§  Learn to listen to the changing sounds for finding the consistencies you like.
§  Many Thermomix customers report reducing the sugar in the recipes, and also the quantity of oil.
§  The meal quantities in the cookbook are based on 4-6 adult servings.
§  If you need some extra cleaning advice, please see our “Cleaning Tips and Thermomix Tricks” document.

Cooking rice p.16

The basket will actually hold up to 500g of uncooked white rice.
If you soak your rice in your Thermoserver whilst your main is cooking, it will reduce your cooking time. E.g. 400g of brown rice soaked in boiled water for 20 minutes will cut cooking time from 35 to 22 minutes.

Sautéing onions and Herbs  p.16

Remove the Measuring Cup (MC) whilst sautéing onions to allow evaporation of the sharp juices.

Vegetable Stock Concentrate  p.17

The high quantity of salt in this recipe preserves it, but also creates the intensity.  Many customers have reported that they prefer to reduce it by up to 50% and store in trays or containers in the freezer, it will not freeze solid.  This may mean you need to increase the amount you use in recipes to create the same intensity.

Yoghurt  p.19

There are a numerous recipes that provide different textures and outcomes.  The longer you pasteurise, the greater the denaturation of protein structure – the thicker and creamier your result will be.  
Here is my yoghurt blog with some hints and tips.  On the blog you will find a link to “Canadian Foodie’s” YouTube clip about her yoghurt and yoghurt cheese.

Mascarpone Cheese p.19

You may find this blog from superkitchenmachine helpful for this one, read to the bottom for her tips.

Berry Cordial  p.27

Follow this guideline to quickly use up wilting fruits or aromatics to make an exciting fresh cordial:

1.    Roughly chop whatever you are using, and keep to a total weight of about 500g.  Chop for several seconds,
speed 7.  (Only 2 secs for lemon or ginger for easy straining).  
Then JUST cover your ingredients with water.

2.    Cook for 10 minutes 90 degrees speed 2 then strain into a jug.

3.    Weigh your strained liquid – and I add ¾ of the weight in sugar, though some use less.

4.    Cook the sugar/liquid for 12 minutes, 90 degrees speed 2.  At the end, add tsp of citric acid to help preserve, mix for 3 seconds on speed 4. (or 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice).

Lemonade  p.26

You can add some pink berries to make pink lemonade.  Don’t over-chop. You want it to strain easily, otherwise you get gritty lemonade.

Ginger Beer  p.26

If you find this too intense, you can use ½ or ¼ the quantity of ginger.  Note that the intensity of fresh citrus and ginger drinks will increase overnight, so use the drinks up fresh.

Bellinis  p.26

Joy’s Thermomix Experiences suggests two changes.  The second creates a Merry Berry cocktail/ "Red" Bellinis.  
i) Do not use sugar and instead add 100 ml of peach schnapps at the same time as the champagne is added.  This intensifies the peach flavour and makes the drink a little less sweet.
ii) Use sparkling red wine instead of champagne
Use raspberries instead of peaches
To remove seeds (if required) after mixing, strain as you pour into glasses.

Best Peach refresher/ Mocktail.

Mill 80g of raw sugar.  Add a large handful of lemon balm or mint plus 2 Kaffir lime leaves.  Also add, 300g of peach flesh and 350g of ice.  Blitz for 20 seconds speed 9-10.  Add 100-150g more ice, 200g of cream and blitz for a further 40 seconds.  Makes over 1 litre.  Can easily be turned into a cocktail. J

Mulled Wine  p.29

Penny suggested reduce the sugar to 120g.  Increase the cloves to 5.

Hot Chocolate  p.32

This makes 2 serves.  Reduce the cocoa from 40g to 20g if you don’t like very intense chocolate.

Irish Coffee  p.29

Reduce instant coffee to 15g

Porridge  p.36

TM Australia updated their recipe in 2011.
Some customers report only liking a ratio of 1 part oats, to 2.5 parts water for a thicker consistency.

Crepes  p.37

This is such a fantastic and robust recipe.  You can exchange the flour for GF flour and the milk for nut/rice/soy milks and it will work very well.

Pikelets  p.38

The sugar can be reduced to ½ or even a tablespoon.


General Tips:
1. The harder the vegetable, the smaller it should be in relation to your other salad ingredients
2. Try to put nuts/herbs/chilli at the bottom of the bowl
3. Only do speed 4, or half way to 5 and chop for 2 seconds to start with and then check.  Don’t be afraid to poke your Thermomix spatula through the ingredients and move them a bit.

Coleslaw: there are lots of fun variations on this one.  Try chopping a little ginger and chilli first, then adding the other ingredients plus a pinch of Dukkah, mint and coriander.

Beetroot salad – can be varied in many ways – try the Festive version.
Also beautiful with toasted pine nuts and feta scattered on top

Broccoli salad is fantastic.  Adding almonds, and using half mayo and yoghurt produces a lovely finish.

Stir through some tinned tuna or a handful of white cheese for some protein and a healthy lunch.

Brown Rice Salad: works really well with Asian flavours such as this Miso Dressing: or flavours like chorizo in place of tuna.

Potato Cakes  p.45

Depending on the type of potato you use – you may want to grate them for a few seconds first on speed 5 and then drain off the liquid (or strain in the simmering basket).  Then chop the onion for a couple of seconds before adding the potato and the other ingredients.  Mix on reverse, speed 4 for 15 seconds, check ingredients, repeat if necessary.

Herbal Chicken Hors-D’oeuvres  p.46

Note:  If you only have one TM bowl – make sure you make your bread crumbs first!  Yes I was caught out! 

Hommus  p.49

To aid the digestion so you gain the beneficial nutrients in chickpeas, add a small amount of parsley and a ½ teaspoon of cumin.

Dips more fantastic new flavours

Want something different?  Here on Simone’s Thermomix Essentials is a full list of yummy dips including green goddess dip, almond dip, devilled egg dip – the list goes on!

There is also a Document on ThermoFun with great ideas for dips.

Capsicum & Sundried Tomato Dip  p.54

This dip freezes really well – perfect for when you need that “emergency dip”.   Thaws out very quickly.

·      Put dip on steak while it is cooking.
·      Put on scrolls instead of vegemite and cheese for a change.  You could add some sliced olives, salami & grated cheese.
·      Spread it on a Pizza base.
·      Rebecca suggested: use it as a 'pasta sauce'.  Just cook pasta and steam veggies then put the dip with some water in the bowl and heat for a few seconds.  Mix all together and serve with some Parmesan.  Yummy – just like a pasta salad.
·      Stuffed chicken thighs with it, secured with toothpicks and steamed for about 35 mins in the Varoma.
·      Use as a base for cannelloni filling.  Add some minced chicken and spinach leaves and it’s delicious.

Chicken Liver Pate p.55

Add a handful of bacon with the garlic and onion.

Mayonnaise  p.55

Use garlic powder or roasted garlic for a milder flavoured mayonnaise.  My full trouble shooting tips are on the blog.

SAUCES: Béchamel Sauce p.58

If you like your sauce thicker, you can increase the amount of flour and sauté with the butter for 2 mins 100 degrees speed 2, or you can use less milk.

Hollandaise Sauce p.59

The trick to this recipe is having the eggs at room temperature and the butter very cold.  You may need to freeze it a little if it is home-made butter.  You can rescue split hollandaise by cooling it in the fridge and then re-whipping on speed 3-4

Apple Sauce  p.60

A quick chunky version: Quarter 2-3 green apples, put in TM bowl, give a quick chop for 1 sec on speed 4, Cook with a teaspoon of lemon or citric juice and 1-2 tablespoons of sugar or less.  Cook 5 mins, reverse, 100 degrees speed 1.

Marinara/Seafood Sauce  p.65

Add some dried basil too.

Pumpkin Soup  p.70

We use slightly extra butter and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add handful of bacon when sautéing the onion.
Add 2 potatoes too.

Potato and Leek Soup  p.72

This combines well with the cauliflower soup recipe (part potato, part cauliflower) and add parmesan at the end.  Lisa adds a couple of bacon rashers with the onions for an extra creaminess and kick of flavour.  Alternatively, you can easily sneak cannellini beans into this dish for a healthier way to get a creamy finish.
Some customers prefer a lower portion of stock concentrate.

Minestrone Soup  p.73

Kylie suggests if you find it too thick you can use less pasta, and add the beans at a later stage of cooking.

Mushroom Soup  p.74

Some customers prefer this recipe without the lemon juice.

Mashed potato  p.83

Some folks find their mash cooked in 15 minutes.  We take at least 22 minutes.  You must make sure it is falling apart, not gluey otherwise your mash will be glue!  Sweet potato works well too.

Mushroom Risotto p.85

Don’t worry about how liquid the mix is when you finish – it needs to sit for 10 minutes to plump up.  Don’t keep cooking or you will mash your rice.
To intensify flavour, you can grind up dried porcini mushrooms first (read the mushroom sauce recipe on page 59) and add 2 teaspoons to your rice.
You can add an extra step of using 40g of butter and sautéing the rice for 2 minutes before adding the wine.  There are some beautiful recipes in the seafood cookbook.
Here is a popular chicken and mushroom risotto recipe.

Apricot Chicken risotto style  p.86

A lot of folks find that this needs a whole lot of flavour intensifying.  Using dried onions and apricots will help with this. Some add tinned apricots and a few dried apricots - can be pureed for 20 seconds on speed 9.
Use a whole small onion, and a tablespoon of dried onion flakes.  Sauté the onion and garlic and herbs in 60g of butter for 4 minutes, then add the rice and sauté for longer. Use chicken stock concentrate instead of veggie.
Replaced carrot & capsicum with fresh beans and peas right at the end.

Pasta Fagioli  p.87

I gather that different Italian families have a slightly different take on how ‘soupy’ the end result should be.  I have had to use 280g of pasta to get the right result for those that like it soupy.
Also, wild fennel is a key ‘authentic’ ingredient.  To intensify flavour add 2 tablespoons tomato paste.

Pasta with Tuna  p.88

Add an onion with garlic.

Creamy Tomato and Salami Fettucine  p.89

Lots of folks (including us), have substituted evaporated milk instead of cream…but the flavour is not going to be as superior.  Just better for our waistlines. J  I have also used tinned tomatoes and been happy.
Add a chilli to taste.

Gnocchi  p.90

However, I still find I need to process MUCH less.  Instead of mashing for 10 seconds I do 3 seconds, check, move with spatula and mash 2-3 seconds more.  The key to this dish is having very DRY potato that is cooked and cooled.

Butter Chicken  p.93

There is just no getting away from it…this is a beautifully textured but VERY MILD dish.  I tended to add lots of spices to this dish…but in the end – just use tikka paste from the Indian cookbook!
Here are some spice suggestions: coriander, Indian bay leaves and curry leaves, dried fenugreek leaves, chillies, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.

Red Curry Paste  p.94

I LOVE Thai food. So here are my changes to this dish:

1/4 the coriander seeds to 2 tsp
15-20 dried red chillies
The 6cm piece of ginger + 5 tablespoons of galangal
12 cloves of garlic
120g Asian shallots
4 coriander roots
2 T of Kaffir lime zest plus the juice of 4 limes
3 Tablespoons of shrimp paste
4 lemon grass stalks
4 tsp salt and white pepper
Milder oil and leave out the paprika, otherwise method is the same.

Fast Chicken Curry p.96

A Thermomix owner has mentioned that they add vegetable stock paste along with the curry paste to add more depth of flavour.  Cut the chicken in larger pieces, and cook at 90 degrees for greater tenderness.  If using chicken breast then use the butterfly.

Beef Rendang  p.97

I add a ½ tsp of cardamom and use 2 cloves of garlic.  You must use chuck or skirt steak for this recipe.
You can double the cooking time – just taste test.

Beef Stroganoff  p.98

Quite a number of Thermomix owners have found that you can reduce both the heat (80-90 degrees once you add the beef) and reduce the cooking time to 10-12 for the beef – as in, add the beef later.  This helps achieve a more tender result.  The more lean the beef – the briefer the cooking.  If you don’t like it hot, omit the cayenne pepper.

Chili Con Carne  p.102

For a thicker consistency, leave the MC off with the simmering basket on top to catch any splashes.  Martina suggests use salt reduced tomato paste.

Asian Style Fish Fillets  p.104

Janine suggests:  The recipe says to use 800g Water - I use 1 litre then at the end of the cooking time add 1/2 can of Coconut Milk, 1 teaspoon Palm Sugar, 3 tablespoons Fish Sauce and 3 teaspoons Corn flour.
Cook for 3 Minutes, 90˚C on Speed 3.
I serve the meal in an open shaped bowl - rice in the bottom, a layer of vegetables, a piece of fish on top, then pour sauce over the lot and garnish with a few coriander leaves - YUM - a complete meal in one dish from one appliance - love it !

Chicken and Cashews  p.107

The response to Quirky Cooking’s version of this dish is overwhelming.

Pizza dough  p.111

The flavour is always lovelier when you use milk.  Just heat for 2 minutes on 50 degrees if it is straight out of the fridge. If you are using water it should be lukewarm water for the yeast to activate correctly.
Some use 20g extra of baker’s flour.  For a crusty loaf follow Simone’s Essentials tip: I use one third semolina flour (i.e. 160 g semolina flour and 240 g Bakers’ flour instead of 500 g Baker’s Flour).
Knead for longer – especially if using plain flour (e.g. 3 minutes).
Make sure you spin the black base of the blades on the underside of the TM bowl to help release your dough.
Any dough left on your blades – put bowl back on unit and turbo for a couple of seconds to release the remaining of the dough.  J

Breads: Basic  p.112

1.    Buttermilk makes bread mixes lighter.
2.    Heating your milk/water/yoghurt whey with your ground grains for 1 minute at 50 degrees speed 2 along with a tablespoon of honey or raw sugar will make a happier environment for the yeast.
3.    When you add your other ingredients – put the salt in after the baker’s flour so it can’t disrupt the yeast.
4.    Knead for longer if you want a lighter loaf or you are using lower gluten flours (plain flour, spelt flour).  Many folks like to knead their bread for 3-4 minutes for a lighter texture.
5.    Rise in a draught free spot either in your TM bowl or wrapped well in a silicone baking mat or greased bowl that is covered.
6.    Make sure you do a punch down – either re-shaping your dough, or re-kneading for 10 seconds on interval if your dough is in your TM bowl
7.    Let the second rise happen in the cold oven as it heats.  If you have a hot oven, go for 160 degrees C for the first 20minutes, and then turn up to 180 for 15 minutes.
8.    Crusty loaf tips are on Thermovixens

Breads: Spelt  p.113

If you need 100% spelt – here is my successful recipe.

Breads: Grain Breads

WholeFoodieKitchen is a wonderful resource for bread making: read her blog for a beautifully moist Bible bread and nutrition advice.

Hot Cross Buns p.117

The sugar syrup can be reduced to 1 tbsp of water and 1 tbsp sugar unless planning to do a double batch of buns.

Rough Puff Pastry p.121

* General pastry advice – remember to leave enough room for shrinkage during blind baking!
Using ice instead of water gets an amazing result.  You can watch here:

Vitality Truffles p.125

You really must make these at least once.  You can substitute as much as you like!  To make them gluten free, I recommend using a mix of; a puffed gluten free cereal, a ½ tablespoon of psyllium husk and some cocoa powder

Anzac Biscuits p.127

Many prefer to halve the sugar in this recipe.

Too Easy Chocolate Cake  p.129

What an absolute winner this recipe is.  Very flexible, works well dairy free.  It makes a great slab for women’s weekly birthday cakes if you do it  x 1 1/2.    

Here is my ingredient list:
180g Butter / nuttelex / coconut butter
3 eggs
150g buttermilk / milk mixed with yoghurt whey
1 ½ tsp vanilla essence
160-180g sugar (or even less for adults only)
180g flour (for a vanilla version, increase the flour to 230g and omit the cocoa, add an extra teaspoon of vanilla)
45g cocoa
3 tsp baking powder

You will need to drop the oven temperature to 170 degrees C, and cook for much longer.

Lemon Cake  p.131

This is definitely one of those ‘sit overnight’ to get the perfect texture kind of cakes.
I increase the butter and the flour by 20g and add an egg.

Best Coconut Butter Cake  p.133

This can be a little easy to burn.  You can reduce the mixing times once the eggs are added so long as the ingredients incorporate.  Try turning your temperature down too.
You can also try Nico Moretti version, I encourage you to buy his book!

Basic Sponge  p.137

Read the tips on bowl cleanliness and try Trixie’s light as Air sponge cake.

Torta Caprese  p.142

The sugar in this recipe can be halved if you wish.


The recipes in the EDC are generally for a “conserve” consistency.  This is quite runny compared to shop-bought jams. To add extra pectin to your jam, quarter a green apple and chop it for a few seconds in your Thermomix bowl before proceeding with the other steps.  You can also buy Pectin from your local health food shop or delicatessen.

Another great tip from Simone from Thermomix Essentials is: to thicken jam, remove the measuring cup (MC) and replace with the straining basket to catch any splatters.

SPREADS: Lemon/Lime Butter p.147

I like to use some of the citrus peel and grind it with raw sugar for 20 seconds to make the caster sugar for the recipe. You can easily double this recipe – but I like to triple the cooking time.
An extra egg yolk or two will add extra creaminess to your final result.

Hazelnut Chocolate Spread  p.148

For a ‘Posh, dark Lindt’ version of this, visit Paradise to Plate.

Peanut Butter  p.148

Common Chefs provides a bit of advice.  The quality of the nuts is very important.

Sorbet  p.149

As you get more confident with your Thermomix, particularly knowing what sounds to listen for, you will find your perfect consistency.
Here’s some basic tips:
1.    Make sure your ice cubes aren’t too big!  Party ice is probably the maximum size for a good quick textured result
2.    Weigh the lot out first, it’s important to use the full amount for the right consistency
3.    If you are using a very wet fruit – you will need to use a tiny bit more sugar and some extra ice.
4.    Make sure you let it run long enough – swirl the Thermomix spatula clockwise with the mix.  You should see the mix free flowing, and have a stiff mix on your spatula when it is done.
5.    Reduce the sugar as much as you like – replace the ice with frozen fruit and you won’t need any sugar.
6.    Replace the egg white with a spoonful of yoghurt or coconut cream for protein and nicely textured finish.

Fruity Dream  p.149

Make sure you are freezing seasonal fruit in ice cube size chunks for a fantastic and simple ice-cream dessert.
Increase the fruit to 500g
Mix the egg white into the blended fruit for 40 seconds on speed 6 before adding the butterfly and mixing for a minute on speed 4.
For a stunning dragonberry version visit Quirky Cooking.

Chocolate Mousse p.154

Callebaut Choc
Mousse recipe:

Neither Liz nor Leonie have made this, and the jury is hung, with plenty of people (including Iron Chef Shellie) adoring this recipe, and others finding it grainy or not setting.  So I advise doing this egg-free version from Callebaut chocolates- just watch their video.

Melt 250g chocolate, (blitz first for 10 seconds speed 8 if not using buttons)
and 130g milk for 2 minutes, 50 degrees speed1.
Repeat if necessary then set aside in a bowl.
Place Butterfly whisk, 500g cream and 50g sugar in TM bowl, whisk on speed 3 with measuring cup on for 20-50 seconds – you see the right consistency on the video.

Fold this through the chocolate mix and then pipe immediately!
Alternatively, there is a very popular raw chocolate mousse made with avocado on the recipe community.

Custard/Crème Patissere  p.155

This recipe tastes better with less flour (30g), and we use 20-25g of corn flour for gluten free.  It copes well with milk substitutes.  40g of dark chocolate, plus 15g of cocoa and an orange rind is a lovely combination if you like chocolate orange.

Crème Brulee  p.156

There is an even faster version on the UK website.
Also caster sugar seems to ‘burn’ best rather than brown sugar for the topping.

Creamy Traditional Ice-cream  p.150

I have tried multiple ice-cream bases with incredible numbers of egg yolks, and my favourite texture comes from my mother’s simple and thrifty recipe:
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
500g cream
150g milk
100-150g sugar
1 tbsp vanilla essence
pinch of salt

The sky is the limit with flavours – toast and grind your spices first e.g. my favourite was a ginger cardamom and cinnamon ice-cream.  I toasted the spices first (4 minutes 100 degrees, speed 1) and ground them (1 minute speed 10), then added the ginger and ground for a further 10 seconds.  This is all strained out at the end.

Then proceed with the Anglaise:
Cook the milk, cream and sugar in the TM bowl for 5 minutes, 50 degrees speed 2, or until the sugar is melted.
In a separate bowl lightly whisk the egg and the yolk.  Add 1-2 MC’s of the cream mix to the eggs and lightly whisk, then return the egg and cream to the TM bowl with the cream.
Cook for 10 minutes, 80 degrees speed 2.
If using an ice-cream churn – chill overnight with the top covered in cling film to prevent a skin forming.
If using the Thermomix – freeze in a tray, then turn out and chop and blend for 30 seconds on speed 10.  Re-freeze and repeat.  You may need to blend for longer to get your desired consistency.

Fruit Syrups for yoghurt or rice pudding

Place 100g+ of fruit in TM bowl with desired amount of sugar – 20-40g.
Cook for 3 minutes, 100 degrees speed 1.  The blades will cause some juice to be released to form a syrup with the sugar.



The sugar can (and for babies should) be omitted from these recipes.  There are plenty of extras on the recipe community:

If you have any further tips or tweaks - we would love to include them in our next revision of this document.

You can either email Leonie from ThermoFun at:
Liz from Lush Thermosphere at:

ENJOY!  And Happy Cooking!

From Leonie and Liz   J