Sunday, 12 October 2014

Bulk butter, again

It's been a couple of months since I tried using Thermy (instead of my Kitchen Aid) to make butter in bulk.  We were running out, so on Friday I went to Costco and bought 8 litres of double cream, which I left on the side in the kitchen.

I got ready this morning, cleaning all the surfaces and then Dettoxing them, and re-reading my notes from last time. .  I started to open the cream - which I noted was from a different Dairy to usual, and found the ream was very very thick.  I had trouble getting it out of the bottles,  DH helped by squeezing the bottles for me. It must have been warm and/or sunny in the kitchen yesterday.

I set up my production line, and followed my "Next time" notes.  I was concerned that it wouldn't work with the overly  thickened cream.  However, the first litre churned very quickly.

I had 8 litres instead of my usual 10.  Thermy can only cope with 1 litre at a time (instead of my Kitchen Aid's 1.5 litres), so there were more separate batches.  I was able to use both my Thermy bowls though, so one litre was churtning while I was washing (by hand) the previous litre.  The buttermilk extraction was less messy.    

The resulting butter was a bit soft, but the water had run clear. Maybe it was just because it was from a different supplier?  The softness meant I lost some of the butter through the colander as I washed it, more than usual. 

After washing, it sits in the colander, draining, until the next batch needs to be washed.

At that point, batch A gets moved into another colander. This extra step was so I could monitor how much butter wsa draining out.

When batch C needs to be washed, batch A gets put onto a flat colander in the fridge to firm up and drain some more, and everythhing moves along. 

When batch E reaches the fridge colander, there isn't any room, so batches A and B were weighed into my chilled KitchenAid bowl, and put on to beat salt in.  At this point, I could see that each litre had produced a bit more butter than I was expecting, which isn't a good thing.  Either there is buttermilk in there,  or the extra-soft butter was absorbing more water when I washed it. 

When the salted butter had beaten enough,  I wasn't ready to start potting.  So, I tipped it into a bowl and put it in the fridge,  and started C and D salting.

When I ran out of butter to churn and wash, I started packing the butter.  This freed up a bowl each time to tip the beaten and salted butter into,  to go into the fridge.  Using the KA to salt the butter was fantastic, and this really sped up the overall process.

The packed butter also went in to the fridge.

When the last batches had been salted,  I washed up. Things that were dishwasher proof were rinsed of butter and put in the dishwasher (don't put lots of butter in the dishwasher, it clogs the pipes).  

I then moved the salted, packed, butter into the freeer, and wiped doen the fridge.

I won't know about the quality of the butter (excess water,  retained buttermilk), until I start using it in a few days.   

I hope it's OK.  Overall, it was definitiely quicker and cleaner than using the KitchenAid to do the churning, and I'd really like to be able to carry on with this process.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Catch up

Still Thermomixing.

Mostly recipes I've tried before. 

I've made several batches of ginger biscuits.  These are so easy.

We don't buy biscuits, and I rarely make them.  Don't get me wrong. I love them.  That's the problem.

I have to stop myself making them because I sure as heck can't stop myself eating them once they've been made!

Steamed chicken for the cat (she wasn't well).  I mean, she wasn't well so she was put on a chicken diet. Not "she wasn't well becaise she ate the chicken".

I made a Goulash,  which was OK.

I've used Thermy a couple of times to whip up garlic, onion, parsley and butter to make Chicken Kiev.  And to make the breadcrumbs for CK of course.

I made gravy in it.

I've made smoothies and hor chocolate.

I used it to make bread dough a couple of times.  It's not difficult to use- actually it's very quick and easy - but I also like the convenience of using my breadmaker to make dough.  I've turned millet seeds into mullet flour for Rye and Millet loaf (my current flavour of the month).

Thermy is used most days, and often several times a day.    It doesn't get used if we're eating home made "ready meals" from the freezer,  or if we're having something like Toad out of the Hole.   I know you can make yorkshire pudding batter in it,  but actually it's easier and cleaner just to get out Kenny (My handheld electric whisks).

I've looked at the TM5.  There are a number of things about it which I think are probably a big improvement: the scale is better on the TM5 (the TM31 only goes up in 5g incremements and cannot be used while the machine is cooking);  it's quieter;  the end-of-programme noise is potentially less irritating;  the bowl is bigger; the locking mechanism is better & easier; it has abroader temperature range.

I don't think it looks so good, and I'm not really that excited about the recipe chip technology,  I guess it depends how that all develops.

I'll keep watching and see what happens.

When the new TM5 was launched, my Demonstrator emailed me, starting her email with "long time no see". She wanted me to arrange a demo.    Either she was  being facetious / embarrassed that it was only 5 weeks since I had bought my TM31, or she was being sloppy.  I thought it might be a generic email that she sent everyone,  but she did mention that she'd met someone who knew me (my daughter in law, actually).

As she hadn't been in touch at all since I bought Thermy, not even to ask how I was getting on with it and whether I needed any help,  I haven't got round to replying.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sugar overload

EGS made some rather tasty ginger cookies using this recipe  He made these himself, asking for advice when he wasn't sure.

And then the next day, he made "shortbread biscuits" from the My Way Of Cooking book.  He made this without any supervision at all, although he did ask a few questions on the way.   I'm finding MWOC a bit hit and miss, the instructions aren't detailed enough for a newbie.   We found this hopeless for cutting out cookies.  We considered using a shorbtread mould, but I was concerened it would just stick,

In the end EGScame up with the bright idea of just making them like we had done the ginger biscuits, a small ball, fork pressed down.   We ended up cooking these for about 17 minutes.. They were very good,  but the centres were a bit underbaked. 

I might use this recipe again, but I'd probably try a couple  of others first.

The weekend's thermomixing was finished with a couple of jugs of passata.

And I can report that day-old brownie was even better than fresh brownie. For me, anyway/

Friday, 29 August 2014

Sweet tooth

Eldest Grandson, (EG), has been staying for a few days.  He has a sweet tooth, so we've been baking.

First up was Chocolate Chip Cookies.  The internet is awash with Thermy cookie recipes,  and eventually I chose this one because it had such high ratings:

We used white chocolate and 70% dark chocolate. I had some white chocolate cooking buttons, so we chopped those in Thermy.  Thh first attemp was hopeless, I really overdid it.  We put those aside to use in something else, and I did them again.

Surprisingly easy, and they were lovely!

The next day (Thursday, yesterday), we made milkshakes. EG wanted to use up the excess chopped white chocolate, so I whipped up some milk, frozen banana, and the white chocolate from the previous day.  I blended for a long time (about 3 minutes, which my ears were sure was much longer) to give the chocolate chance to blend.

It was too sweet for me, but EG really liked it.

For the main sweet treat of the day, EG went been through lots of Thermy recipe books and had picked recipe after recipe.  Eventually he settled on making brownies, and picked the Chocolate and Pecan recipe from the I love Chocolate, I love Thermomix book.

MH supervised this.  The result was outstanding.  Incredibly rich (thank goodness we had decided to cut them into single bite squares), they were amazing!  We popped some round to my next door neighbours, and they reported back that they were the best they had had. I'm sure part f that was kindness, but there is probably some truth in it as well.

I'm not sure what oday's choice will be.

Hopefully something sans chocolate. 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Mushroom Risotto and Arancini. Again.

Dh was away, so I used Thermy to make mushroom risotto, usin gthe recipe in the Fast and Easy cookbook. I used half dried porcini mushrooms and half fresh mushrooms.   Unlike last time, this time I let it stand for 5 minutes, and it was lovely.

I put the leftover risotto, when cold, in the fridge.  The next day, I made arancini - deep fried risotto balls - and some Tzaziki to serve with it.  Thermy helped out again, making the tzaiki, and making the breasdcrumb/parmesan/parsley coating.   Very good.    They could have done with  a bit more seasoning, so I'll do that next time...remembering that I want to do it while the lefotver risotto is still warm, or certainly befor it goes into the fridge overnight.

I couldn't eat them all, despite pigging out.  I put the remaining cooked balls in the fridge,  and I've just eaten them cold.   They were amazing!  If they were smaller, they would make excellent cold buffet or picninc food...  they'd need to be mini scotch egg sized I think.

I had toyed with the idea of making some risotto balls and freezing them, before the deep frying stage.   Maybe I'll have enough leftover next time to try that.


Saturday, 23 August 2014

Little things

Thermy has been in action so much that I've often ended up with both bowls in the dishwasher.
Nothing major this week, just little things.

I made an enormous Teviot pie on Wednesday. Teviot pie is a minced beef pie with a suet crust pastry.

I chickened out of using Thermy to chop my kilo of beef braising steak into mince, fearing that it might puree it.  I used my Sage food processor, which has a blades at two levels,  which means that you don't end up with puree at the bottom and mince at the top.  I will try Thermy another time, on a smaller quantity.

Thermy was used to make the mire poix (or is it soffrito) which was fried in oil at the beginning. It was made up of onion, celery and carrot.  I  used it to chop garlic and courgettes, and  mushrooms.  I also ground 40g red lentils to a fine powder to use as  a thickener. Definite successes.

It was also used to make a simple banana milkshake (milk and frozen banana) for granddaughter Kaitlyn, and a simple strawberry milkshake (milk and frozen strawberry) for grandson Hayden.  Definite success.

I put some cheese and cherry tomatoes in and blitzed it, which made an excellent sandwich filling. It didn't turn into a cream, because i didn't add anything else to help it do that... but it made it very easy to spread and to get a good even coating, right to the edge.  It was less fiddly than grated cheese, and more even (and economical) than sliced cheese. Definite success.

Later,  I used the same thing to make cheese on toast. It was much easier than working with grated cheese (which I invariably drop onto the hot grill pan), or sliced cheese.  Definite success.

Last night I made a small amount of cake mix, as I had a craving for it.  I've been eating a lot of carp (crisps, sugary bread)  lately, and I shouldn't have given in to the craving.

MH used it to cook fish, which he was pleased with.  I was out, so I don't have any more information about it, lol.

Another good week.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Bits and pieces

Yesterday we had Arancini (deep fried risotto balls) , using the leftover risotto.    I seasoned it, even more, this time.   

I made parsley and parmesan breadcrumbs in Thermy (fantastic, thank you).

Next time, I think I'll add the additional seasoning to the leftover risotto before I put it in the fridge.   This is because the risotto was very well set, perfect for forming into balls... but I had to stir it up to stir in the seasonings, and that made it all loose again.

They were very good. 


I also made another batch of hummus,  this time I added some moroccan seasoning.   I think it was a bit too thick, I should have slackened it off more. I also should have added more lemon juice.  

I'd bought a new jar of Tahini, as I hadn't got round to ordering sesame seeds to make my own. (That's now rectified - or it will be when my Wholefoods order arrives - so I'll be in good shape when the Tahini jar runs out).  

While I was shopping, I also took some photos of Waitrose's hummus varieties - the backs of the packs, anyway, so I could see what they put in theirs.  I saw that I can use Tahini to make Baba Ganoush, so I bought an aubergine as well...but I haven't go round to it yet.   Hopefully I will do so before the Aubergine walks out of the fridge.

This time, I cut the ginger into hald and 1 inch pieces before freezing. Ha!

 Millet Flour
I decided to try Rye and Millet bread, in my breadmaker.  I had both millet flakes and millet seeds, from when I was buying grains to tempt my housechook to eat.    I  needed some millet flour as well,  and was childishly excited that I could use Thermy to do this.    I feel very proud of my 50 grammes of millet flour.  No idea what the bread is going to taste like, but that isn't the point.

It's just gone into the oven, so I'll find out later.

Pizza Dough
I took the frozen pizza dough out of the freezer, so it could defrost for dinner tonight.  The wrapping said "needs second rise",  so I after it was defrosted, I put it in a bowl in the airing cupboard. 

I realised that it would probably have been quicker to have made fresh dough from scratch. I used to make my pizza dough by hand, painstakingly stirring the middle while the flour gradually slips in.  Then I started to cheat, and used my KitchenAid, on the basis that the planetary action is sort of similar to doing it by hand.  In both these cases it's been worthwhile making double and freezing one.    Now I'm not so sure. It was really quick in Thermy, and the taste and texture was fine.  

That's a bit of a Thermy revelation.