These three kitchen accessories from IKEA seem to go particularly well with thermal cookers. The first two are a cheaper version of popular accessories for the ThermoMix. I bought the third to make it even easier to make and eat steamed puddings easier (obviously not restricted to thermal cooking, but I have become sadly addicted since getting my Bellini).
1. Baking mat
I bought this after seeing a thermomix consultant wrap the ThermoMat around some pasta dough before leaving it to rest. The ThermoMat is a serious piece of kit (with a price tag to match). It is industrial quality and reinforced with fibreglass fibres. The IKEA mat is a much milder creature. Pro of the ThermoMat: you can put it in the oven. Don’t even think about doing this with the IKEA mat. But on the other hand, the IKEA mat is much more flexible. I love that I can quickly wrap it around dough or pastry before setting it to rest (you can do this with the ThermoMat, but because it’s sturdier, you can’t tuck the ends in so your dough will be exposed to the cool air of the fridge at either end. The IKEA mat also comes with a funky knife to scrape the dough off the mat – and it has a little stamp at the end so you can make biscuits with heart shaped indentations to fill with jam (isn’t that so IKEA?)
I’m sorry to say that it looks like this has been discontinued by all Australian IKEA stores, so it’s probably going to be irritating now I tell you how great it is. I bought it as a substitute for the ThermoServer. I haven’t tried the ThermoServer but the IKEA one does a great job. I’ve used it for pancakes, tortillas and risotto and it’s kept the food noticeably warmer.
If you haven’t managed to nab an IKEA one and you can’t get a ThermoServer, the next option is to get an insulated serving dish from an Indian food store. This thread (from a ThermoMix forum) compares the ThermoServer and the Indian grocery store variety, and the author concludes that the Indian store one actually keeps the food hotter (or colder) for longer.
These work really well in the steam attachment for making little puddings. They are oven safe and probably also work well for cupcakes etc. If you have young kids you might need to buy two sets and hide one, as they are irresistibly squashy and appear in weird places in the house, half filled with marbles or dried up playdough.