As a committed sugar-phile, I wanted to developing a fudge that would work well in the Bellini and other thermal cookers. The Bellini doesn’t get to the necessary temperature to make a true fudge so this is a cheat’s version, but it tastes pretty good, all the same.
You could chop and change the flavourings for this fudge – the white chocolate is bland so any stronger flavours will take precedence. Continue reading
I go through phases of making home-made pasta. It’s fairly simple to make gorgeous fettuccine or spaghetti (especially when you can throw the dough in the thermal cooker) and the taste is incomparable to the dried variety from the supermarket. Sauces tend to be super easy too – you want the flavour of the pasta to shine through, so stick to something simple like these recipes for the sauce. My pasta making phase usually ends when I attempt something like ravioli which always takes much much longer than I anticipate, and sucks all the enjoyment out of it. So if you are time-poor, stay away from ravioli.
I follow the basic 100g pasta flour to 1 egg recipe, which is easy to increase or decrease Continue reading
Exciting news – I’ve got my hands on a HotMixPRO for the next two weeks! So as well as the Bellini posts, there will be a few recipes featuring the HotMixPRO. One of the most popular posts on this blog is the thermal cookers comparison chart, so I’m guessing that lots of people have an interest in the different types of thermal cookers and their features. If not, and you are only here for the Bellini posts, the HotMixPRO is only here for a short time (sadly) so normal service will resume shortly.
Disclaimer: The machine has been loaned to me by the Australian distributor to trial the machine and blog about it (and make ridiculous quantities of fudge). They are not paid posts, and all opinions are my own.
For the uninitiated, the HotMixPRO is a type of thermal cooker – the main difference being that it was originally developed for the commercial market (restaurants, bars etc). Most of the cheaper thermal cookers on the market are based on an older Thermomix model, TM21. The HotMixPRO differs from these machines and from a Thermomix in several ways, so I’ve taken some pictures to illustrate. Continue reading
Dips are ridiculously easy to make in the Bellini or thermal cooker (utilizing the blender/ food processing capabilities of the machine). I’d previously made a simpler version of this dip, using tinned baby beets and Greek yogurt for the sour kick, but this time I wanted to take advantage of the lovely whole winter beetroots available in the markets.
The roasting of the beets for 90 minutes seems tedious but it’s just set-and-forget type cooking, and the peeling is very quick and easy. Continue reading
I’m not a fan of ordinary couscous, which was a nuisance as it’s nice to have another grain/ carb to add to the dinner roulette wheel of potato/ rice/ pasta*. It’s the small grains that put me off. I don’t like the mouth feel – for me, it’s reminiscent of beach sand in your picnic. But Israeli couscous is a favourite with larger grains and a lovely chewy texture. It’s a foodie item (here in Perth at least), available at extortionate prices at local delicatessens and food importers. So I was amused to discover that in Israel, it’s usually served to children – the Hebrew equivalent of Alphabetti Spaghetti.
I make the dish in the picture regularly as it’s easy and very satisfying. Serve it as a hot meal, a warm salad or a cold salad. Continue reading
There are tons of blogs, forums, and Facebook pages with recipes for thermal cookers. These sources (and the manual for your machine) are a great place for new users to start for step-by-step instructions to build your confidence. Using recipes that are specifically written for thermal cookers also helps you try out all the functions of the machine.
Soon though, you’ll probably want to branch out and start adapting other recipes. You might have a much-loved cookbook, an online recipe, or have a family favourite to adapt. Below are some recipe techniques that will work particularly well in the thermal cooker.
Using a food processor/ blender or finely chopped ingredients
All thermal cookers have the ability to blend or chop ingredients so this will work well. Note that you can only chop, you can’t grate or thinly slice. Continue reading
In the realm of Bellini/ thermal cooker recipes, the following recipe could be considered a cousin of the 30 second orange cake (as the whole lemon is used, skin and all). It’s another David Lebowitz recipe and easily converts to the thermal cooker. The silky lemon topping is divine and its bitterness contrasts beautifully with the rich brittle crust. The original recipe is here. I have made minor changes to the method, which is suitable for making in the Bellini or any other thermal cooker (e.g. Thermomix, ThermoChef, HotMixPro, ThermoBlend etc).
- 140g plain flour
- 50g white sugar
- pinch of salt
- 115g butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 lemon (approx 180g)
- 200g white sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45g) lemon juice
- 3 large eggs
- 4 teaspoons corn flour
- pinch of salt
- 45g butter
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
3. Add 115g butter to the jug. Cook at 100C, Sp2 for 1min 30 sec.
5. Dollop the crust mixture into the lined lamington tin. Use your fingers to push it flat, making sure it goes all the way to the edges. It’s very thin and seems to barely cover the tin, but this is correct.
6. Put the pan in the oven and bake for about 25mins or until golden brown. While it is baking, make the lemon topping.
7. Add the 45g of butter to the jug. Cook on Sp2, 100C for 2 min.
8. Cut off the thicker skin on the top and bottom of the lemon. Cut the lemon into quarters. Remove any visible seeds. Add to the jug (n.b. in the picture below, there’s no butter in this jug because I forgot to melt it before doing the lemons. So just pretend it’s there).
9. Chop the lemons on Sp8 for 8 sec. Scrape down.
10. Add eggs and mix at Sp1, 37C for 1 min (this will warm your eggs to room temp. If you are organised and actually had them at room temp, then you can skip this step and add them with all the other ingredients in Step 10).
11. Add all the other lemon topping ingredients. Blitz on Sp7 for 15 sec then Sp9 for 15 sec. The mixture should be almost smooth.
12. When the crust is cooked, remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 150C. Pour the lemon topping onto the hot crust and place it back in the oven for 25 min (n.b. mine was ready at 18 min but I may have a hot oven as others reported that it took longer). Check if it is cooked by very gently shaking the pan: if the filling doesn’t jiggle, then it’s set.
13. Leave it to cool completely in the pan. Gently lift the baking paper and slide the slice onto a chopping board. Cut into squares and dust with icing sugar.