This is one for the people I disappointed with my Green Juice post last week. And anyone who likes chocolate. And nuts. And things only the Thermomix can make seem hilariously easy.
Hazelnut Chocolate Spread appears as a recipe in the Everyday Cookbook. I implore you to try it. It kicks Nutella right in the bottom. It is rich, but not overly sweet. You could pour it straight from the Thermomix bowl into a cooked pastry case, leave it to set in the fridge and have an extremely good chocolate tart. You could use it as a filling for biscuit sandwiches or macarons. Or you could pour it into some jars and have tablespoon ready chocolate fix sitting in your fridge. I have been spreading it on lightly toasted sourdough for an after school dropoff pick me up with my morning coffee. My eldest is choosing it as her dessert, spread on fresh bread, if she makes a good effort eating her dinner.
There are a few different recipes that vary from the Everday Cookbook version. As usual, I took them all into consideration and came up with my own. First I ground on Speed 9 for 10 seconds 60g raw sugar to icing sugar (for easy dissolving). Next throw in 150g chocolate (broken into small pieces) and 90g hazelnuts and grind at Speed 9 for 10 seconds. Check texture and grind again if not fine enough for you. I didn’t bother skinning or roasting the hazelnuts, but I’m sure if you did it would produce an even lovelier toasty flavour. I used Lindt 70% cocoa dessert chocolate. This is the one I usually have in the fridge for my chocolate cooking needs. I can buy it at Coles and it gives a nicer flavour than any of the other cooking chocolates I have tried from the supermarket. One day perhaps I will look into finding a source for some higher quality chocolate like the Callebaut Muttering Housewife swears by. One day. Vary sugar according to the chocolate you use, and your sweet palette. If it is a milk chocolate it will be much sweeter than dark. Most recipes suggest between 50-90g sugar.
I skipped the cocoa powder because I had added an extra 50g chocolate. Add either 70g butter or same of a flavourless oil such as grapeseed. A nut oil would add a nice flavour too. Or coconut oil if you have it around. Not olive oil. Too fruity for this. I used oil instead of butter as I was going to sell a couple of jars at my school fete jam stall, so trying to reduce degradable ingredients and also wanted it to be spreadable out of the fridge. Add 100g milk and heat at 50 degrees for 6 minutes on Speed 3. Check the consistency after it has finished, cook a couple of minutes more if you think it too runny. It does firm up once in the fridge. Pour into your sterilised jars, transfer to fridge and try to resist eating in one go. They make a fabulous present.
Just a word on bottling your own freshly made goods. I realise some are a bit worried about things going off when its homemade. There are no use by dates on your jar of lovingly prepared stuff. From a lot of Google research and many conversations to home jam makers in my preparation for jam stall convening I came across a few basics to help with this. Hot things should be poured into hot jars, so glass doesn’t crack. Don’t use plastic, it is harder to sterilise without compromising and different plastics behave in different ways. Stick to glass. Clean and collect jars from your current stock of bought goods. Sterilise your cleaned jars and lids (steam in the oven, boil on the stove, steam in the Varoma if the jars fit) while you are cooking your jams, etc. 10 minutes on full steam should do it. Drain on a clean tea towel, then turn over to pour stuff in. The tea towel helps in clean up too – I have taken some practice to get most of the goods in the jar. Don’t use screw top lids or stopper lids because they don’t seal properly. Use jars and lids that most jams come in, ie, that have metal lids that twist a little to open. Pickle or olive jars are good, but you have a hard time getting the pickle flavour out, so use them for savoury things like sauces or your own pickles. Leave as little surface area as possible so oxygen has a harder time getting in. This means fill right up to the neck and try to use smaller neck jars. Fasten the lid and turn upside down for 10 minutes or until you remember to turn them upright. This not only helps to show you whether your lid is fastened tight, but also helps with the seal. Or so I have been told. Once opened to use, always store in the fridge. Lastly, check it for mould when using each time. Also, as my father would say, suck it and see. A sniff and a tiny taste will tell you whether it has passed its prime. My father would probably still eat it anyway, but he has some hardy gut bacteria from a life of indifference to use by dates.
I did try an awful lot of things when my Thermomix was shiny and new. Its still shiny by the way. Even though I have trekked it to Sydney and back on more than one occasion and taken it on a beach holiday (it had worked hard).
This is a collection of the things that you will have seen at a demonstration, or just really need to be attempted because they are so easy to do.
Chocolate custard – substitute 40g chocolate* for the lemon zest in the lemon custard recipe in the Everyday Cookbook. Or you could put in a teaspoon of vanilla essence, or your own vanilla bean paste (I will be posting on how my experiments have gone with making this soon) for a toddler friendly vanilla custard.
*vary type of chocolate according to whim – I usually use my 70% cocoa cooking chocolate, but have been known to throw in leftover Easter Eggs or whatever was hanging around. Try flavoured chocolates to mix things up once in a while.
No, I’m not using my thermomix to dispose of enemies . . . yet. It is a beetroot salad. I like to throw a bit of mint in instead of the coriander or as well as the coriander. And juice a whole lemon into it for the extra zing. Zing! Also to be found in the Everyday Cookbook.
Butter makes it better. Yes, I made butter! I make it about once a week. I still buy some to bake with because I can’t keep up with that much butter production, but I no longer buy spreadable butter or margarine because it is so easy to make this out of pure cream and mix it with a little salt and some grapeseed oil to make enough sandwiches for the week. You get the bonus of buttermilk out of it as well! I really want to explore making cultured butter, but that will be another post when I start down the cultures and fermentation road. Coming soon to a monkey near you.
Speaking of cultures, I have tried my hand at yoghurt and I might say it comes out pretty well. I admit that I do buy yoghurt still on occasion, but mainly because I keep forgetting to save half a cup of my last yoghurt to start it again. I tend to follow superkitchenmachine’s recipe because it doesn’t call for any other ingredients outside of milk and your previous batch of yoghurt. Once I make the vanilla bean paste I plan to make a vanilla yoghurt to use up the residue in the bowl. But we speak of future things.
Bread. Because we didn’t have any bread, man. And also because it is much easier to make than I had ever imagined. Fun too. These are made with 1/5 wholegrain buckwheat (milled in the Thermomix of course) and 4/5 baker’s flour. I have been given step by step instructions for making sourdough from scratch which I plan to follow one day. That might be a drawn out post though, the starter takes 3-10 days to grow.