Thursday, April 26, 2012

Curried Sausages

"They not fancy, but they cheap!"

I can just hear Luigi saying this. Sausages certainly aren't fancy and sometimes they're not that cheap, but we all love a good sausage casserole in this family.

My Aussie-style curries all have pretty much the same base ingredients. We like them sweet/savoury and warm to hot. I like to use good butcher's sausages when I can get them. Our local store sells butcher made sausages and they're very good quality, nice and meaty. I can't abide those supermarket excuses for sausages that are little more than cereal and seasonings in a sausage casing.

This is a Thermomix recipe but can easily be converted to a casserole on the stove. I've put it into two stages as one is steamed, the other cooked in the bowl.

Curried Sausages
The Bush Gourmand

Serves 4
Stage 1 ingredients
1 onion, peeled and quartered
30g sunflower oil
2 tsp curry powder
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon.
400g stock or water with 2 Tbsp TM veggie stock
1 large apple, peeled, cored and diced
450g - 500g mixed vegetables (I use 2 carrots, a turnip, beans, frozen peas and corn)
1/4 - 1/2 cup fruit chutney
3 tsp cornflour

Place onion and oil into TM bowl and dice on speed 5 for a few seconds. Scrape down and add curry powder.
Sauté for 4 minutes at 100C on speed 2 .
Add stock, veggies, apple, lemon and chutney. Test for salt and add if necessary.
cook for 15 minutes at 100C on reverse, speed spoon.
Add cornflour mixed with a little water and cook for 1 minute.
Transfer to Thermoserver.

Vegetables in Thermoserver

Stage 2 ingredients
500g -700g sausages
3 small potatoes, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes or 100g rice
Extras if liked: 1 diced banana, tomato paste, apricot jam (2 Tbsp)

Place 1 litre of water into TM bowl (not need to rinse) and insert basket. Add rice or potatoes to basket and place lid on bowl without MC. Place sausages into Varoma bowl and/or tray if using more than 500g, cover and fit onto lid.

Sausages ready for steaming

Cook on Varoma for 15 to 17 minutes or until rice or potatoes are cooked, but still a little firm.
Remove sausages and potatoes. Add potatoes to vegetable mix in Thermoserver.
Chop sausages into bite sized pieces when cool enough to handle. Add to Thermoserver.

Serve with a little chopped parsley and some roasted salted peanuts.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Buttermilk Bread

This recipe is in the Thermomix Everyday Cooking book and I added some pepitas, pumpkin and linseeds. I've heard that it's a little difficult to make because the dough is very soft and sticky.

I've learned that with very soft doughs, one must not play with them too much. They will just get stickier! And, when you do try to knead a soft dough, there's a tendency to add flour to it to make it more manageable. This just changes the entire ratio of flour to liquid and the resultant loaf will not be as soft and fluffy as it should.

For the first rising of this loaf, I oiled my hands to remove the dough from the Thermomix bowl on to the ThermoMat. I then wrapped it up and placed it in the warm, turned off oven. Dough likes to have to work at rising, so wrapping it in the mat makes the dough work harder.

Unfortunately, I got chatting to my DD and when I checked the dough after a good hour, it had escaped from the mat and oozed into my oven! Luckily, I had cleaned the oven recently, so I just scraped it all back up and used a little flour to form a Vienna shaped loaf. The dough was already quite large, so instead of a second rising, I popped it into a cold oven set to 220C and baked it for around 20 minutes (still chatting with my DD, so not sure). The loaf rose beautifully without spreading out too much.

The inside is deliciously soft and fluffy and filled with holes like Ciabatta. I highly recommend this recipe. It would also make an excellent Cob Loaf.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thermomix Consultant

I would like to announce that I'm joining the ranks of Thermomix and becoming a Consultant.

The idea has been swimming around in my mind for many months and it wasn't until I received a couple of encouraging emails  from complete strangers who'd read the article in Ripe Magazine that I seriously considered it.
Then another email came in from a Thermomix Group Leader also asking if I was interested in becoming a Consultant. Training was happening soon, so I thought I'd give it a go.

What a steep learning curve! I have to learn to use the Thermomix backwards, for a start! I'm not sure that I'm very good at selling things, but I do love my Thermomix, so I guess that's a start. So often, it sells itself anyway.

I'll be fairly busy over the next few months, but I still hope to keep The Bush Gourmand blog going with lots of interesting snippets and recipes.
So keep popping in and please leave comments, I love to hear from my readers.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pumpkin & Ginger Cake

This cake has come about as a member of the Facebook Group, Thermomixers requested that the recipe be converted to the Thermomix.
The conversion isn't as easy as a normal cake because the butter is heated with the sugars and the eggs need to be beaten into the pumpkin. A hot bowl and raw eggs do not mix, so the recipe steps have altered to suit the Thermomix method.

Pumpkin & Ginger Cake

220g chopped peeled pumpkin

Steam on Varoma for 15 to 18 minutes. Place pumpkin in the refrigerator to cool for around 20 - 30 minutes. 
Empty TM bowl and dry thoroughly.

Add to bowl:
100g brown sugar
140g Golden Syrup
125g butter, chopped

Heat on 80 degrees, speed 2 - 3 for 4 minutes.
Leave in bowl while pumpkin is cooling.

Pre heat oven to 180C, grease and line a deep 20cm cake tin. (Recipe says a square tin, but I used a round one)

Once pumpkin has cooled, add it to the sugar and butter mixture and blend for 30 seconds on speed 4.

Add to bowl:
2 eggs
Blend on speed 2 for a few seconds.

Sift into bowl:
140g SR Flour
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp bi-carb soda

Mix on dough setting for 10 seconds. Scrape down and under mixture with spatula. Mix on dough setting for another 10 seconds.

Place in tin and bake for 45 minutes. Cool in tin.

As I sat down to write this recipe, I inserted the title and said to myself, "Ginger! Oh @#$%!"
I'd forgotten to add the ginger to the dry ingredients! So, I raced into the kitchen,grabbed the cake out of the oven and stirred in the ginger. Fingers crossed!!
Whew! It worked fine. It's very moist and quite delicious.
Thanks Sarah.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dairy Free Alternatives

Almond Sunflower Milk

I don't particularly like the taste of milk or cream, and have been buying soy milk for years to have in my tea and coffee.
It's expensive! And I waste a lot by taking my carton to places and forgetting it...

So,  I've decided to try some different sorts of milks that I can make at home. The recipes come from Jo Whitton, of Quirky Cooking fame.

First I made her Rice-Almond Milk. It was quick and easy in the Thermomix and I quite enjoyed the taste. Today, I made Almond and Sunflower Milk. I really like this one, it can be frothed in the Thermomix or with a stick blender. It does separate in the fridge, but comes together with a quick shake.

I've change the recipes a little, just to suit my taste.

Rice Almond Milk

50g brown rice
Place in a clean, dry Thermomix bowl and grind for 1 minute on speed 9

40g raw almonds

Grind on speed 9 for another 30 seconds.

960g filtered water
2 Tbsp coconut oil
30g maple syrup
2 Tbsp liquid lecithin (optional)

Cook 6 minutes, 60 degrees, speed 4.
Blend for 30 - 40 seconds, gradually moving dial to speed 8.
Strain through muslin placed in a strainer. Decant to bottle and refrigerate.

Almond Sunflower Milk

50g raw almonds
50g sunflower seeds

Grind in the Thermomix for 15 - 20 seconds, speed 9.

960g filtered water
2 Tbsp coconut oil (grapeseed, rice bran)
30g maple syrup (20g honey)
pinch sea salt
2 Tbsp liquid lecithin (optional)

Cook for 4 minutes, 60 degrees, speed 4.
Blend for 30 - 40 seconds, gradually moving dial to speed 8.
Strain through muslin placed in a strainer. Decant to bottle and refrigerate.

In both recipes, the nuts, rice, seeds can be pre-soaked in water overnight of for up to 24 hours. Then simply blend with other ingredients on speed 9 for 2 minutes. Proceed with cooking as per recipe.

I enjoyed a cup of Crio Brü with my freshly made Almond Sunflower Milk and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

And, waste not, want not, I added the leftover wet grounds from the Rice Almond Milk (200g) to a loaf of spelt bread that I was making. I added an extra 100g flour and 1/2 tsp yeast to make up for the extra liquid.

The leftover grounds from the Crio Brü go into the oven to dry out. They are then made into my extra special exfoliating Spiced Crio Latte Soap in my other life as Skinflint, maker of skincare products.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Eggs at Easter

Just had to blog about Kennedy Eggs. I opened my new packet of eggs today to make Dani Valent's Basic Cake from her In The Mix cookbook and what do I find?

How sweet! We didn't have ANY bought chocolate this Easter, so I'm going to hide this little morsel and eat it all by myself when no one's around...

Kennedy Eggs are a locally produced free range eggs from Newdegate WA and sold at our local general store.

Happy Easter!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Raspberry & Almond Meringue Cake

Who said you can't make meringue in the Thermomix? Of course you can! It just needs heat.

The meringue came up a treat. I processed raw sugar first, then the egg whites and cream of tartar were added and cooked on 60 for 6 minutes with the butterfly inserted.
The result was shiny, fluffy and light meringue.

This recipe is another from Tenina and can be found in her book For Food's Sake. I'm just loving the recipes in this book.She understands flavour and her recipes are original and interesting. They complement the Recipe Books put out by Vorwerk.
Most recipes use ingredients that you can access easily, even when you live in the bush.

This was easy to make, even though there was quite a few steps. I've learned to sit down and read the recipe carefully before I even start. I also gather many of the ingredients. That way I can be sure that I do actually have the ingredients! There's nothing more annoying than finding yourself half way through making something and discovering that you don't actually have one of the essential ingredients.

I bought a 500g pack of frozen raspberries for this recipe, though fresh ones would be lovely if you have access to them.

We had this for Easter Sunday lunch with friends. It went down a treat!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Crio Bliss Balls

Instead of regular truffles for an Easter treat, I thought it would be nice to make something a little healthier. Inspired by Tenina and Quirky Jo, I turned to cocoa beans. Jo uses raw beans and Tenina, the roasted Crio beans. I'm a fan of Crio beans and have a couple of packets in my cupboard, so I've come up with these Crio Bliss Balls.

They are dairy free, low in processed sugar and will keep you going all day with the slow release of energy that Crio Brü provides.

Crio Bliss Balls
220g roasted hazelnuts (I get them from
85g Crio Brü ground cocoa beans
Thinly peeled rind of one orange, in strips
2 tsp Cointreau
20g raw sugar or rapidura
250g Medjool dates (fresh dates), de-seeded

3/4 cup dessicated coconut
Toast coconut in a ceramic or pyrex dish in the microwave. Use 3 or 4 x 30 second bursts and stir well in between. Cool.

Place hazelnuts into TM and blend on speed 8 for 20 to 30 seconds.
Add all other ingredients, except coconut and process for 10 to 15 seconds on speed 9.
Check for consistency and process in 10 second bursts if needed.
Do not over process or the nuts will release their oil.
Roll into balls and roll in toasted coconut.

Instead of orange rind, try a teaspoon of pure vanilla. Add Crème De Cacao instead of Cointreau.
Use any other toasted nuts such as almonds, pecans, cashews or walnuts. Try using maple syrup instead of sugar if using walnuts or pecans.
Use salted nuts for a different twist.
Add a pinch of chilli powder.
Remove some of the Crio Brü grounds and replace with an equal quantity of Crio Brü chocolate coated cocoa beans.
Roll in melted Belgian Chocolate instead of toasted coconut.

Hot Cross Buns - 3 versions


You may like to make the recipe originally posted, but I've since found a recipe I prefer even more.
This one comes from Peta at The Road to Loving My Thermomix. The recipe is found here

The only things I did differently was to add 60g Rapadura sugar instead of the honey and brown sugar and to bake in a 25cm square tin for 30 minutes, remove from tin, add glaze, then bake for a further 10 minutes. I also used plain flour in the crosses rather than self raising.
Instead of cinnamon, I used a Tbsp of my hot cross bun spice mixture which is found below in the original post.

They were super delicious and very light and fluffy. I weigh the dough, then divide by nine and weigh each ball of dough before placing in the tin to ensure an even batch of buns.


My DD doesn't like dried fruit in baked goods, so I made her a batch of Chocolate Hot Cross Buns using a recipe from Maddy, a lovely member of the Forum Thermomix.

I also made regular Hot Cross Buns using achookwoman's recipe, another wonderful Forum member.

Both recipes turned out really well and were delicious in their own way. The chocolate version was beautifully light and had a fluffy texture. The quantity was larger, so they mushroomed up and out of the tin. The quantity for the regular Hot Cross Buns was perfect for the small Scanpan baking dish.
So, I've decided to combine the two and add my particular tweaks. Here's the recipe I've come up with:

The Bush Gourmand Hot Cross Buns
500g bread flour                                         1 1/2 tsp bread improver
1 tsp salt                                                     1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
70g butter, in pieces                                    1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
40g sugar                                                    1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
4 tsp dried yeast                                          1/2 tsp ground cloves
300g warm milk                                           1/2 tsp ground ginger

150g mixed dried fruit, coated with 2 tsp flour

1. Place all ingredients, except fruit into TM bowl. Mix for 6 seconds, speed 6, scrape down.
Knead on interval speed for 4 minutes

2. Remove from bowl and place on to a Themomat or other silicone mat. Fold mat over dough to make a package. Leave in a warm place to rise until doubled, around an hour or so.

3. Lightly flour mat and dough to prevent sticking. Shape into a flattish rectangle shape. Sprinkle with the dried fruit and roll up. Knead to incorporate fruit.

4. Make into a log and cut into three. Cut each piece into four. I like to weigh each piece and then each bun to ensure they're relatively even.

5. Place into a greased small baking dish (I use a Scanpan dish) or slice tin and loosely cover with a plastic shopping bag that's been sprayed with oil.

6. Leave in a warm place to rise until doubled. Make the piping mixture.

7. When proved to double, remove plastic bag and pipe crosses onto buns in long lines. Use a plastic freezer bag and make a tiny snip in one corner.

8. Place in a pre-heated 220 C oven for 20 - 25 minutes. While baking, make the sugar syrup.

9. Turn buns onto wire rack. Leave to cool for 5 minutes or so and then brush with sugar syrup to glaze.

Piping Mixture                                          Sugar Syrup
80g flour                                                     2 Tbsp sugar
90g water                                                   2 Tbsp water
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp icing sugar                                       Boil together for a few minutes.

The Bush Gourmand Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

500g Bread Flour
2tsp dried yeast
1 1/2 tsp bread improver
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 Tbsp caster sugar
2 Tbsp good quality cocoa
70g butter, cubed
300g warm milk

3/4 to 1 cup chopped Belgian Chocolate

Use the same method as above

Friday, April 6, 2012

Croissants Number 1

Why Number 1? Because I plan on trying again with a slightly different method and recipe. I've put a few of the changes into the method below, though this isn't what I did when I made the croissants in the picture, but is what I will do next time.

Croissants are incredibly time consuming to make and certainly not for the faint hearted. I do love them for breakfast and since I have the whole of the Easter break at home to do as I wish, I thought I'd give them a go.

You must start either the day before you will be eating them. I started making the dough at around 4pm.

This recipe is one from Brooke, whose blog, My Little Thermomix has some wonderful recipes.

Croissants Number One
500g bakers flour
50g castor sugar
25g powdered milk
30g butter, room temperature
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried yeast
350g water

250g butter, room temperature, extra
flour, extra
egg wash made with 1 egg and 2 Tbsp water

Place the first lot of ingredients in the TM and mix for 4 1/2  minutes, dough setting. The dough will be soft and elastic.
Tip into a greased bowl and refrigerate for an hour. After half an hour, roll out the butter between two sheets of plastic wrap until it's about 1 cm thick. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Tip dough onto a floured surface and sprinkle a little flour over the top. Roll into a long rectangle, twice the size of the the butter, away from you. (Brooke recommends rolling into a square. I think a rectangle would be better.) Place the flattened butter in the centre and bring the top third of the dough down, brushing away the flour with a pastry brush. Bring the bottom third over this, again brushing away flour.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour.

Roll into a long rectangle again on a floured surface.  Flour rolling pin to prevent sticking. Fold into three again and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.

Brooke recommends doing the rolling, folding and refrigerating twice more. I think this made the dough a little tough.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Next morning, cut dough in half and refrigerate the other half.
Roll into a long rectangle away from you on a floured surface. Neaten edges. Cut triangles with equal sides and roll up from base. Place on baking tray with seam down. Brush with beaten egg and prove in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.
Repeat with remaining dough.

Heat oven to 190C. Brush croissants with egg wash and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until a deep golden brown.
Serve with butter & jam, cheese & ham or smoked salmon & avocado.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ripe Magazine Article

I was recently interviewed by the lovely Beth, from Farm Weekly for the March edition of Ripe Magazine.
The theme revolved around online activities such as blogs and forums.

Beth and I discussed what blogs were all about and how the online community is so important to people who live in isolated country areas.

I was in Perth at the time, so the background of the Swan River isn't one that would normally be associated with the Bush Gourmand blog!!

Here's a link to the article: March Ripe Magazine

I hope you enjoy reading a little bit about me and continue to enjoy the recipes I have on my blog. Please leave comments if you've had successes (or failures) with the recipes here. I love to hear from my readers.



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Chicken Salad with Vietnamese Dressing

This salad is one of the most delicious I've had since I discovered the Asian Salad on the back of the Chang's Fried Noodle packet!

This is a Thermomix recipe only because the chicken is cooked in the Thermomix and then shredded in it as well!

I can't give you the recipe here, but it can be found in a groovy little booklet called "Dinner Spinner" from Cooking with Tenina. You can also get the Spin a Dinner app for iPad and iPhone.

The dressing is a wonderful combination of fresh herbs, ginger and garlic with lime juice and fish sauce. It blends so well with the salad of spinach, cabbage and carrot. I often add cucumber and snow peas to the salad.

I've changed the dressing at different times to make it more Thai than Vietnamese by adding lime leaves and coriander with the other herbs. This worked brilliantly for a Thai Beef Salad in much the same vein.

I had the memorable experience of attending one of Tenina's Advanced Thermomix Class in Albany recently. I learned so much and enjoyed the evening immensely.