Monday, January 10, 2011

shortcrust pastry

this pastry makes a beautifully short and delicate pastry ideal for tartlet cases. miss k made a pile of the pastry cases yesterday which she filled with passionfruit butter...and me? i brought a jar of passionfruit butter and a box of the pastry cases to the concert i went to at the domain. very, very yummy. the concert wasn't bad, either.

500g plain flour
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
250g butter
1 tablespoon water

preheat oven to 150ºC. lightly grease a nonstick tart tin and set aside.
place all ingredients into thermomix bowl and mix for 30-60 seconds on speed 7. pinch off small portions of dough and roll into balls about the size of a unshelled macadamia nut. use the (floured) measuring cup to press the dough flat into discs. place these discs to line each tart cavity.
bake until golden.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

passionfruit butter

citrus and fruit butters and curds were something i had always avoided making. i just didn't want to know about them because if they were delicious, i knew i was going to eat them, but when i bought 3 boxes of passionfruit, i knew i had to try this. because i'm me, i made a triple batch and made 3 jars. one to give away (to dear em, if you must know), one for miss k and her friends you want to know? no...maybe not. and a jar as a spare. here's a tamer quantity.

pulp of 2 passionfruit
80 grams butter
100 grams sugar
2 eggs

place everything in the thermomix bowl for 8 minutes at 80 degrees on speed 3. you will have a smooth and rich mixture which will pour into sterilised jars easily.

this is wonderful in short little tart cases...or a spoon if you don't have any tart cases handy.


congee is a rice porridge commonly eaten for breakfast in asia, but i love it any time of the day for its comforting qualities. it is basically rice cooked in lots of water until the rice is soft; the amount of water used depends upon one's preferences and the region where one comes from. while i'm not cantonese, this is a cantonese version.

2 cloves garlic
a small knob of peeled ginger
a generous slurp of sesame oil
a generous slurp of rice bran oil
100 grams jasmine rice, rinsed
1 teaspoon salt
a splash or chinese rice wine
1750 grams water

place the ginger and garlic into the thermomix bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 7.

add the sesame and ricebran oil to the thermomix bowl and saute the ginger and garlic for 3 minutes at 100 degrees on speed 2.

add the rice, salt and rice wine and saute for 3 minutes at 100 degrees on reverse speed 2.

add the water. bring to the boil at 100 degrees, reverse speed 2, and reduce the temperature to 90 degrees. cook for 25 minutes. raise the temperature to 100 degrees and allow to come to the boil. add your choice of meat and vegetables and allow to cook for a few moments before serving.

my favourite addition is chicken...i also like preserved bean curd with it...sigh...

Monday, January 3, 2011

soft bread rolls

i've been making these rolls for months now and everybody loves them. they are so soft, light and fluffy...very versatile as well.

more recently, i made them on new year's eve and for breakfast for new year's day (they were THAT popular) for the wigs and miss k and her friends, who stayed over after watching the fireworks with us over the harbour. i have to say the fireworks this year were especially spectacular.


120g water
25g strong bakers' flour

remaining dough

500 grams strong bakers' flour
200 grams water
2 tsp yeast
1 tbsp powdered milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
30 grams sugar
20 grams butter

place the water and flour for the roux into thermomix bowl and cook for 3 minutes at 70ºC on speed 3.

place the remaining ingredients into the thermomix bowl. mix for several seconds on speed 6 until a dough forms. it is a slightly sticky dough. with dial set to closed lid position, knead for 4 minutes on interval setting.

remove dough from thermomix bowl and throw several times onto a lightly floured surface (this will improve the texture). thwack it onto bench and consider it exercise or therapy. that said, i must admit that i have on 2 occasions forgotten this step and can't say the bread suffered too much - still delicious and eaten to the last crumb

divide the dough into 16 portions and form into rolls and arrange on a baking tray lined with baking paper. allow to rest for 1 or 2 hours (time permitting) before baking for 20 minutes at 180ºC. i find the rolls are really fluffy with the longer resting time. i rest my dough in a cold oven to get it out of the way and prevent them from drying out too much.

after baking, if you prefer a soft crust, cover the rolls with a clean teatowel as they come out of the oven.

if you're feeling adventurous, you can fill the rolls prior to forming and baking - some suggestions - cheese, ham, chocolate (uhuh...chocolate), custard (make sure the custard is nice and firm; alternatively, you could pipe it in).