Thursday, 31 March 2011

Sunday Brunch at Hiltl

I love Sunday brunch at Hiltl in Zurich. It's a perfect place to have a family brunch or to catch up with a special girlfriend. They are known for their outstanding selection of vegetarian dishes.
Brunch (55 SFr. ) is a discretion (all-you-can-eat), only on Sundays. 

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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Spring Chinese dumplings - made easy by Thermomix

Last Saturday we got together with some friends and made a batch of chinese dumplings (jiaozi or pot-stickers). One of my work colleagues had  recently been Bärlauch picking around Kyburg, and I was lucky enough to be a recipient of a huge bag of this wonderful stuff. This was inspiration for a spontaneous jiaozi evening amongst a very international group of people (German, Taiwanese, French Swiss, Chinese American and Aussie with Chinese roots).

Bärlauch (wild garlic or Ramsons)

In Switzerland, Bärlauch grows in early spring. You can sometimes also buy it at markets and Migros or Coop. The Tien family, (Lenzburg's master dumpling makers), discovered that Bärlauchwhen mixed with ground meat transform it into the most incredible heady, intense garlicky dumpling filling imaginable.

Dough Ingredients:
400 g flour
250-300 g boiling water (this can vary depending on the flour)

Place flour and water into the TM bowl, with dial set to closed lid position, knead for 1 to 2 minutes on Interval speed. The dough should be moist but not wet. Transfer to a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and allow to rest for approx 30 minutes.

Filling Ingredients:
500 g ground meat (pork or beef) or prawns
250 g Bärlauch or wild garlic, washed and dried  (alternatives: Chinese chives, Bok Choy, Wom Bok)
50 g spring onions (cut in 3 cm pieces)
15 g ginger
30 g light soy sauce
40 g sesame oil
50 g white wine or sherry
5 to 10 g salt
white pepper

Pork-Bärlauch filling

Filling Preparation: Place half of the Bärlauch into the TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 6. Repeat with second batch, remove and set aside. Add spring onions to the TM bowl and chop for 2 seconds on speed 6. Add all ingredients to the TM bowl and mix on REVERSE speed for 30 to 60 seconds.

To make the dumplings: Cut dough into 4 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the remaining pieces covered with a damp tea towel. Take the dough and form a sausage shape about 25 to 30 cm long. Cut it into approximately 2 cm pieces. Take one piece and flatten it with your palm, then roll into a circular shape. Repeat with all pieces. 

Place a spoon of filling on the middle of the dough circle. Fold dough over and seal with small pleats.

Cooking the dumplings:


To make pot-stickers, heat a fry pan and add about 1/2 to 1 Tbs of sunflower or raps oil. Arrange dumplings as shown, leaving only very small gaps.  

Add about 180 ml water, cover and allow to cook for about 5 -8 minutes on medium heat. 

Turn out onto a plate, (as you would with Rösti), when the underside of the dumplings are golden brown.

Boiled Dumplings:

Place the dumplings in a large pot of boiling water. When the water returns to the boil, add a small cup of cold water. Stir gently and repeat this procedure 2 more times (you will have added 3 cups of cold water in total).

Steamed dumplings:

Place dumplings onto the varoma tray, fill TM bowl with 900 g water, steam at Varoma temp, speed 1 for 15 minutes.

I usually make a mixture of these ingredients (no measuring involved, just taste):
Chinese vinegar
Soy sauce
pinch of sugar
Chopped chilies
Sesame oil


(Tien-Ko recipe)

Monday, 21 March 2011

First training demo - Ticked

I can now tick off my first training demo. Claudia D'Alonges, (our team leader in Kanton Aargau), did a great demo! WHO was there?  I invited a few people, (plus partners), from our Gastro lab.

Our menu: 
  • Strawberry cocktails
  • Gazpacho
  •  "Bärlauch" (wild or bears garlic) pesto dip
  • Capsicum, sun-dried tomato and cashew dip
  • 2 types of Bread 
  • Steamed salmon with asparagus and hollandaise sauce 
  • Mushroom risotto
  • "Aargauer Rüblikuchen" - carrot cake
  • Strawberry icecream
Having 2 machines helped tremendously, but this was a mammoth demo.

Here's a link to a short video: Aussie chef Mark Best using his Thermomix to make a pear souffle.

News: In Switzerland TM is offering a discount of 150.- due to the low EURO, including the usual 100.- bonus for getting married, having a baby or hosting a demo. Current price is 1650.-, but if you're planning on getting married soon, (as are some of my lab mates), it's 1400.-

Sept 2014: The new TM5 is currently selling at 1395 SFr.

My contact details: 
Cell phone: 078 853 89 56

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Seedy Bread (variation of 5 seed bread: source" Everyday Cooking with Thermomix").

My family loves the EDC five seed bread and I make it 3 to 4 times a week. My variation is to use sunflower, pumpkin and linseeds, plus live sprouted seeds (if you don't feel like doing them yourself Migros sell them, usually they're in the herb and salad section).


200 g spelt seeds (or Dinkle in German, should you happen to be looking for them in CH )
50 g buckwheat seeds (Buchweizen in German)
280 g wholemeal flour
1 pkt dried yeast (1Tbs) or 25 g fresh yeast
50 g rolled oats
40 g pumpkin seeds
40 g sunflower seeds
40 g linseeds
100 g sprouted seeds
30 g honey
30 g olive oil
2 tsp salt
500 ml luke warm water

Grind the seeds on speed 9 or 10 for 30 to 60 sec, add remaining ingredients and knead on interval speed for 3 min. Transfer to a well greased tin (I use a 25 -30 x 10 cm expandable form), top with a mixture of extra seeds. Allow to rise for about 30 to 45 min, in a warm place.
Bake for 30 to 35 min in a preheated oven, 200 °C.

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Monday, 7 March 2011

Perfect with vegemite

Lately I've been making bread with my Thermomix when I'm stressed. I made this yesterday when I should have been working on a seminar.

Sunflower seed bread

200 ml water
20 g sunflower oil
150 g dinkle seeds
150 g wholemeal flour
6.5 g salt
10 g honey
1 Tbs dry yeast
60 g sunflower seeds

Grind dinkle seeds for 30 to 60 seconds on speed 10. Add remaining ingredients and set on interval speed for 2.30 minutes. Shape into a loaf form, allow to rise for 30 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Bake in a preheated oven, 220°C for 20 to 30 minutes.

This recipe has been adapted from Brotbacklust.
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Saturday, 5 March 2011

I love my Thermomix so much that I've joined the company

I've had my Thermomix for a couple of months now and I love it! Unfortunately PhD'ing and the ongoing lab work have left me little time to blog, but I'm often in the kitchen now late at night, whipping up lots of things with my Thermomix.

 Carrot cupcakes (recipe for Carrot cake: Travelling with Thermomix book)

 In fact I am so enthusiastic about this machine, that I've decided to become part of the Swiss team. So if you live in Switzerland, in the Zürich - Lenzburg area, and you're interested in seeing the Thermomix in action, feel free to contact me (Email: or Phone: 078 853 89 56). It could be that I'm busy, but I can put you in touch with the others on the team.

Apple praline teacake

 Recipe for the Apple praline teacakeCooking has never been easier or so much fun. I consult the Thermomix Aussie Everday Cookbook often. And there are so many great sites for inspiration (e.g. thermomix-erquirkycookingsuperkitchenmachine, thermomix videofood 4 thought (inspiring people to cook). Here's a fabulous site: Thermomix blog for Vegans. Wonderful photos, after looking at them, I could almost turn vegan.