Friday, 7 December 2012

Upside down Orange Cake

Upside down Orange Cake

inspired by Donna Hay, gluten free and adapted for Thermomix


Sticky Topping
160 ml water
250g erythritol (a sugar alcohol which can found in health food stores or the BIO section of large supermarkets) / if you want a more caramel topping, try coconut blossom or nectar sugar, and if you're not so worried about the glycemic index of your sugar you could use Rapadurra 
3 large oranges (preferably organic), washed, dried and thinly sliced
1 or 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise and seeds scraped

For the Cake Batter
120g almonds
180g erythritol (Coconut nectar sugar or Rapadura)
60g honey
40g coconut flour 
10g psyllium seed husk powder (I tried this again, and it's so so... much better when the husks are ground to a powder. Do this at speed 9 or 10 for 1 minute in your Thermomix. Tip from Sarah at CLEVER COOK, place a piece of kitchen paper between the hole of the lid and the measuring cap to minimize the psyllium dust floating around in your kitchen)
4 tsp baking powder
150g butter
6 large eggs
60g almond milk (or coconut milk, rice milk)


Topping - do this first
In a large ovenproof pan (2.5 L), combine water, erythritol, oranges, vanilla beans/seeds, and place on medium heat, stirring until erythritol has dissolved. Cook on medium to low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Cake Batter
Preheat oven to 160C.
Place almonds into Thermomix bowl and mill for 10 sec/speed 7. 
Add remaining ingredients into Thermomix bowl. Mix for 30-40 sec/speed 7, or until well combined. 
Spread batter over the oranges, spreading the mixture to the edges of the pan. 
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, (cooking time depends on the pan size).
After 5-10 minutes, turn upside down onto a a large plate.
Allow to cool and serve with warm coconut custard.

Coconut custard

25 g cornflour (increase to 30g for a thicker custard)
60 g erythritol (or rapadura)
500g coconut milk/coconut cream mixture

Place cornflour and sugar into Thermomix bowl, mill 10 sec/speed 10.
Add milk and cook 100 C, 7 to 8 min/ speed 4.

Enjoy..........without feeling too guilty.....

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Easy grain free five seed bread (coconut flour and psyllium seed husks) Thermomix recipe

One of our daughters has been suffering from intestinal problems for a couple of years. She suspects that it's linked to gluten. So that and my steadily increasing weight gain inspired me to read The Wheat Belly. Even though I don't agree with everything he says, I've decided that restricting wheat, grains and sugar from our diet is worthy of an attempt. Here are some in depth reviews of Wheat Belly; 1234, which outline the pros and cons of Davis's weight loss premise.

In the last few weeks I've tried several gluten and grain free bread recipes. After many so-lah-lah attempts from recipe books and web sites, I decided to convert one of my favorite recipes (it's the Five Seed Bread in the Aussie Everyday Cooking.... for every family book) to a grain free bread. And after a few trial and error masterpieces, I've come up with a recipe that works. The amount of liquid may vary slightly depending on the type of coconut flour you use. I found my coconut flour, coconut milk, coconut oil and coconut sugar in Alnatura in Weil am Rhein, Germany. If you're in Kanton Aargau, you'll find the psyllium seed husks at Bio-Peter in Lenzburg.

The recipe below makes 3 to 4 small'ish loaves, I usually freeze 2. The crumb of this bread is perfect for sandwiches and it also toasts well.

Coconut flour


Psyllium seed husks

Seedy grain free bread

IN RED: changes/improvement 


80g  (1/2 cup) Coconut flour
60g (3/4 cup) Psyllium seed husks (for a softer bread, grind the husks speed 10, 1 minute to a POWDER)                                                          
25g Chia seeds
25g Sesame seeds
25g Pumpkin seeds
25g Linseeds
25g Poppy seeds
10 to 20g Coconut sugar (or honey) (OPTIONAL)
2 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
400 g water  or coconut water/milk  or almond milk. / After lots of experimenting I prefer to use water, it makes the bread lighter.
3 large eggs
2 tsp baking powder / NB: for lighter fluffier bread, use up to 4 tsp baking powder. (1 pkt)
1 tsp salt (if you like salt, add 1.5  to 2 tsp)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 C.
  2. Grind the Psyllium seed husks for 1 min, speed 10. 
  3. Add all dry ingredients into the Thermomix bowl, 
  4. Mix on speed 6, 10 sec.
  5. Add the liquid ingredients, work as quickly as possible here.
  6. Mix for 15 sec on speed 7.
  7. Add more water if necessary, the dough should not be too dense and dry, the amount of liquid needed does depend on the brand or type of coconut flour being used.
  8. Knead for 2 minutes
  9. Shape in loaves or balls for rolls, Loaves: sprinkle with seeds. Rolls: roll in seeds (e.g., sesame seeds)
  10. Place on a paper lined tray and bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes (depending on the size of the loaves). Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

This was day 4, toasted and served with guacamole and baba ganoush.
Bon app!

Update Feb 2013:

This is how the bread looks if you double the amount of baking powder (see changes to the original recipe in red above). I also omitted the poppy seeds, and increased the other seeds.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Green smoothies

Green Smoothies

I'm usually most productive if I start my day with a green smoothie. I'm not a big breakfast person, but I've found that if I drink a smoothie before I leave the house, I can resist having the morning "Gipfeli " on my way to the lab. I make enough for breakfast and to sip on during the day when my energy levels are low. Here's a recipe that I adapted from various books and web sites:

Green Smoothie


2 Tbs Chia seeds
2 Tbs Linseeds
1-2 cm piece of ginger, peeled 
2-3 dates (seeds removed) or any other sweetener such as erythritol or coconut nectar  (optional) 
Frozen pineapple, (about 1/4 to 1/3 of a whole pineapple, cut into 2 cm pieces before freezing)
1 orange, peeled and cut into eighths 
1-2 large handfuls of greens (baby spinach, kale, bok choy or romaine lettuce)
1 tray of ice cubes (filtered water)
100 - 150 ml filtered water or coconut milk
1-2 tsp coconut oil 

  1. Place the seeds in the TM bowl, and process on speed 10 for 10 sec
  2. Add ginger and dates, and process on speed 10 for 5 sec
  3. Add remaining ingredients and process on speed 10 for 1.30 to 2.00 minutes.
  4. Pour into a glass and enjoy. Keep the remainder in a Thermos for a boost for later.

Note: Any fruit can be used, apples, peaches, berries are great. To limit the morning stress, I try to prepare my fruit in advance. Just wash, peel, cut and freeze the fruit in zip-lock bags. You'll also have a stock for Fruity Dream (Sorbet).

 A green smoothie and a cup of Crio Brü - the perfect way to begin the day!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Need a Thermomix? Want to make Gaytime goes Nuts?

Did you catch the extensive use of my favorite kitchen toy in the MasterChef Australia finale? Congratulations to Andy, Australia's new Masterchef for 2012! In the third and final round, Julie and Andy cooked Christine Mansfield's, amazing desert, Gaytime goes nuts. It looked like they had a blast in the kitchen.

I've had numerous inquiries about demo's recently! Thank you!! So just to keep you updated; the current price for a Thermomix in Switzerland is 1290.- SFr, (with an extra 100.- discount for wedding or births). And until the end of August, if you host a demo and invite at least 3 guests, and buy a Thermomix, you will also have the option of purchasing a second complete bowl set (as well the extra bowl, this includes blades, steamer & butterfly) for 50% off the regular price (instead of 338.-, you pay 169.-). This is a brilliant deal! I love my second bowl, it's undoubtedly the next best thing to having a second Thermomix.

I'm busy, 

this is where I am most of these days, 
but I think I can see a glimmer of light at the end of what has been a very long dark tunnel. So if you want to see a Thermomix in action, contact me and we'll see if we can arrange something. If I can't organize something, one of my colleagues will be able to help you.

How to contact me:
FaceBook: Thermomixer in Switzerland
Phone: 078 853 89 56

Friday, 10 February 2012

Ski and Thermomix update from Portes du Soleil


I've just returned from a death run in the fog and snow. It was only -15 °C on the thermometer but with the wind chill factor it felt like -26 °C. My husband suggested we ski down to Grand Paradis to get out of the fog and wind. Well it was far from fun, unless you're into skiing on ice and half blind in fog and snow. After skiing, I needed some comfort food, and luckily there was some pumpkin risotto, left over from last night's dinner, in the fridge. 

I often use this risotto recipe from Antonella Botrugno-Manco. It's a great basic recipe, and the pumpkin can be replaced with asparagus, mushrooms, other vegetables of your choice or seafood .  

Pumpkin risotto
150 g pumpkin
300 g risotto rice    
1 onion  
40 g olive oil
40 g butter  
40 g Parmesan cheese (optional, extra Parmesan cheese if desired)
10 g parsley
75 g dry white wine  
Salt (about 1 tsp, this also depends how much vegetable stock concentrate you add)
700 g vegetable stock (700 g water plus 1 to 2 tsp of vegetable stock concentrate)
freshly grated pepper and extra Parmesan cheese 

  1. Place Parmesan into the TM bowl, chop for 10 seconds, speed 9-10. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
  2. Place parsley into the TM bowl, chop for 5-8 seconds, speed 5.  Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
  3. Place onion into the TM bowl, chop for 5 seconds, speed 7.  
  4. Add olive oil, sauté for 2 - 3 minutes, 100 ° C, Speed 1. 
  5. Add peeled and chopped pumpkin, sauté other 2 minutes, 100 ° C, Speed 4-5.
  6. Add rice and sauté for 2 minutes, 100 ° C, reverse, Speed 1. 
  7. Add wine and sauté 1 minute, 100 ° C, Speed 2, without measuring cup (MC) in place.
  8. Add water, stock concentrate, salt, cook for 13-15 minutes, reverse, Varoma, Speed 1 (if necessary place the TM sieve/basket on top of the TM lid to avoid splattering).
  9. Add cheese, parsley and butter, mix for 5-10 seconds, reverse,  Speed 2-3.
  10. Taste for seasoning, if desired add extra salt, pepper and cheese.
Transfer the risotto to a thermo-serving dish (I have this one from IKEA, it looks ok and better still it's only 19.95 SFr).

I sat with my risotto in front of a blazing fire. So good........

Thermomix joins us for a ski break in Portes du Soleil

We're back in one our favorite places, La Planachaux, in Portes du Soleil. I've lost track of exactly how long we've been coming here to Chalet Coquoz. We're in a no car place about 100 meters below the top cable station of Champery. It's wonderful to be able to step out the door and ski, but it also means we have to cook in the evenings, as there aren't any restaurants close by. This year I decided to bring my Thermomix along for ski hol's. The travel bag, which is an optional extra, but really worth the 6o or 70  SFr.-, is brilliant for transporting the TM. My cousin recently took a Thermomix in its travel bag as cabin luggage  from Zürich to Sydney. Very pleased with myself, it was such a brilliant idea to throw the TM in with all our bags and skis. We skied down from the top of La Planachaux and Agnes's son of  Restaurant Coquoz, brought our boxes of food and luggage from the top of the cable car, to our front door on his snow mobile.

The TM has been very busy in the mornings making perfectly boiled soft eggs, numerous types of bread and gallons of smoothies.

I loved these rosemary and garlic cheesy scones which we had for afternoon tea the other day, (the recipe from Busterman is posted on TM forum).