I do all my baking with my Thermomix, I try and use fresh unprocessed ingredients. I pay attention to the type of flour, sugar, eggs & fat I use as they will all have an impact on the final result.
There are several types of flour from fine ones (milled from the whiter core of the grain) to heavier ones (with higher protein content with more of the outer part of the grain, sometimes including the husk).
All-purpose Flour – protein 11% - Farine T55.
High Gluten Flour – protein 14% - Farine T65.
Light Whole Wheat Flour – protein 15% - Farine T80.
Whole Wheat Flour – protein 13% - Farine T110.
Dark Whole Wheat – Farine T150.
For fluffy cakes, light custard & sauces, use sponge flour for lighter textures (or use fine French flour).
For an even lighter texture, I substitute half of the sponge flour with potato starch (Recipe tip for French gâteau de Savoie or génoise).
White rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch and cornflour are more or less interchangeable in small quantities.
Regular/all purpose flour is ideal for denser cakes, shortbread, cookies, etc.
For heavier cakes with a smooth texture like brownies, I substitute up to a third of the flour with white spelt flour or einkorn mix.
For denser cakes with irregular texture, such as carrot cakes, I substitute up to a third of flour with wholemeal flour.
Sifting & storing flour
I never sift my flour, I decant my bags of flour in large airtight containers to avoid food mites (You can even freeze your flour before storage as an extra preventative measure against bugs). The flour which may have settled in bags get aerated during the transfer to the containers.
Plain flour to self raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder to 150g of flour
Baking powder is a chemical leavening agent activated by water/humidity so store it in an airtight container to keep it active.
Baking powder contains two ingredients baking soda & cream of tartar.
To make baking powder, mix one part baking soda and two parts cream of tartar, measured by volume, not by weight.
So, if you recipe calls for 1 tablespoon (15ml) of baking powder, use 1 teaspoon (5ml) of baking soda, mixed in with 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar (10ml).
Sugar comes in a variety of colours (white to brown) and humidity from varied plants.
If you need to make a meringue, always use white sugar as the tiny coloured nutrients will alter negatively the beating of the egg white.
Icing sugar - to mill ingredients, the humidity content must be low. That means you need free flowing grains of sugar such as granulated sugar, caster sugar, or demerrara sugar.
Also, if you substitute butter with oil, you should reduce the quantity to 80 %, to match the fat content in butter and add 15%-20% milk if the batter seems too thick.
Choose your eggs carefully, the size for baking should be at least medium and preferably large - weighing between 53g-63g each. (If you use small eggs, you may have to add more).
When creaming butter and sugar one does have to do a bit of stopping and scraping down the sides to get the mixture all evenly creamed.
Macadamia nuts and cashews are usually interchangeable. Almonds can often be substituted too. To blanch your own almonds or nuts simply pour boiling water over them, leave for 2 minutes, strain immediately and the skin just pops off with an easy squeeze.
Try halving the sugar in virtually any recipe. You won’t even notice.
Pay attention to the humidity level for milling.
List the pantry staples you can make with your Thermomix : Golden Syrup, Condensed Milk, Coconut Milk, Yoghurt, Almond Meal, Rice Flour, Granola, ghee or clarified butter.
Grating Chocolate - in the Summer or in a hot kitchen, put the thermomix bowl in the fridge prior to grating chocolate so it doesn’t soften and turn clumpy.
Whipping cream - chill your jug in the fridge for 10 mins first.. makes it whip super easy.. even on 40-degree days!
Beating egg whites - use eggs at room temperature, separate from the egg yolks & beat them at 37 degrees.
Butter - Paying attention to butter temperature : it is imperatively cold for pastry.
If a recipe call for soften butter/room temperature, it is not melted butter, it is probably to cream the butter with sugar for example.
Try to start with ingredients at room temperature for wet ingredients (milk, eggs).
Pre heat oven and if your oven does not heat evenly, rotate the cake back to front midway through cooking time.
Bake the cake on the middle shelf.
For a risen but evenly flat top of the cake result, use an insulation sleeve or towel around the outside of the cake. Personally, I am happy with a raised bump in the middle of my cake so I do not use any extra accessories.
Always do a vinegar wash before making yogurt or pavlovas/meringue or beating egg whites. 1lt water, 40mls vinegar, 10mins varoma speed 3.
Make sure your bowl is absolutely free of grease before beating eggwites.
To dry bowl perfectly for grinding spices etc try speed 1, 40 degrees for I min. Another trick is to flick blades for a few seconds speed 10 on both forward and reverse to ensure any residual water is flicked out into the sides of the bowl and easier to dry.
Whatever you can do on a stove top, you can usually do in a Thermomix.
To halve a recipe, try to take 20% off the cooking time and adjust as required.
Double the recipes (bowl capacity permitting), try to add 20% cooking time and adjust as required.
Organise your workflow in that order :
properly grease your tin or use parchment paper
then start your recipe (so that you are ready to put your batter immediately in the tin and the oven once it is prepared)
Using the whisk
The whisk goes to the left of the high blades. The butterfly should be inserted to the left of the high blade and then twisted to the right until it’s touching the low blade. When you pull it up it will be locked on. If you pull up and it comes off it’s not locked on properly.
Remember never over speed 4
Use the spatula clockwise against the blunt side of the blade to prevent damaging it.
40 seconds, 50 degrees, speed 4
The bowl must be dry (a single drop of water will cause the chocolate to seize).
Cold chocolate to start with, grate 10 sec speed 9, scrape down.
Add 20g fat (coconut oil for example) 5 min 50 degrees speed 1.
Scrape down & melt a further 5 min 50 degrees speed 1.
Getting rid of lumps
If you must get rid of lumps in sugar or flour and add air, just blitz it in the thermomix, a few seconds speed 10.
For grinding spices, the bowl must be perfectly dry.
You can place a baking paper in-between the bowl and lid when milling anything. You can also use a piece of paper towel.
After milling spices etc.... clean the bowl with a dry pastry brush
Placing the lid
Push the lid down on the bowl from the back first - the lid seal seems to go on easier.
Always place your lid upside down on the bench to avoid making a mess.
Making less waste
To get cake batter off the blades, empty out the bowl as much as you can then whizz on speed 8 for a few seconds. It’s amazing how much batter was on the blades which is now on the sides of the bowl, easy to scrap off.
Alternatively, Turbo can also operate in reverse, this is a great way to flick things off the blades.
Turbo can also operate in reverse. Great for rinsing the blades or flicking things off them.
After melting chocolate and before washing the bowl, add a cup of milk. Heat and enjoy a hot chocolate. No waste.
Also to clean. Half fill bowl with water, squirt of dishwashing liquid and put on turbo a few times to get you bowl clean and ready for dishwasher. Works great when you’ve done something sticky.
Cover blades with water plus 1 drop of detergent, then zap on sp 10 for 10 secs. If you’ve made something super sticky you can put it on sp10 for 1min and every 5secs hit the reverse button to really agitate the water and dislodge anything stuck under the blades.
Where the bowl goes there is a hole. if you have flour or other dry ingredients sitting in the bottom, you can push it down the hole and it all comes out the bottom so you can just wipe your bench afterwards.
Sugar & flour are mildly abrasive so lightly dust your thermomix or wipe down without applying too much pressure.