It’s a Winnie the Pooh time of year again, which means pretty much any time is the time for a little something, so long as that something includes some honey! Knowing this, I made sure to stock up on honey this week, because come Winnie the Pooh Day, we’ll be having honey everything. For human children though, jars of honey don’t seem to be sufficient picnic food, so I’m adding a few delicious honey-based recipes to our honey – repertoire.
These honey dough balls are traditionally an Italian recipe, but I’m sure they won’t mind sharing it with Winnie the Pooh, because really, dough balls smothered in honey? Pooh’d love it. I did consider drizzling condensed milk over – Pooh’s other favourite – but that’s just too much sweet for me.
“Pooh always liked a little something at eleven o’clock in the morning, and he was very glad to see Rabbit getting out the plates and mugs; and when Rabbit said, ‘Honey or condensed milk with your bread?’ he was so excited that he said, ‘Both,’ and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, ‘But don’t bother about the bread, please.”
These little blissful bites are sticky and crunchy and chewy at the same time. As soon as the honey is poured they’ll still be warm but very sticky. If you leave them to cool the honey will harden a little, making them less messy to eat. Skewer the honey dough balls with fondue sticks, and tuck in. (I think these would be awesome with vanilla ice cream too, but it’s a bit cold to test that right now!)
Isn’t it funny that the bear likes honey.
Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz.
I wonder why he does.
~ Winnie the Pooh
- 200g water (50g more if you're using organic flour)
- 70g vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 340g all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 170g honey
- 85g sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Heat the oven to 400F/200C
- In the Thermomix®, add the water, oil and salt.
- Bring to boil 4mins/Varoma/Speed 2/No MC
- Open the lid and add the flour to the side (so it doesn't get stuck on the blades)
- Mix for 1mins/Speed 1
- Add two eggs through the lid
- Mix for 2mins/speed 2
- Scoop out the dough about ½ a teaspoon at a time, making balls in the palm of your hands.
- Lay them out on a tray. They don't rise, so you don't have to worry too much about extra space.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, depending on your oven. (My oven burns really hot at the top, and much cooler at the bottom, so after 10 minutes I turned it all out into a glass dish and baked the other side)
- Set aside to cool in a heat proof dish
- In a clean Thermomix® bowl, add the honey, sugar and cinnamon
- Boil 5 minutes/Varoma/Speed2
- Pour the hot sugar syrup over the dough balls, using a spoon to make sure it's all coated.
- They are very sticky, but if you leave them to cool the honey mixture will harden. It's still sticky, but easier to eat.
I love the unusual white chocolate and rosemary flavour combination. I actually don’t like white chocolate at all, so recommending this is high praise. I have loads of rosemary from my summer on the allotment, so I’m glad for something extra to use it on too.
The sugar in this recipe is flexible. I normally make it with 45g brown sugar, but you can make it super sweet with as much as 90g. If you don’t want to use icing sugar for sprinkling on the tray, you can get away with using more cornmeal, but I prefer the end result with icing sugar.
Keep an eye on the biscotti in the oven as different ovens run differently, but if you want the biscotti really crispy, return it to the oven for the second time. If you want it more chewy, don’t return it to the oven the second time.
- 150g plain flour
- 45g brown sugar
- 65g yellow cornmeal
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt (I use Himalayan pink)
- 40g coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- 100g white chocolate
- Extra: 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 150C
- Add everything (except the icing sugar) to the Thermomix® bowl and mix speed 4/30-45 seconds. The mixture should be firm and pliable.
- Sprinkle the icing sugar on a baking tray, then add the dough and roll out to about 1cm thick
- Place in the oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes until golden and firm.
- Set aside until cool enough to handle, cut lengthwise and then crosswise to make individual cookies. Return to the oven at 100C for 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool before serving
It’s almost Halloween and while the rest of the world have been having parties and trick or treating, we’ve been so busy I’ve not even thought about it too much. This evening though we did breakfast for dinner, of a sort, with sausages, eggs and potato wedges, and I decided to make them a little Halloween-ish. So here’s a quick recipe for Monster Eggs to bring some Halloween into your day with little to no effort.
Fortunately, I happened to have edible ink and edible eyes on hand (That’s normal, right?!) so it was easy to do. If you don’t have those, you could use mayonnaise and olives for the eyes, or even mayonnaise and a sprig of greenery for eye slits.
For this recipe you will need:
- 4 peeled and boiled eggs (14 minutes in the Thermomix® internal steamer/Varoma)
- 50g spinach
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt to taste
Cut the eggs in half, then scoop the yolks out
Combine the yolks, spinach, mayo and paprika in a food processor and blend till it’s a smooth mix (2 mins, speed 4 in the Thermomix®)
If you have edible ink, draw eyelashes on the egg white
Scoop spoonfuls back into the egg whites and top with the ‘eye balls’
Sprinkle salt to taste
These will keep for a few hours in the fridge if you’re making them for later
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I had my first experience of the Magic Bean Chocolate Cake phenomenon sitting in a friend’s garden in Australia in 2012. I strongly dislike beans, so when they brought out this mythical bean-chocolate cake I was highly suspicious and the surprise on my face after tasting had everyone laughing. If you aren’t told that there are beans in this brownie, you wouldn’t know. In the years since, there have been dozens of ‘magic bean’ cakes that have sprung up around the web, and some of them have loads of ingredients. I like these Borlotti Magic Bean Chocolate Brownies because it makes a flatter brownie, and it’s highly adaptable.
Sometimes we make it plain, as it is. Othertimes we might add dried/freeze dried cranberries or nuts. My favourite is to add milk chocolate chips that provide gooey pockets of sweet chocolate throughout.
I recommend this brownie pan as the recipe below fills it perfectly, and when you’ve taken it out of the oven and allowed it to cool slowly, you can fit the cutting bit over it, and have perfectly sized brownies.
If you’re not using a Thermomix® to make this, just make sure you pulse the chocolate and beans into a smooth batter, and you’ll be set. Allow it to cool, sprinkle with icing sugar, drizzle cream, or enjoy your Borlotti Magic Bean Chocolate Brownies as is.
- 400g beans - we used Borlotti
- 200g dark chocolate
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 50g dark chocolate or white chocolate chips
- 100g freeze dried fruit chips
- Heat the oven to 180C
- Drain the beans and break the chocolate into blocks
- Add beans, chocolate, eggs and baking powder to the Thermomix® bowl and mix Seconds 30 Speed 10. (In a regular food processor, add them one at a time till they are properly blended). It should resemble a creamy buttercream. Have a little taste of the batter.
- Add any of the optional extras.
- Tip the mixture into a brownie tray and bake for 20 minutes.
- Leave to cool and serve as is, drizzled in cream or lightly dusted with icing sugar.
My children love having dinosaur eggs (or dragon eggs) for lunch, but these can make really pretty Easter eggs too – ideal for lunch boxes or breakfast around Easter, and they couldn’t be easier to make. Boil eggs in whichever way you prefer.
I fill the Thermomix® bowl to half way through the internal steamer basket, place the eggs inside, then boil at Varoma temp for 14 minutes (9-11 should do it for soft boiled, if you start with cold water, but for these I prefer hard boiled).
In the meantime, mix a few drops of food colouring in a few tablespoons of water. If you use commercial food colouring you may need more colour, if you use confectioners grade, you need just one or two.
Once the eggs are boiled, run cold water over them so that they are touchable, then very gently crack the shell all the way around. Don’t crack it too hard, you don’t want the shell to come off yet.
Roll the egg in the food colouring till it is well coated, then leave for 5-10 minutes.
Very gently peel the shell off. If you peel the membrane off, most of the dark colouring will come off too, but if you’ve left it long enough, it should be fine. It’s just easier to peel if you get hold of the thin membrane and pull the shell off.
You should be left with a colourful cracked egg.
In a life before my children, I used to host regular dinner parties, and Six Minute Chocolate Puddings were a go-to standard pudding for a number of reasons. First, it’s so easy to make. You mix all the ingredients together and set it aside, popping it in the oven for 6 minutes when you’re ready for your warm and yummy dessert. Secondly, these chocolate puddings a small portion, but it’s so rich you really only need a small portion per person. Thirdly, it’s really good, hot or cold, with cream or ice cream.
The key to these chocolate puddings is to have the oven hot and to keep an eye on the puddings. In a normal small round ramekin, they should only need 6 minutes in the oven. If your ramekins or bowls are bigger, they may need a little longer, but sit and watch it, if need be, so you can see when it forms a skin on top that looks like cake. Like this:
Pull it out of the oven immediately, and serve. If you leave it in too long it’ll sort of ‘set’ and not be runny any more, but it will still be delicious.
- 60g Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 3 Egg Yolks
- 185g Dark Chocolate
- 185g Butter
- 15g Plain Flour
- Cocoa Powder, for dusting
- cream or ice cream for serving
- If you're serving immediately, turn the oven up to 230C/450F
- Add the sugar to the Thermomix® and whiz on speed 10 for 3 seconds
- Add the eggs and the extra egg yolks and whisk the eggs for 30 seconds, speed 5
- Set aside
- In a clean bowl add the chocolate and whiz on speed 10 for 3 seconds again to get the chocolate to melt faster. Scrape down the sides if you need to then melt the chocolate for 2 minutes/speed 2/ 50C
- Once it's melted add the butter and melt 1 minute/speed 2/ 50C
- Finally add the sugar and egg - pour it in in a steady stream - and then the flour
- (If you're organised, you can just set the chocolate on to melt for 4 minutes, and add the butter after two minutes, and the egg and sugar mix and the flour after another minute so you don't keep having to reset the timer)
- Pour into ramekins. This mix will rise slightly, so don't fill all the way to the top.
- Place into a hot oven and bake for 6 minutes (vary according to the size of the ramekins)
- Serve as is for the molten inside to be a surprise or turn upside down to have it running and oozing pleasantly over the plate
- Once everything is mixed, pop the chocolate mix into the fridge. When your guests arrive, remove it so that it returns to room temperature, when you're having your mains, turn on the oven and after dinner put the ramekins in the oven for six minutes.
- Serve with cream, ice cream or on it's own
Cookies, or biscuits, if you will, are so synonymous with Christmas to me. My mom used to do a huge bake i the beginning of December somewhere, and I remember a lot of cookies through the month, always stored in old fashioned cake tins. That was always fun.
I love this recipe because it’s a little different to the ‘usual’ butter biscuits, with the addition of almond extract. You can try it with rum extract too.
The white fondant may need rolling out on a clean surface with a sprinkling of icing sugar, and left to set it’ll provide a lovely soft, pillowy counter point to the crunchy biscuits. I love these! My kids like decorating them with silver balls pressed into the surface, but I just think of broken teeth!
Even though you use the same shapes for cutting out the fondant in the baking and moving of the biscuits they may change shape a little, so use your fingers to ‘smooth out’ the edges of the fondant to fit perfectly over the biscuits.
- 230g Butter
- 340g Sugar
- 6 cups Plain Flour (780g)
- 6 Eggs
- 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 tablespoon Almond Extract
- 140g butter
- 280g icing sugar
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- Add the butter and sugar to a food processor and mix till it is light and fluffy
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir till combined and a soft dough forms
- Place in the fridge for 1 hour, heat the oven to 180C, then roll out on a well floured surface
- Cut out shapes and move to an oven tray then back for 10 - 12 minutes until they are golden brown
- Meanwhile, role out some fondant and use the same cutters to cut matching shapes from the fondant. Set aside.
- Once the biscuits have cooled, mix the butter, icing sugar and milk together, and spread generously over the biscuits
- Top with the fondant shapes shaping them to fit on the biscuits
- Place gently in an airtight container and allow to set
- They should keep well for 1 - 2 weeks
- Place the butterfly whisk into the Thermomix® bowl and add the butter and sugar 3 minutes/speed 4. The butter should be light in colour and fluffy
- Remove the butterfly and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix together 30 seconds/speed 5
- Empty out onto cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour to make the dough easier to work with
- Remove from fridge, roll out the dough to about half an inch thick and cut into shapes
- Transfer onto a baking tray and continue until all the dough is used up
- Bake for 10—12 minutes at 180C till golden brown
- Store in an airtight container
A Very Thermie Christmas has this and 50 other recipes for all your Thermomix® Christmas needs. With everything from snacks to meals, finger foods to festive drinks and DIY gifts A Very Thermie Christmas has your Christmas covered. Just £8.99 (excl VAT in EU) this printable PDF can be yours in minutes.
I love Basil. It’s such a sensory herb, with the ability to transport you to just about anywhere – usually in Italy.
I also love chocolate, and one of my favourite memories is from my honeymoon, some 10 and a bit years ago, where we spent time backpacking through Italy, from Sorento through to Bergamo. Our last night was in a hotel in Turin, and by the time we got there we were pretty worn out. The 4-star hotel had an amazing jacuzzi in the bathroom, and with promises to return one day, we didn’t venture further than the cafe on the corner.
This particular cafe, however, had a delicious selection of home made chocolates and ice cream, and I fell in love with the combination of Basil and Chocolate. No, it’s not one you come across often, but it works – trust me, it works.
I recently agreed to participate in a challenge where I had to come up with a recipe that speaks to the taste of Italy, and I can’t think of much that speaks of Italy like Basil does, so here is my contribution: Chocolate Mousse with Basil Cream – and here is my advice: don’t knock it till you try it!
This is an incredibly rich mousse. We had two people (including two children) sharing the two ice cream bowls of mousse & cream in the pictures, and it was still a lot. So it’s a great sharers dish.
We hope you love the Chocolate Mousse & Basil Cream as much as we do!
- 335g double cream
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- 15g icing sugar
- 150g chocolate
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a sealable container, add 200g cream and whole basil leaves together.
- Cover and put in the fridge for 5 hours. After that time, remove the basil leaves and discard
- Add the icing sugar to the cream and whisk to stiff peaks. (I find it easiest here to transfer into a piping bag, and set aside.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave, on a double boiler, in a bowl nestled inside a pot on the stove top (making sure not to get any water in) or however you normally melt chocolate.
- While it's melting, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, adding the sugar slowly as you whisk, then put the egg whites in the fridge.
- Next, whisk the cream to stiff peaks, and place in the fridge.
- Finally, in a large bowl add the vanilla extract to the egg yolks and mix until smooth. Pour the melted chocolate slowly in to the egg yolks, stirring all the time.
- Next, add the cream to the egg and chocolate mix, and stir till it's all combined.
- Finally fold in the egg whites. Do not beat, whisk or over stir this as doing so will cause the mousse to collapse. Follow instructions below for combining.
- These instructions are for one bowl. If you have two, melt the chocolate in one and do the whisking in the other.
- Place the egg whites and sugar in the Thermomix® bowl and whisk with the butterfly speed 4 about 1 minute. Keep an eye on it - the freshness of your eggs and the temperature will affect how long you need to whisk this for, and you don't want it to collapse again, so just stop when you reach stiff peaks.
- Scoop into a bowl and set aside in the fridge
- Wash out the bowl and dry thoroughly.
- Pour the cream in and add the butterfly again. Whisk the cream for about 30 seconds/speed 4. Again, keep an eye on it - freshness of cream and starting temperature of cream will affect how long it needs to be whisked for. You don't want butter!
- Set aside the cream, and wash and dry the bowl.
- Add the chocolate to the Thermomix® bowl and chop speed 5, 10 seconds.
- Heat to 50C/Speed 2/ 3 minutes. Meanwhile in a large bowl, mix the egg yolk and vanilla extract and stir to combine. When the chocolate is melted pour in a thin stream whisking together. (Don't pour the egg into the hot chocolate or you'll end up with scrambled eggs.)
- Add the cream to the bowl, whisking to combine.
- Finally, add the egg whites and gently fold them in. If you whisk or stir too vigorously you'll knock all the air out of the egg whites and your mousse will fall flat.
- Smaller ramekins or glasses are better for this desert as it is very rich.
- Place a layer of chocolate mousse in your serving dish and flatten out.
- Next you need a layer of basil. I find piping it around the edges first then in through the centre the easiest, before adding a final layer of chocolate. If you're confident in your piping skills, pipe a pattern of the basil cream on top - I messed it up first time, so scooped it up again, hence mine looks a bit chocolatey.
- You can serve it immediately for a light and fluffy mousse, but it's equally delicious, if a bit denser and less airy a few hours later.